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Acknowledging that some searches were giving people stale results, Google revised its methods on Thursday to make the answers timelier. It is one of the biggest tweaks to Google’s search algorithm, affecting about 35 percent of all searches.
The new algorithm is a recognition that Google, whose dominance depends on providing the most useful results, is being increasingly challenged by services like Twitter and Facebook, which have trained people to expect constant updates with seconds-old news.
It is also a reflection of how people use the Web as a real-time news feed — that if, for example, you search for a baseball score, you probably want to find the score of a game being played at the moment, not last week, which is what Google often gave you.