Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Good Sites Affected By Google Algorithm

Last week we reported that Google had made a significant algorithm change targeting low-quality content farms and scrapers removing them from the top of search results. To the dismay of several webmasters the new changes have now taken full affect and some well know, highly publicized, highly followed sites have taken a hit.

Well webmasters rejoice, there might be a reprieve in your future.

“We deeply care about the people who are generating high-quality content sites, which are the key to a healthy web ecosystem,” Google Fellow Amit Singhal told Wired. “However, we don’t manually change anything along these lines. Therefore any time a good site gets a lower ranking or falsely gets caught by our algorithm — and that does happen once in a while even though all of our testing shows this change was very accurate — we make a note of it and go back the next day to work harder to bring it closer to 100 percent. That’s exactly what we are going to do, and our engineers are working as we speak building a new layer on top of this algorithm to make it even more accurate than it is.”

Cult of Mac, an Apple-centric blog took a beating following the new changes — losing nearly all of its Google juice causing traffic to the site to fall by one-third to one-half over the weekend. Since that time Cult of Mac’s editor Leander Kahney has wrote a follow-up to to say that his site suddenly recovered its Google juice Tuesday a.m. before a report outlining Google's attempts to help some site owners.

Google has not said they are specifically looking at sites on a case by case basis. Nor have they said they will, or have they offered to look into any particular site. In fact the company states:

So what changed for Cult of Mac. It could be nothing, it could just be the algorithm working itself out. Its likely that with any of these changes that most site owners are going to need to site and wait this one out for a few days.

In an odd twist of fate Cult of Mac, was at least for a time, outranked by sites that have reprinted it's original content without permission. For now, the site plans to send copyright notices to some of the sites, stop publishing full RSS feeds to make re-posters have to work harder and contact Google in hopes of restoring the site’s search traffic. Hopefully they will report the content scrapers to Google as well to get them taken down!

My thoughts

Its interesting that Wired points out sites like Associated Content and Mahalo. I always thought that Google should have excluded these sites from day one. Now it appears as though they are two of the highly visible sites that are taking a serious hit from the Google changes. Allen Stern over at CenterNetworks reported yesterday that Mahalo will be cutting 10% of it's headcount. This may just be a preemptive strike by Calacanis and crew but it shows the power of Google.

Sadly sites like Cult of Mac, and the few others mentioned in the Wired story, are casualties of war. But I did find it odd that in some of my own searches I saw the same paradox CoM faced. I found scrapped content and content farms actually ranking higher than their original counterparts. So to me it seems Google's new algorithm might have had the opposite affect.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderate for content, please be patient as your comment will appear as soon as it has been reviewed.

Thank you