Sometimes Google searches can be a study in frustration. It seems like everybody who has something to sell has either bought his way to the top of page one or has leveraged SEO to leapfrog over everyone else and become one of the top 10 results and shove more relevant results onto later pages. Fortunately, Google is always working to improve its users’ experiences.
According to Matt McGee, in his article for Search Engine Land, Google’s Panda 3.3 update occurred on Feb. 27, 2012, and should be “more accurate and sensitive to recent changes on the Web.” In addition to the Panda update, Google has launched more than three dozen improvements or updates designed to produce more relevant search results and provide an overall better user experience.
The improvement to local results is one that everyone could appreciate. According to Google, it has launched a new system that will enhance local searches by facilitating Google’s ability to detect when “queries and documents are local to the user.” This could make searching for things like new places to shop or dine on where to buy tickets for local theater or sporting events a lot less time consuming.
The improved local results also apply to YouTube predictions. For example, someone in the United States who begins a search with “Brad Pitt in” will receive different YouTube predictions from someone in France who conducts a similar search. As Google explains it, someone in the US would get a result like “Brad Pitt in New Orleans,” whereas someone in France might receive “Brad Pitt in Cannes” as a result.
Other improvements that people might like are things such as more coverage of related searches, which will cause the “searches related to” feature to appear in response to more queries; less duplication in expanded site links, which will create more snippets based on page content rather than query content; updated Safe Search, which will reduce the amount of irrelevant adult content that shows up in response to many queries; and improvements to freshness, which helps Google “surface fresh content in our results even more quickly than before;” and the international launch or shopping-rich snippets, which help users “more quickly identify which sites are likely to have the most relevant products for their needs, highlighting product prices, availability, ratings and review counts.”
Some of Google’s improvements are especially helpful to those who live in countries such as Korea and Turkey. For example, more organized search results for Google Korea separates results into categories such as news, blogs and homepages. Turkish users can get a weather forecast on the Google results page.
With any luck, Google’s latest improvements will indeed yield more relevant search results and make Googling less frustrating. There’s no escaping the ads or purchased results that appear at the top and side of each results page, but having more relevant organic results appearing in response to queries is a welcome improvement. Those who still aren’t satisfied, may just have to wait for the next round of improvements … or give Blekko a try.
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