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Google Reveals December's Tweaks to Search

As part of a new monthly series recapping the updates it has made to Search, Google announced a list of 30 improvements it made in December, 21 of which have never been announced. Among the new tweaks, which are given unique "codenames," a few stood out as interesting, including the way Google picks sitelinks (Megasitelinks), digs up images, and offers dates to bylines.

In December, Google enhanced its algorithm for selecting sitelinks. Codename Megasitelinks, the improved results now offer more relevant sitelinks, which users can control with their location settings. Google gave an example of this improvement, stating that it might show sitelinks specific to a metropolitan area.

Google also made a few prominent changes related to its Image Search. Codename simple, the first update puts an emphasis on the quality of a landing page for image search. The new results should produce not only relevant images, but also high quality source pages. Google has also improved its spam detection in Image Search. According to the search giant, it has extended algorithms it already utilizes for its main search results. This improvement is given the name leaf.

December was also the month Google improved the way its algorithm identifies dates to accompany documents. Dubbed foby, the new improvements now provide users more "accurate dates annotating search results."

View the complete list of Google's December's quality highlights with codenames.

- Melanie Saxe

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Jan 06, 2012