Google Reuters

Google has announced a new 'freshness algorithm' which promises to sort search results by order of how time-relevant they are, making sure that the newest appears first.

In a blog post by Google employee Amit Singhal, search results are likened to "warm cookies right out of the oven or cool refreshing fruit on a hot summer's day" and "best when they're fresh".

An example of the new search algorithm is the Olympic Games. "If I search for Olympics," Singhal explains, "I probably want information about next summer's upcoming Olympics, not the 1900 Summer Olympics."

Google says that the most recent information can be from the last week, day or minute, and the new algorithm can sort results into date order, without a year being entered in the search box.

The search giant claims that the new algorithm will impact roughly 35 per cent of searches and it can determine when more up-to-date results are wanted. Google is looking to make search results read like a flowing feed of news, with stories just a minute old (if they are relevant) appearing first.

Singhal adds that time is less relevant for some searches: "There are plenty of cases where results that are a few years old might still be useful for you...on the other hand, when I search for sports scores, a result that is a week old might be too old.

"Different searches have different freshness needs. This algorithmic improvement is designed to better understand how to differentiate between these kinds of searches and the level of freshness you need, and make sure you get the most up to the minute answers."