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Just a few hours ago Google blogged about their recent change in the algorithm. They claim it is a bigger change than normal and that people will notice a change in the results. For now, the changes will only be seen in the United States and will go worldwide at a later date. It impacts almost 12% of all searches on Google.
This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.
The basis is that they want to reward original content and punish lower value copied or low quality content. Search Engine Land dubbed it the "Farmer Update" on their detailed post about the update. It seems that it is a shot at scraper web sites and content farms, but does not specifically mention this.
What does this mean to domainers and developers?
For myself and other domain developers, I think this update is a positive one. All of my developed sites have unique original content and hopefully will be boosted in the rankings. I think that it is great that Google is trying its best to reward developers and webmasters who write original content that is helpful to others.
This update is also going to encourage me to add more content to my sites and provide more of the in depth research and analysis. Some people might say it will kill minisites and I personally do not as long as they a have few pages of unique content. But, if you are worried why not add a few more pages, it can't hurt!
I do think that this might hurt sites without much original content like the sites that some companies offer as fast and easy alternatives to parking.
But, I'm no expert, only time and traffic will tell.
It does note that this update does not rely on the results of the chrome personal block list extension that they released a few weeks ago. I was really happy to see this as I think that relying on this data could lead to spam and misuse of the system to harm competitors. Google does seem to be cracking down lately with the JC Penny and Overstock reports about fishy SEO and now this fairly large update its good to know they are working to improve results.
- Google Updates Algorithm for Traffic Estimates, CPC and More
- Google Updates PageRank For the First Time in 6 Months
- What I have seen from Google Penguin