Google now punishing low quality content sites

If you didn’t hear the bang heard by millions of low quality websites yesterday, let me remind you: Google tweaked it’s algorithm in an effort to take action against content farms that are gaming it’s algorithm and producing lousy search results.

The algorithm change is not just intended to eliminate the ubiquity of search results coming from content farms, but also ‘scraper sites‘. A scraper site is one that doesn’t produce original content, but instead pulls content from other sites by means of RSS or aggregation.

If you’ve seen your content republished as is on another website, then you know what I mean.

For example, a few hours ago I published a post on my blog about a bad product experience I had and 30 minutes later it was republished on this website. This is the 5th time this scraper site has republished one of my posts.

Quality over quantity

While I have not done any tests to see if the changes have had some effect, Alexis Madrigal of the Atlantic tested Google’s new algorithm on a few keywords.

Granted, this is just one search for “drywall dust,” but if this is even remotely indicative of how well the new algorithm works, we’re all going to be tremendously impressed. The search via India led to seven sites that were producing low-quality or aggregated content, a photo of someone covered in dust, and a blog about an individual’s remodel. The new algorithm search yielded very different results. Not only were there less content farms but two specialty sites and five fora made the list as well as a Centers for Disease Control page on the dangers of drywall dust. Having clicked through all 20 links, I can assure you that the information delivered by the new algorithm is much, much better.

side by side comparison of new vs old search results

It’s too soon to tell if the new changes affect your search rankings but…

The bottom line is content farms are getting punished. This is a great opportunity for sites like yours and mine that produce original content (I hope) to get a bump in search results.


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