Whenever Google makes an announcement about it’s complex search algorithm the marketing world takes notice. While most changes are subtle and rarely noticeable by searchers, this new change is relatively significant. Google has been under a lot of pressure to specifically target what are commonly referred to as “content farms” and other sites known as “scrapers”. Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land has an informative look at Google’s announcement here.
Danny defines content farms in the following way:
- Looks to see what are popular searches in a particular category (news, help topics)
- Generates content specifically tailored to those searches
- Usually spends very little time and or money, even perhaps as little as possible, to generate that content
Matt Cutts explains Google’s reasoning here.
This was a pretty targeted launch: slightly over 2% of queries change in some way, but less than half a percent of search results change enough that someone might really notice. The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content. ~ Matt Cutts
While it doesn’t appear that this change will effect the average search user, it’s an interesting development and acknowledgment that perhaps Google will always be a work in progress.