Google changes search algorithm, tackles content farms

Google has made changes to its search algorithm in the last day or so that they claim are so subtle many wouldn't notice, but will still help reduce the ranking of low-quality websites. They define low-quality websites as "sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful," in a blog post yesterday.

The goal is to address spam sites which usually publish articles or posts based on what they think the will rank higher in search results, that have the same information as another site, or is an outright copy from another website just for the sake of ad revenue. The problem is that the website with the original information is ranked lower than these spam sites, more often known as content farms.

The new search algorithm will reportedly affect 11.8% of Google's search queries and will attempt to also raise the ranking of "high-quality" sites.

"We’re 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. We’ve been tackling these issues for more than a year, and working on this specific change for the past few months," the company said in a statement.

Google plans on rolling out the new changes in other countries, but for right now it is only in effect in the United States.

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The new search algorithm will reportedly affect 11.8% of Google's search queries and will attempt to also raise the ranking of "high-quality" sites.

Interesting. Doesn't sound like much, but still... 1 row in 10 should make a noticeable difference if you're paying attention.

I was getting really sick of search results that seemed really relevant but when you click them they are ad's of just tons of random junk farmed to look relevant just to get hits....

My favorite moments are when I have a computer problem that I search on Google which leads me to a forum post with someone asking about the exact same problem following by a bunch of twats telling the original poster to Google for the answer. I wonder if the OP gets in a time-warp at that point.

Anyway, Google has fallen behind in search technology. If they weren't spending so much of their resources on all of their side projects they would have the same search technology IBM Watson has. But no, instead the spammers have the edge on Google. The fact that they are changing their algorithm is hopefully a step in the right direction. It feels like Google searches have become less useful than they were even 5 years ago.

"The goal is to address spam sites which usually publish articles or posts based on what they think the will rank higher in search results"

Maybe this will mean less sensational headlines on my favorite tech news aggregator sites! ;D

To be fair, in a "counter" argument I think the internet pretty much exploded from copying content from one to another, so while it is a pain I also think it is responsible for a lot of the popularity the internet gained.

About damn time, I found these content farms siphoning content from not only my site, but other sites that I frequent. I don't mind so much if a genuine person wants to borrow a piece of news from my site, pictures, and other content just as long as they credit the source of the content.

So long as I no longer type in a question and get one of those sites that go "Do you know the answer to blah blah blah blah"

Cause all I ever think when I read that is no I bloody don't that's what I am searching for it!

Choto Cheeta said,
any chance / tool for web master to see how their websites are effected ??

No, there's no chance that people who have a tool for a webmaster will see how their sites are affected.

tmaxxtigger said,
About time, lately I've been using Bing to get better results and filter out the content farms.
Strangely I can't find anything with Bing ... Rarely run into any content farms. Good news never the less.

x-byte said,
Strangely I can't find anything with Bing ... Rarely run into any content farms. Good news never the less.

I felt so stupid just now, i just said to myself, i'ma go read this on Neowin to see what they mean, rankings, and farms and such. OMG -__-