Hot or not? Does Google really use a new ranking
Webmasters recently found
an anomaly in Google's ranking results. Has Google changed
its algorithm to artificially increase the ranking of new
What has happened?
On 1 January, Google celebrated 25 years of TCP/IP (the
Internet protocol). A click on the special Google logo
that was used on Google's home page sent you to the search
result page for the term "January 1, TCP/IP".
The number of searches for that term increased dramatically
on that day because the term was linked through Google's
As a result, the term looked like a hot topic and Google
decided to list more recent pages in the search results.
Remarkably, the highly ranked pages were mostly blog pages.
A search for "January 1, TCP/IP" used to return
a Wikipedia page as the top result.
Has Google really changed its ranking algorithm?
Google hasn't changed its algorithm. Google shows more
recent results if a search query that wasn't popular before
suddenly gets many searches.
Google analyzes the search volume and the blog post volume
to decide if a special search term or topic is hot or not.
For example, if 100,000 people search for "London" every
day then you'll get trusted content from older websites
in the search results. If 1,000,000 people search for London
on a particular day, something might have happened and
Google will list more blog posts and news articles in the
search results to give web surfers more relevant results.
This behavior hasn't started on 1 January 2008. The same
has happened with other search terms before. For example,
the search results for the term "canoeist" included
more blog and news pages last December when a canoeist
who went missing in 2002 turned up in London.
Google even has a patent that
allows them to find out which topics and search terms are
Is your website hot or not?
Google only uses this special algorithm for hot topics,
i.e. recent news or events. If your search terms aren't
related to recent news, then this has no effect on your
If you want to benefit from a hot topic, it can help to
create a blog post that deals with the hot topic. However,
you won't get lasting high results with that method.
This extra feature in Google's ranking algorithm doesn't
affect most search terms. It only affects news related search
terms and even then, the effect only lasts for a few days.
If you want to see your website in Google's regular top
10 results then you have to optimize your web pages for Google's
ranking algorithm. IBP's Top 10 Web
Page Optimizer and IBP's Inbound
Link Optimizer will help you to do so.