Google Targets Content Farms With Major Search Algorithm Tweaks

Google made a substantial revision to its search algorithm today, the company says. And while no one in particular is being called out, it’s clear that the big losers are content farms and related spammy-content producers who have been having an absolute field day on Google over the last couple of years.

11.8% of search queries have been “noticeably” updated, says Google – meaning there have been changes in the top 2-3 results.

Google is also making it clear that they have not used user data from a recent Chrome extension they released which lets users block specific sites in Google results that annoy them.

Google is saying they’ve compared the data they’ve collected from that extension to the sites most impacted in the new search rollout. 84% of the most blocked sites via the Chrome extension were impacted, they say.

What are those sites? Google isn’t saying. But the changes are designed to weed out low-value content, they say, such as content copied from other websites or non-useful content. That means sites like Demand Media, Associated Content and Mahalo are likely on the list. In a couple of months traffic data to those sites will likely confirm that they were impacted.

In a post a couple of weeks ago I heavily criticized Google for lack of quality search results, particularly in certain categories like travel and commerce. It’s unclear if these changes will fix all that, but I’m keeping an open mind.

And either way, the time when content farms dominated Google search results may be finally coming to an end. Cheers to that.