Google announced an algorithm update this week – one that currently affects the US search engine only. But it’s going to be rolled out globally in the not so distance future and that means you and your website need to be ready for it.
So what are the key facts?
- This change will affect almost 12% of websites.
- Its aims are to reward sites with unique, high quality content and to downgrade the rankings of sites using large amounts of mass produced and lower quality content with an ultimate objective of enhancing the quality of its search results.
Google’s announcement read:
“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.”
What is Low Quality Content?
Well, obviously Google didn’t provide us with any specific examples. But it’s a safe assumption that duplicate content will continue to be a no-go. It’s probably also fair to assume that sites using large amounts of spun content, which offers no unique angle or information on anything might also be subject to a drop in rankings.
Making Sure Your Site Isn’t Affected
The rules remain pretty much as they were. Produce unique, relevant, high quality content for your website. This could include conducting your own research and publishing your findings, taking a new angle on your industry and sharing your opinion or just generally having something to say that isn’t the same as what’s being said on thousands of other websites already.
How it Affects Link Building
Any SEO campaign that relies entirely upon the distribution of low quality content to websites that just reproduce poor quality articles in large quantities could be subject to a bit of a hiccup. Even if your own website has high quality, unique content – if your back links come in full from sites that will be negatively impacted, then your SEO campaign might stumble as those links have less value.
This now places more emphasis on natural link building methods and building relationships with high quality community driven websites.
It’s ultimately a positive change for search engine users who are tired of finding poor quality results when they search. And unless you rely on copied, low quality content on your site, it shouldn’t be a negative thing for you either.
Another big change geared towards combating spam and low quality on the web. Bravo, Google.