Google Explains the Role of Time and Place in Search Rankings

A new article explains three things that Google uses for selecting web pages to rank for featured snippets.

In this article, I am explaining about the role of time and place (geographic location) as signals that could trigger featured snippets.

The article was limited to two factors, time and geographic location. The phrase “Critical Context” to describe the importance of those two signals.

Interestingly, the phrase “Critical Context” as a way to describe what the meaning of a surge in particular search queries might mean.

Critical context is a word used in literary studies to describe the process of understanding what a piece of literature means, including finding hidden relationships, allusions, metaphors, and references to events past or present at the time of writing. The purpose of the literary-critical context was to better understand a particular written work.

The phrase is also used within the research of Natural Language Processing algorithms.

For example, in a sample from a book published by O’Reilly related to information retrieval, there’s a reference to critical context as being important for understanding semantic meaning.

Critical Context, like time and place, also helps us understand what you’re looking for. This is particularly true for featured snippets…

Whenever an algorithm uses geographic information to influence search rankings, this means that Google is personalizing the search results.

Freshness Indicators

Freshness indicators relate to a surge of content that is tied to a specific topic.

This sounds similar to the “query deserves freshness” type of algorithm where a surge in a topic can indicate that something is becoming topical and meaningful.

Only in this case, Google is using this kind of fresh content for the featured snippets.

Google search used factors such as time and place to identify and give critical context to a surge in specific search queries.

The concept of “Freshness indicators” as being a part of Google’s algorithms.

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