Google’s 30 Quality Parameters Codename Guide

Google has just published a recap on search updates they did in December with codenames. Codenames are added so that we can easily track the updates with a single name, like Panda, Mint etc… The list goes to an amazing 30 codenames, so even though most of them went unnoticed, 30 updates in a single month is just an average for Google.

google codenames

On the other hand, some of these search updates were in fact major news that Google covered on their blog previously, so let us recap as well:

Codename Simple – an improvement regarding landing pages for images. Google looks at the landing page signals and determines whether the results are relevant and also if they are giving us the most authoritative results for your search terms.

Codename Concepts – Concepts or also known as Megasitelinks is an improved algorithm for picking up sitelinks top show in the SERPs.

Codename Soft 404 – This was an update most SEOs are aware of, soft 404 update improved how Google detects these kinds of error pages and also shows them in GWT.

Codename Greencr – This update improved the country-restricted searches by better understanding where the web pages and documents are coming from.

Codename Rich Snippets – Improved detection of rich snippets for review, shopping and recipes leading to more sites in search results that use this function.

Codename Autocomplete – Better understanding of auto complete function, Google now handles spelling corrections much better and gives more relevant suggestion results.

Codename Leaf – Google started using their spam detection algorithm used for main search to image search.

Codename Instant enhancements for Japanese – some languages use IME editors (Input Method Editors) like Japanese, now with this Google update they are able to better understand Japanese queries in browsers that use IME.

Codename Foby – Improvement to dates related to articles, pages and documents. As you know Goolge sometimes shows index dates as publication dates, this is now much improved as they are reading the bylines and show the actual publication date instead of the index date.

Codename Live Results – With the Mint update came plenty of changes, including Live results for NFL, ESPN and NCAA football results showing directly in SERPs.

Codename Related Queries – Google started using a more advanced dataset of related queries and synonyms and can now be found showing related results for a query in SERP.

Codename Lyndsy – This update allows showing of related results in serp with fewer words that still contain the main search query.

Codename Baschi – Improvement in serp for lyrics search

Codename +1 Button? – Improvement to how +1 button appears in the serp. Now the +1 button will only show if you already plus one-d something or when you hover over a link.

Codename Pho Viet – Better Google instant and spelling predictions for Vietnamese queries.

Codename Event Venues – the new places panel now features three upcoming events at the right side of the search engine results page.

Codename Matter – This is a rather strange update for most, now Google looks at the size of the images as a ranking factor, actually it makes sense, but we didn’t see it coming. So remember, the size of the image is now a ranking factor for images, the bigger the better.

Codename SweatNovember – improvement for Hebrew synonyms, now Google doesn’t use translation of synonyms not relevant to the context of the page in the results.

Codename Hoengg – also called SafeSearch improved safe search function when you enable “safe search” function.

Codename Encrypted Search – encrypted search is default only for but not for other regional websites like but users can manually navigate to the SSL version of Google search for their region.

Codename Old Possum – also known as Skip Redirect, helps with redirection of mobile searches to mobile page versions and increases the mobile browsing speed.

Codename Flight Results – Google updated their original flight search by implementing their flight results directly in the serp.

Codename Graphing Calculator – if you type in a mathematical function in the search tab you will get an interactive graph in the top of the results.

Codename Google Goggles 1.7 – this update improved the visual search as well as faster results and other features like image text recognition and continuous mode.

Codename Tablet Image Results Carousel View – improved image search of android OS tablets and mobile devices.

Codename Map Updates – map updates for Germany, UK, Sweden and Finland

Codename Fast Movie Search – improved search results on mobile phones when searching for movies giving you more relevant and fresher results.

Codename Public Data Revamp – New design and features update to Google Public Data Explorer.

Codename Author Stats GWT – implemented author stats in Google Webmaster Tools, this is still an experimental feature so we can expect more improvements here soon.

Codename Smartphone Googlebot-mobile – addition of Googlebot-mobile for wider coverage of smartphone content.

These are the 30 quality parameters form Google that marked the month of December, make sure you stay on top of the updates as they can mean the world of difference in the SEO industry.


30 Search quality highlights (with Codenames!): December –

Zac is a link building specialist and a seasoned SEO professional. He manages a team of link builders and actively promotes some of Australia's biggest brands. Zac is an active blogger and also maintains Dejan SEO's news and updates section.

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