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Yesterday Google announced on their Webmaster Blog that they had changed their search engine algorithm in the U.S. (coming soon to everywhere else).
Every day copious amounts of low quality content is uploaded to websites and then picked up by search engines. As a result of this Google has decided to “up the ante” and more actively attempt to remove low quality and irrelevant sites in order to provide a more relevant, purer search result for visitors and their queries.
Google has stated that these changes to the algorithm are impacting 11.8% of U.S. search queries.
Who will this affect?
The main question people are asking themselves is "who will this affect?"
The majority of sites affected by this update will fall into one of two categories:
- Scraper Sites: Uses web scraping to copy/duplicate content from other websites. If a site is duplicating or copying content from other websites it adds little or no value to search engine results pages and will therefore be deemed low quality.
- Content Farms: Is used to store large amounts of irrelevant or unnecessary content on a website in order to please search engine algorithms and sustain a high retrieval rate by automated search engines such as Google. Some SEO experts believe that the "content farm" aspect of this algorithm includes large sites such as ask.com, about.com, Mahalo and eHow that have a lot of article content, some of it of very dubious quality, but with a lot of domain authority.
Many bloggers have suggested that Google has been under extreme pressure lately to remove the majority of content farms. In an interview with Search Engine Land Matt Cutts, Head of Google's Webspam Team, denied that this update has been introduced to directly target content farms.
What will this effect?Google states that their overall aim is to reward and boost the rankings of companies who use "original content" on their websites.
As we have often discussed on the I-COM blog: "content is king", and if that's true then quality is queen.
If your company produces good quality, relevant and original content and adds it to your website regularly, then this latest Google algorithm update should have little or no effect on you or your company.
This recent change in Google’s algorithm is only currently in effect in the United States, however it should still be seen as a huge warning sign to companies who frequently duplicate or add unnecessary content to their sites.