An upgrade to the algorithm used by Google to rank website relevance to a users query is being rolled out today
Google is today rolling out a key upgrade to the algorithm powering its search engine which is based on “Australian-made” technology originally developed by a PhD student at the University of New South Wales.
The student was Ori Allon and the search engine process he developed at the university’s Kensington campus in 2005 was called Orion.
From the Official Google Blog, one of the key changes is an addition to the results
Starting today, we’re deploying a new technology that can better understand associations and concepts related to your search, and one of its first applications lets us offer you even more useful related searches (the terms found at the bottom, and sometimes at the top, of the search results page).
This is more for suggesting people what may be related to the search query.
Secondly and possibly more important is the increase in the snippet length. This is the text returned in the results to show the relevance of the result to your query.
Up till now the length has been limited to 156 characters.
It now looks like this snippet length has been increased, possibly to double the old 156 characters.
It says it is to deliver better results from long search queries, as before the old snippet was not necessarily long enough.
How this will affect SEO is unknown at this stage, the description meta tag may now be treated differently.
I’ll post a follow up once more is known.