Google removed reading level

One by one Google strips itself of the features that made  the Google search engine  excellent for web search. This time it’s the reading level search filter. Presumably it wasn’t used much, but that is hardly a good reason – not when it was a feature valued by a key segment of the user population.

Google Drops Another Search Filter: Reading Level, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (May 8)

Karen Blakeman, a professional searcher, is one who feels the loss. She commented in – Google dumps Reading Level search filter that feature helped to separate the technical, serious articles from “consumer or retail focused pages” – which I think we could call the trivial. She wonders, as do I, which of the few remaining advanced search features Google will drop next. Pray that it won’t be number range.

Google Search on a Timeline

This slideshow – A History of Google Algorithm Updates – reminds us of the ways Google search has changed over nearly 15 years. It’s quite stunning and we can only wonder – what next? The timeline was created by DPFOC, an online marketing agency offering SEO services.

Google drops in-depth

Several have reported that Google has dropped labelling In Depth Articles – they are being blended into organic results and the accompanying images have been dropped. In Depth articles didn’t show in results – annoying for searchers in Canada. This is an odd change in design – don’t they want users to know that those items are more “in depth” and of higher quality?

Google Quietly Drops In Depth Articles Title In Search Results, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundtable. (Apr 10)

Google Search Can Penetrate Databases

Google explains in this patent a prototype for surfacing content from structured databases.

How Google May Index Deep Web Entities, by Bill Slawski, SEO by the Sea (April 5)

Bill Slawski presents this takeaway

If you’ve been looking for a connection between the SEO of web-page Crawling, and the use of Data from sources like Knowledge-bases, this paper describes such a connection – using data from a knowledge-base such as freebase to query the content of a deepweb database, such as an ecommerce site where content doesn’t surface to be crawled unless it is queried first.

Dates in Google Answer Boxes

Watch for it – Google is showing more dates with search results – especially those handy Answer Boxes.

Google Begins Including Dates on Answer Boxes in Search Results to Show Timeliness, Jennifer Slegg, The SEM Post (April 6)

Some answer boxes are now displaying the date the content was published at the end of the content in the answer box to show how timely the information presented is. Especially on topics that are constantly changing, this means that a searcher can perhaps get a better idea of how accurate the information is based upon the date it was published

Google getting smarter

The job of the search engine marketer gets more difficult by the day. The factors Google uses for ranking results are increasingly complex. Long gone is the day the search engine ranked on frequency of words, proximity of words, and links (etc). Nate Dane, in this piece, observes – firstly, that Google makes fewer announcements about algorithmic changes and with less fanfare; and secondly, that Google through investment in AI is getting “smarter”.

They Fooled Us All: Why Google May No Longer Announce Major Algorithm Updates, Search Engine Land (March 27)