Google has made yet another update to its ever-changing algorithm, and this time it is a change that will affect a whopping 11.8 percent of its search results.
Last week, Google announced its latest algorithm change will decrease the rankings for sites with a reputation for having low-quality or second-hand content. These sites are often called “content farms” or “scraper” sites, and although Google has declined to specifically name the type of site the new algorithm will be punished, they have been clear that they want the change to affect sites known for copying the majority of their content from other websites.
One concern for many sites such as eHow, which carries both shallow and deep content, is that they will be penalized for the low-quality content but not necessarily rewarded for the high-quality information. Another unfortunate result of this update is that some clearly non-spam sites were also penalized. For example, e-commerce sites that included manufacturer-provided product descriptions for their merchandise were penalized if another site used those same descriptions.
However, a good measure of the effectiveness of the new algorithm is the external confirmation that 84% of the sites affected were among the top 50 sites most commonly flagged by users as “spam”. These are the sites that typically look for the top search trends and generate a small amount of poor quality content on the cheap, and it shows. Luckily for the searcher, most of these sites are the ones you hope will disappear.
For the business owner or content writer, the concern to produce relevant, original, and quality creative is apparent. If your site generates revenue via AdSense or other online advertisements, you need to maintain rankings is all the more essential.
As your SEO agency can attest, good, original, and relevant content has long been vital to promoting your website’s rankings on Google and Bing. With this new algorithmic change, however, the quality and depth of your content become even more important. Your website’s searchable information should be clear, unique, and easy for search engine spiders to read, and if possible, should also be updated often. Long story short, without decent content, it will become harder and harder for many sites to attain, and retain top search rankings.
Contributed by Amanda Finch, VP Operations