Google has rolled out one of the biggest algorithm updates in several years. The big focus is on fresher content and some 35 percent, more than one in three searches will be affected, i.e. the rankings will change, by this change.
Of course, the changes may be small for many queries, you won't see a completely new Google all of a sudden, but you will see fresher content for queries which seek recent information, which is quite a lot of them.
"Search results, like warm cookies right out of the oven or cool refreshing fruit on a hot summer’s day, are best when they’re fresh. Even if you don’t specify it in your search, you probably want search results that are relevant and recent," Amit Singhal, Google Fellow, wrote
"We’re making a significant improvement to our ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35 percent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness," he said.
The changes impact searches that generally require fresh data. For example, most searches for [olympics] refer the current or upcoming editions and not historical data. So fresher results will be favored.
For some searches, the fact that the fresher the results the better is obvious. For any event that is currently happening or has happened very recently you may now get results that may be minutes old, rather than days or hours.
Likewise, recurring events get the same benefit. Google exemplifies these types of searches with things like annual conferences or the presidential election. Even if a query is general, in that it doesn't specify an edition or year, Google will try to retrieve info that is fresh.
Finally, information that changes and updates frequently will get better search results with the new update. If you're looking for a product comparison, or shopping advice, you want stuff that is relevant now, not months ago.
Overall, Google search results should now contain fresher information. However, Google still has no deal with Twitter and likely no intention of striking one, so the very freshest info is unavailable in Google search results, until it hits news sites, blogs and so on.