If you’ve got a Website or any type of Web presence, search engine rankings should be important to you. Last week Google made some dramatic changes to their search algorithm which is changing the way search results are generated – and affecting companies that invest heavily in staying on top of rankings. According to the company –
Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.
Here’s what’s in and what’s out with Google Search algorithm changes:
1. Websites with “better quality content” will move to the top of search rankings.
There is much contention about what constitutes “better quality content” or a “high-quality” Website. Google is describing this as original content and information such as research, in-depth reports and thoughtful analysis.
2. Users will get the “most relevant” answers to queries.
The most noticeable updates here are location-based results, and the increasing inclusion of “Real Time” results picked up from social media Websites such as Twitter and YouTube. Also, if you have the type of name that typically deliver porn sites when Googled, those types of results will now be pushed back to 2nd or 3rd page of results – bad news for those type of Websites, good news for you (if you are not in that type of business).
3. “Low quality sites” will be suppressed in search results.
This has caused uproar in the Web development and business community because Google used information from “Personal Blocklist “, a tool that works with their Chrome browser. This tool allowed Chrome users to rank and block sites they found sub-par or sites that promoted content they didn’t agree with. Although Google say they don’t rely totally on the results from Personal Blocklist, it’s still a factor in rankings.
4. Hacked Websites and domains responsible for spam are being eliminated from results.
‘SPAM’ in this instance means repeated “spammy words “, automated content, and Web sites with too many comments that originated from content authors. ‘Content farm’ Websites are taking the biggest hit with this update. According to CNN “..sites like Mahalo.com, Wisegeek.com, Ezinearticles.com… [are] among the biggest losers in the algorithm tweak. Google-generated traffic to each dropped more than 75%…” The bad news is that Google has not clarified why a hacked Website should be punished or how the site can get off the blacklist.
5. Copy-cat Websites will move to the bottom of the search results pile.
If you steal, borrow, take, liberate or copy content from other Websites – stop. Hire a copy writer and start over if you care about your Website’s place in search results. New changes to Google’s search algorithm are not kind to Websites mirror the content of other sites. See #1.
So what does this all mean? Content, my friends, is about to become king again!