Over the past few weeks Google has taken some serious measures to eliminate web spam from its organic search results. Early February, JC Penny was hit with a manual and algorithmic penalty for “buying” links with very specific targeted keywords. More recently Overstock and Forbes have been penalized for participating in both “buying” and “selling” links respectively.
We knew it was not going to be long before Google released a major algorithm update to combat the very prevalent web spam and link farms we have seen growing over the past couple of years. Well the time has come; today Google’s Matt Cutts & Amit Singhal unveiled an algorithmic change that claims to impact 11.8% of search queries.
According to Singhal, this update is targeted to “reduce the rankings for low quality sites while increasing the ranking for high quality sites.”
What exactly is Google’s definition of “low” quality and “high” quality? The official definitions from Google are:
“Low-quality sites – sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.”
“High-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”
Google is also claiming that the update does not rely on the feedback that it receives from the “Personal Blocklist Chrome Extension”. They do however claim to have compared it to the Block List Data they have gathered to date and show a staggering 84% match with the algorithm update. Coincidence?
Finally this update is currently only being rolled out in the United States Only, other countries will follow over time.