Last week, Google released one of the biggest ranking algorithms updates of the last months. The change noticeably impacts 11.8% of all queries on Google. How does this affect the rankings of your website on Google?
What has Google changed?
Google has announced that they made a major change in their ranking algorithm:
“We launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking […] 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.”
This is an addition to the scraper spam update that Google released earlier this month.
This is a noticeable update that affects about 12% of all queries and the search result pages can change a lot:
“We can’t make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites. It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down. […] It is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.”
Which websites will be affected by this update?
Although Google does not officially confirm it, this algorithm update tries to remove so-called content-farms from the search results. Content farms are websites that invest as little time and money as possible to generate a large amount of content created by authors who are usually not familiar with the topic they write about.
Content farms try to get visitors through high rankings for as many different keywords as possible. These visitors should click on the ads that are displayed on the content farm sites.
It seems like websites such as ezinearticles.com, hubpages.com, articlesbase.com, findarticles.com and answerbag.com have lost thousands of high rankings.
How will this change affect your own website?
Google’s anti-spam team is serious about eliminating spam from the search results. They announced that the are working on “many more updates that we believe will substantially improve the quality of the pages in our results“.
If you have used any shady tactics to improve the position of your website on Google, you should stop this right now! It’s very risky to use dubious methods on Google.
If you don’t want to risk your online business, use search engine optimization methods that are safe to use with Google.
Google announced that the new algorithm will be available in the U.S. only at this time. Other countries will get the new algorithm within the next months.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+