Google's (Inter)Stellar Update: Orion

Google's Orion Update

Google's Orion Update

Google very recently implemented a set of updates to how its search engine works.  It involves some very advanced technology that detects the relationships between phrases and website pages.  As advanced as we may think computers are, they still can’t really understand the meaning behind words entered into a search box, referred to in the industry as “semantic indexing.”  Orion moves us a little closer to a world where machines don’t just match words together, they begin to understand what the words mean and how they relate to words we may have not even entered.

As an example, let’s say you type “red apples” into Google.  It does a good job of finding websites where the words “red” and “apples” appear close together.  What it doesn’t do, that this update moves towards, is understanding that when a user types this, they may also be interested in things like farming, agribusiness or gardening tips – when pages like these appear, it’s only because they’ve placed those two words on the page.  Now when you perform that search, Google has a much better chance of bringing up results that also could be helpful, but might not have the exact words “red” and “apples” in them.

One of the other important things this update brings is longer descriptions in some search engine listings.  Google and others typically only shown two lines, or snippets, from the pages listed in results but now may show three lines for searches involving three or more search terms.  This can be very beneficial in deciding which result is of the most interest.  It also capitalizes on the search trend of people using more words in each of their searches.

What this means for your website is to be sure that you’re search engine optimizing each page for more than one keyword, in a process that is sometimes referred to as “blending.”  This creates a higher likelihood that your page will show up for searches where not all of the keywords are present.

More in-depth info can be found on this SEO tips blog.

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