Google algorithm update to weed out content farms

Google has updated its search algorithm in the US in a further attempt to weed out “low quality sites” that used aggregated content.

In a blog, the search giant said the new update will effect 11.8% of its queries and targets web pages that are of low value, have little unique copy content or are simply not that helpful.

The blog does not mention any specific websites that will be affected by the update but it is likely to target what are known as content farms.

This means legitimate companies could see changes to their online ranking. The travel industry is thought, in particular, to be affected by this change. This due to the amount of shared content and outdated deals on many aggregator sites.

In the blog post by Google fellow Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts, the search giant’s principal engineer, Google said: “We can’t make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites.

“It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down. Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem.

“Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.”

In a post on Tech Crunch, Michael Arrington said this new update could help legitimate travel companies by lowering the rankings of content farms and other sites competing with the travel industry.

Google said that the new algorithm is already weeding out 84% of users’ most blocked sites on Google Chrome. This means many legitimate websites providing new content could see a boost in their page ranking.

Google is launching the algorithm update in the US only, but plans to roll it out elsewhere over time.

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