May 2012 Update: Deeper Detection of Hacked Pages, Inorganic Backlinks, Alternative Title, Music Rich Snippets Expansion, Fading Results and More

So, with June begins, Google posted a messive search update that happend in last month May - "This month we had exciting announcements including the Knowledge Graph, better search for users in mainland China, and an updated Search App for iPhone," posted Scott Huffman, Engineering Director. In addition, Google also released new sports features, deeper […]

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May 2012 Search Algorithm Update

So, with June begins, Google posted a messive search update that happend in last month May - "This month we had exciting announcements including the Knowledge Graph, better search for users in mainland China, and an updated Search App for iPhone," posted Scott Huffman, Engineering Director.

In addition, Google also released new sports features, deeper detection of hacked pages, and much more.

Here is the May 2012 Google Search upate highlights, per Google post:

  • Deeper detection of hacked pages. [launch codename "GPGB", project codename "Page Quality"] In the past, this algorithm (detecting defaced content on hacked pages and presenting a notice on search results reading, "This site may be compromised.") has focused exclusively on homepages, but now "we've noticed hacking incidents are growing more common on deeper pages on particular sites, so we're expanding to these deeper pages," Huffman wrote.
  • Autocomplete predictions used as refinements. [launch codename "Alaska", project codename "Refinements"] With this change, Goole begin to include some especially useful predictions as "Related searches" on the results page.
  • More predictions for Japanese users. [project codename "Autocomplete"] "Our usability testing suggests that Japanese users prefer more autocomplete predictions than users in other locales. Because of this, we've expanded the number or predictions shown in Japan to as many as eight (when Instant is on)," he said.
  • Improvements to autocomplete on Mobile. [launch codename "Lookahead", project codename "Mobile"] Google made an improvement to make predictions work faster on mobile networks through more aggressive caching.
  • Fewer arbitrary predictions. [launch codename "Axis5", project codename "Autocomplete"] makes it less likely you'll see low-quality predictions in autocomplete.
  • Improved IME in autocomplete. [launch codename "ime9", project codename "Translation and Internationalization"] change improves handling of input method editors (IMEs) in autocomplete, including support for caps lock and better handling of inputs based on user language.
  • New segmenters for Asian languages. [launch codename "BeautifulMind"] Speech segmentation is about finding the boundaries between words or parts of words. "We updated the segmenters for three asian languages: Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, to better understand the meaning of text in these languages. We'll continue to update and improve our algorithm for segmentation," informs Huffman.
  • Scoring and infrastructure improvements for Google Books pages in Universal Search. [launch codename "Utgo", project codename "Indexing"] This launch transitions the billions of pages of scanned books to a unified serving and scoring infrastructure with web search. This is an efficiency, comprehensiveness and quality change that provides significant savings in CPU usage while improving the quality of search results.
  • Unified Soccer feature. [project codename "Answers"] unifies the soccer search feature experience across leagues in Spain, England, Germany and Italy, providing scores and scheduling information right on the search result page.
  • Improvements to NBA search feature. [project codename "Answers"] will now more often return relevant NBA scores and information right at the top of your search results.
  • New Golf search feature. [project codename "Answers"] introduces a new search feature for the Professional Golf Association (PGA) and PGA Tour, including information about tour matches and golfers.
  • Improvements to ranking for news results. [project codename "News"] improves signals Google use to rank news content in our main search results. In particular, this change helps you discover news content more quickly than before.
  • Better application of inorganic backlinks signals. [launch codename "improv-fix", project codename "Page Quality"] change "ensures we're using those signals appropriately in the rest of our ranking. "We have algorithms in place designed to detect a variety of link schemes, a common spam technique," he said.
  • Improvements to Penguin. [launch codename "twref2", project codename "Page Quality"] rolled out this month a couple minor tweaks to improve signals and refresh the data used by the penguin algorithm.
  • Trigger alt title when HTML title is truncated. [launch codename "tomwaits", project codename "Snippets"] change to algorithms designed to present the best possible result titles will now show a more succinct title for results where the current title is so long that it gets truncated. "We'll only do this when the new, shorter title is just as accurate as the old one," Huffman wrote.
  • Efficiency improvements in alternative title generation. [launch codename "TopOfTheRock", project codename "Snippets"] Google improved the efficiency of title generation systems, leading to significant savings in cpu usage and a more focused set of titles actually shown in search results.
  • Better demotion of boilerplate anchors in alternate title generation. [launch codename "otisredding", project codename "Snippets"] "When presenting titles in search results, we want to avoid boilerplate copy that doesn't describe the page accurately, such as "Go Back." This change helps improve titles by avoiding these less useful bits of text," Huffman wrote.
  • Internationalizing music rich snippets. [launch codename "the kids are disco dancing", project codename "Snippets"] Music rich snippets enable webmasters to mark up their pages so users can more easily discover pages in the search results where you can listen to or preview songs. The feature launched originally on, but this month it is enabled music rich snippets for the rest of the world.
  • Music rich snippets on mobile. [project codename "Snippets"] Google turned on music rich snippets for mobile devices, making it easier for users to find songs and albums when they're on the go.
  • Improvement to SafeSearch goes international. [launch codename "GentleWorld", project codename "SafeSearch"] This change internationalizes an algorithm designed to handle results on the borderline between adult and general content.
  • Simplification of term-scoring algorithms. [launch codename "ROLL", project codename "Query Understanding"] This change simplifies some of our code at a minimal cost in quality. This is part of a larger effort to improve code readability.
  • Fading results to white for Google Instant. [project codename "Google Instant"] Google introduced a subtle fade animation when going from a page with results to a page without.
  • Better detection of major new events. [project codename "Freshness"] change helps ensure that Google can return fresh web results in realtime seconds after a major event occurs.
  • Smoother ranking functions for freshness. [launch codename "flsp", project codename "Freshness"] change replaces a number of thresholds used for identifying fresh documents with more continuous functions.
  • Better detection of searches looking for fresh content. [launch codename "Pineapples", project codename "Freshness"] change introduces a brand new classifier to help detect searches that are likely looking for fresh content.
  • Freshness algorithm simplifications. [launch codename "febofu", project codename "Freshness"] Google rolled out a simplification to our freshness algorithms, which will make it easier to understand bugs and tune signals.
  • Updates to +Pages in right-hand panel. [project codename "Social Search"] Improved signals for identifying relevant +Pages to show in the right-hand panel.
  • Performance optimizations in our ranking algorithm. [launch codename "DropSmallCFeature"] - Significantly improves the efficiency of Google's scoring infrastructure with minimal impact on the quality of search results.
  • Simpler logic for serving results from diverse domains. [launch codename "hc1", project codename "Other Ranking Components"] change simplifies the logic behind algorithms to help return a diverse set of domains when relevant to the user query.
  • Precise location option on tablet. [project codename "Mobile"] This month Google expanded the option to enables you to choose to get personalized search results relevant to your more precise location on mobile that choice to the tablets. You'll now see the link at the bottom of the homepage and a button above local search results.
  • Improvements to local search on tablet. [project codename "Mobile"] Google also improved local search on tablet as well. Now you can more easily expand a local result to see more details about the place. After tapping the reviews link in local results, you'll find details such as a map, reviews, menu links, reservation links, open hours and more.
  • Internationalization of "recent" search feature on mobile. [project codename "Mobile"] Finaly, Google also expanded the "recent" search feature on mobile to new languages and regions.