IN a move that’s been expected by web-watchers for a while, Google has made changes to the way their search engine ranks sites that will severely ding so-called content farms, sites designed to resemble information-filled sites on various topics but that, in reality, are designed merely to snag the interest of key-word searching search engines.
Some actually have original, if typically low quality content, like eHow and sites on various topics commissioned by companies like Demand Media, that pay writers pennies to quickly generate content on whatever topics are hot at a any given moment (Demand Media often had content up within 24 hours after soliciting submissions through an auction-like process that pitted writers against each other in a race to what some would say was the bottom).
This is another example of how attempts to rig or game search engine results by less than upstanding SEO (search engine optimization) companies often backfire on them — and their clients.
Such content farms were typically sprinkled with embedded links to SEO clients (which played on the so-called reputation algorithms used by Google and other search engines to estimate a site’s importance and relevance on the web). Clients hoped paying SEO outfits could help them rise in the rankings out of relation to their actual relevance or the quality or importance of their sites.
According to PC World…
Google has made a significant change to its search engine that will push further down in its rankingswebsites that pilfer content from other places on the Internet or do not offer high-quality information, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.
The changes to its algorithms impact 11.8 percent of all queries, a significant change considering most people barely notice incremental changes the company makes. Initially, the change only applies to Google users in the U.S. but the company said it plans to roll it out further.
Bad news for sleazy SEO contractors and their clients — but good news for the web.
UPDATED: Here’s more…