It was on April 11th that Google brought into effect the updates to its search engine (English-language) with the aim to reward quality content instead of ‘unethical’ SEO (search engine optimization) tricks. Key terms form part of the metric most top search engines, comprising Google, employ to decide which websites are most pertinent to the users’ search activity.
As the media reports suggest, many website owners are working around the strategy of correct placements of key terms for improving search visibility. On its part, Google has made an attempt to bring down the ranks of content companies, apparently producing large chunk of content of ostensibly low quality.
In fact, Google has flatly rejected the charges made against the updates in its Panda pagerank algorithm system and has claimed it’s simply part of the regularly update in order to facilitate more accurate and refined results for searches. The Google head (search evaluation division), Scott Huffman, termed the charges against them as ‘almost absurd”.
The goal is to provide users with the most relevant responses to their specific queries as effectively and as quickly as possible. Google considers constant tuning of its algorithms as a prerequisite for this, to deal with vast amount of content – both good quality and substandard – enters online realm all the time. A recent post on Google’s official blog mentions that many of the changes made are subtle in nature and often go unnoticed. But that’s not the case with a ‘pretty big’ algorithmic alternation to its ranking. It’s a change, which noticeably affects close to 12 percent of its queries.
In its quest to find more quality websites via search, this update has been designed to downgrade low-quality sites and reduce their rankings. As Google explains, “These sites are (perceived) low-value add for users, as they often copy content from other sites or are not useful enough.” Elaborating its methodology, Google notes:
“At the same time, it (the update will provide better rankings for high-quality sites with original content and information such as in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis, research and so on. We cannot make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many websites. It has to be that some will go up and some sites will go down. We rely on the high-quality content created by several wonderful sites across the globe, and have a responsibility of encouraging a very healthy Web ecosystem. Hence, it’s important (on our part) to reward quality sites. That’s exactly what this latest change does.”
In a nutshell, the core idea is to promote content-rich sites over those looking to survive solely on deceptive SEO techniques. However, after the unveiling of these new updates, it’s not just the online visibility of several low quality sites (content wise) stands reduced, but also many prominent sites such as paywalls have suffered a setback. Ciao.co.uk, a popular site of the Microsoft group, have also been greatly impacted by this development, raising some doubts over the ‘intent’ of the search engine giant, media reports suggest. Incidentally, Microsoft is one of its largest rivals.