An algorithm change in Google's search will affect almost 12% of searches by cutting out low quality content, or "content farms".
On the Google Blog and simultaneously expanded upon by Danny Sullivan, Google (GOOG) engineers Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal reported that the company has made significant changes to its search algorithm which would change almost 12% of its results.
Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what's going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.
There has been an extraordinary amount of complaining of late about Google's search engine results and its inability to weed out content farms and content scrapers from its results. Google released a small change a few weeks ago but today's change seems directly aimed at cleaning the search results that yield low quality content.
Google has been on a mission to clean up its reputation lately. Just yesterday, it penalized Overstock for manipulating students into writing SEO-friendly links on their school websites. And before that, J.C. Penney got the ban hammer for hiring a shady SEO firm that apparently bought links.
Google also recently unveiled a personal blocklist that allows users to block content from their search results as they see fit. Google said that it might use the results of the personal search filtering in future products, though those results weren't used in this algorithm change.
It's not immediately clear how the algorithm change will affect content companies like Demand Media (DMD) who rely on Google for much of their traffic.
More on Fortune:
...and now has to deal with the repercussions from Google.
The NYTimes did an expose over the weekend on a name brand company who apparently outsourced their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to a shady SEO firm.
J.C. Penney was established in 1916, long before search engines were even imaginable. They find themselves in a precarious place, having been caught trying to juice their search results by Google.
Most companies who do this sort of thing MORESeth Weintraub - Feb 14, 2011 11:38 AM ET
Google's original algorithm doesn't work like it once did because they are lost in controversy over their webspam
I think we all understand how web spam works to a degree. Purveyors want to sell some ads so they put up content that the search engines will like. Perhaps they have a network of sites that do this and they put links between the sites to each other's content to help the MORESeth Weintraub - Feb 4, 2011 11:16 AM ET
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