Google to Reward Quality Websites with New Algorithm Update
With so much talk about ensuring you adhere to Google’s guidelines, when an algorithm update comes along that penalises sites that have deliberately been flouting these guidelines, there’s a sense of justice and vindication. Hopefully this will be true of Google’s latest algorithm update.
As announced on their Inside Search blog, the search giant has revealed they are to release a new algorithm that’ll better detect and penalise sites which spam and deliberately game the search engine, to achieve better results. The algorithm will be launched within the next few days, and they’ve said that it represents a step forward to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. However, should any of this really come as any surprise? Are Google just delivering on their promises?
Well, it shouldn’t come as any surprise and Google are delivering on their promises. We’ve always known that Google frown upon spammy websites that contain no or a lack of quality content, but it appears that now they’ve actually established a way to target those sites, with a tweak or an update to their algorithm. However, before you all start to frantically figure out what sites will get hit, and more importantly, what those sites are specifically doing wrong in order to be penalised, you should know a couple of things.
Google say that the update will only affect about 3% of search queries. Whilst 3% of the sheer volume of searches is actually a substantial figure, in reality, it’s a drop in the ocean on the Internet, and so if you’ve been optimising sites within Google’s guideline you needn’t worry. Next, what Google are actually targeting? Again if you’ve kept to their guidelines, then there really is no cause for concern, but specifically they have announced a couple areas they will be focussing on.
Within their post they specifically highlight black hat techniques such as keyword stuffing and link schemes. They also point to unusual link patterns as well as content that has been spun ‘beyond recognition’. This is confirmation then that these are in fact black hat techniques, which makes a lot of sense, seeing as they really don’t offer the website or the user any greater value.
So, what should sites be focusing on? Well Google mention their update is to help users find sites that provide a great user experience as well as actually deliver on what they claim to. Quality content is being pushed more than ever, and they also announced a tweak to their panda update that drops website’s rankings which have little or no content available ‘above the fold’.
In many cases, this is just business as usual. Keep calm and carry on as it where. However webmasters and online marketers need to make sure they read and adhere to Google’s guidelines. Keeping up-to-date with their inside search blog is a good start, and there’s plenty of authoritative resources out there informing others of the correct ‘white hat’ techniques that need to be encouraged. If not, then you are likely to see a drop in rankings.