Nov. 3, 2011 at 2:05 PM ET
Google now says you'll get even more relevant and recent information when you search for it, particularly when it comes to "hot topics" — like the "Occupy" movement — recent events, regularly occurring events (such as company earnings or NFL scores) or subjects that have frequent updates, such as the "best SLR cameras."
"Today, we're making a significant improvement to our ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35 percent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness," Google Fellow Amit Singhai said in a company blog posting.
Different searches, he said, "have different freshness needs. This algorithmic improvement is designed to better understand how to differentiate between these kinds of searches and the level of freshness you need, and make sure you get the most up to the minute answers."
There are still "plenty of cases where results that are a few years old might still be useful for you," he said, using the example of "fast tomato sauce recipe," which "certainly saved me after a call from my wife reminded me I had volunteered to make dinner! On the other hand, when I search for the 49ers score, a result that is a week old might be too old."
Testing out this new freshness, I typed in "Google search freshness," to see if its own Web indexing system picked up the freshness factor. It did pretty well, giving me that aspect of the news as a fourth result. The first three are here (and by the time you read this, they will have changed again):