In addition to updating the look of its core products such as Gmail, Docs and Reader, Google has improved the secret sauce of its staple search product to include a revamped freshness algorithm. The changes are said to affect roughly 35% of all searches on Google.

The search giant claims it is leveraging its Caffeine indexing system to conjure up the fresher results. Some of the specifics Google outlines for the latest algorithm changes are: 

  • The display of recent events and hot topics: When searching for material related to current issues such as protests, strikes, disasters and other trending topics, Google's algorithm will attempt to give the freshest, most up-to-the-minute information possible.
  • Regularly reocurring events: While searching for items related to sporting events, conferences, ceremonies and other periodic events, Google attempts to intelligently give preference to the latest game or most recent show, instead of yeilding results from years ago.
  • More frequent updates: Thanks in part to Caffeine's improved indexing capabilities, Google's search algorithm will be better able to prefer the latest product information, newest reviews and most recent answers to your questions while you search.

Google seems to also realize that different searches have different requirements for freshness. Sometimes users actually do want to look at archived information, historical events or search for some form of nostaligia, so Google has also algorithmically improved its ability to contextualize your search, preferring the freshest results for some searches and not placing much weight on freshness for others.