Google Changes its Search Algorithm to Deal with Content Farms

Google has released a major search algorithm update to take action against the low-quality sites that simply litter SERPs – content farms. Many websites have already been affected by the update.

In January, the search giant made a promise to cleanse their results from “shallow” and “low-quality” sites, that is, content farms. Well, they’ve kept their word and content farms are already suffering great traffic losses. However, the change impacts only results in the US so far, affecting nearly 12% of all US search results.

“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,” wrote Googlers Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal. “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.” Although, Google hasn’t given any specific information on how it defines “high-quality” and “low-quality” sites.

Sistrix, a German provider of browser-based online marketing software, has come up with the most comprehensive evaluations of traffic loss. According to it, our top losers include Suite101, eZine Articles, Associated Content, Article Base, Find Articles, Free Downloads Center, Essortment, American Towns,, and – all of these websites have suffered more than a 90% visibility loss.

In an extra effort to fight spammy content, Google launched an extension for its Chrome browser, last week, which now lets users block “low-quality” sites from showing up in their search results. Of course, the new feature gives a respective feedback to Google, helping it fine-tune their search algorithm.

None of the “Blocklist data” was used in this update, but Google say they were pleased to discover that the update does address 84 % of the top 12 sites blocked by users of the Chrome extension.

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