MAJOR Google Algorithm Changes - November 2011

Google announced several algorithm changes this week which carry the potential to dramatically impact natural/organic search result listings. 

In one of the few instances when Google has offered any information about its algorithms, Google's Matt Cutts outlined updates to the approaches used for showing and ranking search results. 

The updates specifically address snippets and page titles, autocomplete and translation and specific ranking changes: 

- Google is now more likely to pick text from the actual page content, and less likely to use text that is part of a header or menu, for use in snippets on search results.

- Deprecating value of inbound anchor text links in the influence of search result page titles.

- Extending coverage for application rich snippets

- Adjusted how it determines which pages are "official"; will tend to rank official sites higher.

- Deprecates the value of citations ("references from multiple documents on the Web") in image search.

- Improves handing of date-based search results, specifically when a user has chosen the date range.

- Better handling of fresh/recent results; roughly 35 percent of search results are impacted but noticeable now only between 6 and 10 percent of the time.