Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nov. 3 said it is accelerating its Web search index to deliver users fresher results for recent or recurring events and other updates that require more immediacy.
The move comes more than a year after the search-engine leader finished a major indexing overhaul, called Caffeine, to troll the Web for fresher content. Caffeine offered 50 percent faster search results so new pages or new information on existing pages are added on the fly.
The boost also comes months after Google's real-time search deal with Twitter lapsed, leaving the company deprived of tweets to surface for users.
Now Google has tweaked its ever-changing algorithm to bring even more freshness to 35 percent of search results, or more than double the number of results the freshness algorithm previously impacted, according to Search Engine Land.
For example, Google will begin surfacing fresher results for recent events or hot topics that begin trending on the Web. Google Fellow Amit Singhal explained that when users search for current events, they'll see more Web pages that are only minutes old.
Another area Google is freshening up is in recurring events, such as annual conferences. When a user searches for "Web 2.0 Summit," they often want info on an upcoming event, not the Summit that convened in 2008. Or, in Singhal's more extreme example:
"If I search for [Olympics], I probably want information about next summer's upcoming Olympics, not the 1900 Summer Olympics (the only time my favorite sport, cricket, was played)," he explained in a corporate blog post.
"Google Search uses a freshness algorithm, designed to give you the most up-to-date results, so even when I just type [Olympics] without specifying 2012, I still find what I'm looking for."
Finally, frequent updates constitute current information on new cars and other new versions of products. Users who type in Toyota Camry without specifying a "used" signal probably want info on the newer models.
The move is clearly geared toward helping Google better compete with some of the fresher content pouring throughout Facebook and Twitter, as well as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing, which is pushing for faster search results as it seeks to compete with Google.