Google is all about collecting and distributing good content to internet searchers who are looking for specific information. Nothing new here. But there’s been a growing problem with the #1 search engine when it comes to content spam and “gaming” the search engine for rankings. You see, many SEO’s and internet marketers figured out that by re using someone else’s content, you can quickly copy, paste, and get rankings for various targeted search terms.
Well that applies no longer! According to Google search engineers, Matt Cutts, and Amit Singal, Google has made a major change to its algorithm and will be penalizing non-original, or low value, content. This change is significant as it will effect 11.8% of worldwide search results.
What does this mean? If your site is benefiting from duplicate content, low-value content, or other content as provided by “content farms”, you can expect to lose your Google rankings over the next little while. Google is specifically targeting “Demand Media”.
Here’s a quote from the Google Blog post:
Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. 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.
The update is currently in the U.S. only but will be rolled out elsewhere over time.
Over the years there’s been a continual controversy over whether duplicate content is ok or not. I think that Google is making this pretty clear. If you want good ranking results in the search engine, provide good quality, original content for your readers.