On 24th February 2011 Google announced on their blog that major changes were afoot. The change described by Google as;
“we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on.” (Google Blog)
So what does it mean for us in New Zealand? Nothing yet – it will only affect the US initially, although it will be rolled out more comprehensively in the future. If it was being rolled out to New Zealand now it would likely not affect well optimised websites.
The purpose of the algorithm change is to reduce the rankings of websites that are perceived to be of lower quality.
This will include websites that copy/gather all their content from other sources rather than providing fresh useful content. This will therefore also benefit perceived high quality websites, such as those that regularly update their website with high quality, original, well-researched and informative content.
To those that follow the happenings in the world of search, the change does not come as a major surprise. Matt Cutts (Head of Google’s webspam team) commented in his blog that Google that there were looking at targeting ‘content farms’ with low quality content.
The good news for (white hat) search engine optimisers and for searchers is that the changes should help provide better search results, giving us more relevant results to our searches. This will be the negative thing for spammers and black-hat operators that try and bombard Google’s results with unoriginal, low quality content.
What will ultimately happen….. we could hazard a guess….. but only time will tell!