Google changes algorithm

John Moe Feb 25, 2011

We did a show on this a couple of weeks ago: /

The search giant has been criticized a lot lately for how much search spam has been showing up in results lately. This is like when you search on, say, “U2 tickets” because you want to go the concert but the results are just advertising sites that have been weighted with keywords to show up high in those results. It’s annoying and it makes the process unpleasant. But Google has now changed the fundamental back end process for searching, which is a pretty big step for a company founded on search. In a blog post, Google says that the change, which rolled out last night, will noticeably affect 11.8% of search results:

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.

Last week, Google launched an extension for its Chrome browser that allows people to block spam sites. Google said it would use that data to update the algorithm. But, in a blog post, Google said it did not use that data for this change.

Meanwhile, Demand Media, perhaps the biggest purveyor of spam search results says the new algorithm has no effect. So that’s good to know.

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