Google announced today that it has updated its search algorithm to help more recent information appear at the top of search results.

The search giant completed its Caffeine web indexing system last year, which lets the company crawl and index the web for fresh content more quickly on a much larger scale.

“Given the incredibly fast pace at which information moves in today’s world, the most recent information can be from the last week, day or even minute, and depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to be able to figure out of a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old,” explains Google Fellow Amit Singhal.

After making significant improvements to its ranking algorithm, Google expects that 35% of searches will be affected. Searching for recent events or trending topics will now result in higher-quality pages that might only be minutes old.

Additionally, regularly recurring events, such as elections, won’t need qualifying keywords. Instead, Google will assume that you’re searching for the latest scores or results. Finally, searches for topics that are frequently updated, such as the best tablet or car, will always provide the most up to date information.

Of course, there are still some cases in which older results will still be of value. The new algorithm is designed to better differentiate between these kinds of searches and the level of freshness desired.

This update could be very beneficial to your content strategy – especially if you’re taking advantage of timely topics. Showing up in relevant searches not only paints you as a valuable resource within your industry, but it could also have a great effect on your engagement and SEO.

[Image credit: wandersick]