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.