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Winners and losers of Google algorithm change emerge

The Wall Street Journal has an update a few days into Google's rather significant change to its search mechanism. It's a change that was aimed at getting rid of search spam. The big winners appear to be the big players: well known retailers, well known social networking sites, and well known news sites. The losers include, as expected, the sites that provide a lot of junk results. But losers may also include sites that are caught in the crossfire. Several content sites that publish thousands of articles on a variety of topics (the kinds of articles that traditionally fared well in Google search) say they provide a legit service but are getting nuked unfairly. One of the ways Google measures this is to chart how often users hit the Back button on the first page after a search result, which could be an indicator of how well the user liked that content.
It kind of brings up a good point: if sites are paying writers to produce content that at least comes close to an editorial standard, is that search spam or is that just the have-nots that don't write for a big name content producer? In its quest to kill search spam, is Google rewarding the elites and making an unlevel playing field?

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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