Google improves its search algorithm to filter out low-quality websites

by Knowlton Thomas

The search algorithm used by Google is world famous for its effectiveness, largely unrivalled even after a decade of widespread use.

Recently, however, the company has started to take a lot of flack for allowing content farms and spam sites to earn first-page search result rankings, polluting an otherwise clean engine.

Google constantly tweaks its algorithm in subtle manners, but has come forth to state that it made a noticeable change to its algorithm that should improve the rankings of high-quality websites and lessen the visibility of low-quality websites.

Quoth Amit Singhal, Google Fellow, and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer, from Google's blog:

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.

We’re very excited about this new ranking improvement because we believe it’s a big step in the right direction of helping people find ever higher quality in our results. We’ve been tackling these issues for more than a year, and working on this specific change for the past few months. And we’re working on many more updates that we believe will substantially improve the quality of the pages in our results.

The change currently affects only U.S. users but will roll out to Canada soon.

Image credit: MindBoxSEO

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. As a first step to fulfilling that mission, Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a new approach to online search that took root in a Stanford University dorm room and quickly spread to information seekers around the globe. Google is now widely recognized as the world's... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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