When you use Google to look up answers to specific questions, you may have noticed that the search engine will try to surface the most relevant result and deliver it in a readable format directly in the search results page. These boxes of information are called featured snippets, and today, the search giant has announced an update to the underlying algorithm that delivers these snippets.
The idea behind the change is that some kinds of information are bound to change over time, and when you search for it, you expect to be given the most recent result. For example, you may be looking for the income tax brackets in the U.S. for 2019, or what holiday periods may exist for schools in the upcoming school year. On the other hand, some information isn't very likely to change over time, such as the answer to "Why is the sky blue?".
When you perform a search on Google, the engine will scour the web for what it considers to be the most relevant results, but it may not always return the most recent information because the underlying algorithm doesn't understand that the information is time-sensitive.
The new algorithm aims to improve Google's understanding of what kind of information is likely to change over time and helps provide the most relevant results. For instance, if you want to know the premiere date of a new show, Google will try to find more recent results that offer a more precise date, rather than offering a general prediction based on an older article.
Google often makes improvements to its search engine in order to make it easier to find the information users are looking for. Earlier this year, the company made it easier for people to find remote jobs through Google Search.