Google changes its algorithm to reward high-quality sites

Last week Google announced the latest changes to its algorithm, aimed to reduce the rankings for low-quality sites and favour the high-quality ones.

You are reading: Google changes its algorithm to reward high-quality sites

There has been quite a bit of noise about last week’s ‘farmer update’ announced by Google. In a nutshell, the latest algorithm change aims the sights firmly at low quality sites that offer no unique content.

Google’s aim has always been to produce the most relevant results in the quickest possible time for its users queries and this latest update focuses on rewarding high-quality websites providing great content and lower the rankings of low-quality sites that are not useful or simply copy content from others sites.

Google claims that: “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”.

The early signs are that websites that simply strip content from other websites such as Demand Media and Mahalo will be hit hardest by the changes and websites like eHow and Answers.com could be penalised too.

Currently this update is only live in the U.S and looking at U.S forum discussions shows the general consensus is that profile links are being devalued. Therefore websites that have mainly profile back links, such as forum profile links, should be worried about these changes as they could see their rankings decrease.

On the official Google blog it states that these latest updates are not solely based on the feedback it received via ‘Personal Blocklist Chrome Extension’, but after analysing the data it showed that 84% of a sample of the top-blocked sites were addressed by the changes.

Google says that it is “very excited about this new ranking improvement because we believe it’s a big step in the right direction of helping people find ever higher quality in our results.”

Google plans to roll out the changes worldwide over time, so it will be interesting to see if these changes make a difference to rankings when the update reaches the UK.

 

15 thoughts on “Google changes its algorithm to reward high-quality sites

  1. Great article! I had no idea that this was going on as I am a beginner blogger. it seems to me though that this change is for the better for those of us who strive to write articles with high quality content. Like your article says this will give the consumer a btter quality of websites to view and for those who are sincerely trying to produce good content. You never know what Google will do next, but if you are trying to give the consumers the best content that you can offer than you won’t have anything to worry about. If you are passionate about something it will show and your site will eventually do good.

  2. Great article! I had no idea that this was going on as I am a beginner blogger. it seems to me though that this change is for the better for those of us who strive to write articles with high quality content. Like your article says this will give the consumer a btter quality of websites to view and for those who are sincerely trying to produce good content. You never know what Google will do next, but if you are trying to give the consumers the best content that you can offer than you won’t have anything to worry about. If you are passionate about something it will show and your site will eventually do good.

  3. Great!
    well written article, and I support what google is doing; in 6th grade I did a project on Robert Louis Stevenson, and there was. . . like. . . THREE plagiarized pages about him. . .
    not even paraphrased, but this google alteration would help with that, and perhaps help to hurt plagiarism on the Internet, a huge issue because of the lack of Copy/Paste restrictions. . .
    only issue is, if someone copies YOUR article, then you get hurt for that. . .

  4. Great!
    well written article, and I support what google is doing; in 6th grade I did a project on Robert Louis Stevenson, and there was. . . like. . . THREE plagiarized pages about him. . .
    not even paraphrased, but this google alteration would help with that, and perhaps help to hurt plagiarism on the Internet, a huge issue because of the lack of Copy/Paste restrictions. . .
    only issue is, if someone copies YOUR article, then you get hurt for that. . .

  5. "only issue is, if someone copies YOUR article, then you get hurt for that."

    This is, fortunately, not true. Google will know which site published the content first, and will only penalize those who publish a copy of that.

    1. You beat us to it Jens!

      We would agree that it is rare to get hurt when other people steal your content and that the search engines are getting a lot better at working out the original publisher.

      That said, we have seen examples where bigger authority sites have muscled out smaller sites for VERY similar content (wouldn’t like to say that it was copied word for word, but it was close enough for copyscape to identify it….), so it is not always a case of justice prevailing.

      Thanks for all the comments.

  6. "only issue is, if someone copies YOUR article, then you get hurt for that."

    This is, fortunately, not true. Google will know which site published the content first, and will only penalize those who publish a copy of that.

    1. You beat us to it Jens!

      We would agree that it is rare to get hurt when other people steal your content and that the search engines are getting a lot better at working out the original publisher.

      That said, we have seen examples where bigger authority sites have muscled out smaller sites for VERY similar content (wouldn’t like to say that it was copied word for word, but it was close enough for copyscape to identify it….), so it is not always a case of justice prevailing.

      Thanks for all the comments.

  7. But what about the sites where the content is user generated eg, classified sites. People do just copy and paste there and publish their ads with the same content to many classified sites.

    1. James – in this case, you would expect the normal duplicate content filters to apply (i.e. only one version of that particular pieced of content is likely to rank very well). Google will use a variety of factors to determine which version of the content to rank but will favour one instance of it (either the ‘original’ or the version on the most authoritative site).

      It is, of course, perfectly possible that sites which are based entirely on ‘copy and paste’ content will fade into obscurity though as they are not offering anything of any real / unique value.

        1. “as it does always”

          Impressive faith! Not sure if we would agree that it always gets it right, but you have to acknowledge the difficulty that all the search engines face when calculating the value of any content.

          Not an easy task to do full stop, let alon on the scale that they have to do it.

          Thanks for your comments and thoughts.

          1. Well humans are resistant to change. Sooner or later everyone will be adaptive to this new system (algorithm). Its just an hype is created all around everytime when something like this comes out. But yes some pay the price and some leverage the benefits every time whenever these kind of changes occur.

  8. But what about the sites where the content is user generated eg, classified sites. People do just copy and paste there and publish their ads with the same content to many classified sites.

    1. James – in this case, you would expect the normal duplicate content filters to apply (i.e. only one version of that particular pieced of content is likely to rank very well). Google will use a variety of factors to determine which version of the content to rank but will favour one instance of it (either the ‘original’ or the version on the most authoritative site).

      It is, of course, perfectly possible that sites which are based entirely on ‘copy and paste’ content will fade into obscurity though as they are not offering anything of any real / unique value.

Comments are closed.

Latest from the blog