Google Algorithm Changes: Punishes the Cheaters and Helps White Hats

Several clients have asked how recent Google algorithm changes would alter their traffic. The bottom line is that Google has rewarded those that have focused on quality original content by punishing those that have chosen the easy path: “scraper and content farm” sites.

Any company involved in Bay Area internet marketing, especially those who depend on SEO for reaching new customers, knows how important changes in the algorithms used by search engines can be. A single tweak in Google’s formula—and the formula is tweaked up to 800 times a year—can send a site either shooting up or plummeting down the search rankling, resulting in a happy gain, or a depressing loss, in contacts and customers.

Targeting Scrapers and Content Farms

Two recent changes to Google’s algorithms—the first in January, the second just last week—have generated more comment than usual, because they appear to be targeted at two particular types of sites: scrapers and content farmers.

These changes are going to have a major effect on those who depend on SEO to improve their search rankings, most of it for the better. There are definite advantages in the new algorithm for bay area internet marketing companies and others doing business on the internet.

Who Wins? Who Loses?

  • Original content pays
    Some of the main targets of recent changes in Google’s algorithm are so-called “scraper sites”, web pages that borrow heavily, sometimes to the point of looking like a copy and paste job. As long as your content is original, and not just lifted or paraphrased from another site, you should rise in the search rankings.
  • Bye-bye to content farms
    The latest algorithm appears to specifically target “content farms”, internet companies that provide low-quality content driven by popular keywords. Initial reports on results of the new algorithm show that the score of content farms in general has dropped by over 11 percent. Some individual content farms have seen their rankings drop by as much as 98 percent.
  • Sales sites the big winners
    According to data collected by searchengineland.com, the big winners in the new algorithm are original content and sales sites: Amazon, Walmart, Wikipedia, Etsy, and others. Clearing away the deadwood of scrapers and content farms automatically raises the visibility of legitimate content, including sales and marketing sites.

Client Examples

While it is a small sample, here are two examples of clients that have followed my “White Hat” advice and have been rewarded for doing so. Both of these examples compare February 17-24 to February 24-March 3. One client has seen their organic Google traffic go up 22.42% (Ecommerce site) and another saw an increase of 76.77% (content rich site).

Increase Your Visibility with Original Content

The new algorithms provide an opportunity for sales and marketing sites that are willing to make an investment in meaningful, high quality content. Search engine algorithms are changed with only one goal in mind: to improve the customers experience by targeting the best, most interesting, and most useful sites. Those Bay Area internet marketing companies that are willing to invest in high quality, original content, without engaging in scraping or depending on content farms and SEO stuffing, have the best chance of a higher search engine and of drawing in more customers. That’s not only true now, but will be even more of a factor in the future.

If you would like to hear it from the horses’ mouth, you can read more from Google at their blog http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-more-high-quality-sites-in.html.

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