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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Google Updates Algorithm to Fight War on Spam

Posted by @ 11:54 pm

After receving several complaints regarding the declining quality of its search results, Google has taken action by launching a new algorithm that will be able to detect and reduce spam in the search results.

Google’s principle engineer Matt Cutts confirmed the launch through an announcement on his blog saying that the new algorithm will also lower the rankings of webspam sites and any other site that has little or no original content.

Google has introduced this change with the intention of targeting the sites that duplicate content from other sites and don’t offer much useful content or information of their own. We highlighted this issue back in early January and just last week Google confirmed that they would be doing something about it soon.

This algorithm couldn’t come at a better time; just recently Matt was forced to respond to criticism over Google’s search result quality. He stated that “Google would be evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content.” Seems that Google is certainly listening and has moved fast to quell any concern from users.

Matt has outlined more details on the update below:

This was a pretty targeted launch: slightly over 2% of queries change in some way, but less than half a percent of search results change enough that someone might really notice. The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content.

Citing an example of website (who had complained of being outranked by content syndicators on Google’s SERP), Cutts said that users will now see more of the original content from rather than those sites that were just reproducing’s content.

The overall effect of the change is that web searchers are more likely to see in the SERP’s, sites who have original content rather than sites that are just or copying and reproducing the original site’s content.

Even though this announcement is great news for searchers, some complaints of sudden drop in traffic and change in rankings on the SERP’s are already cropping up from webmasters. Hope Google has something up its sleeve to combat this…

Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

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Discussion (6 - comments)

[...] Read Original Story at [...]

By Google Updates Algorithm to Fight War on Spam | RM2 Project - February 3, 2011

[...] Click Here To Read Original Post on SEO | SEM News [...]

By Google Updates Algorithm to Fight War on Spam « Miami Beach Web Designer - February 3, 2011

To be able to change the algorithm Google would have to redo something that took many time to develop, the serp is tied to link popularity of the website, and that is something that can not be changed even if Matt says so. Its like the electric car. Too much money involved. What must be done is restudy the SEO methods and go with the trends.
Also regarding SEO, there many secret yet that the real gurus won{t reveal.

By Alvaro - February 4, 2011

These incremental adjustments to the algorithm make the game of optimizing a constantly evolving practice.

By Brendan - February 5, 2011

This change does little to address Google search results for websites having original ‘fraudulent’ content. Let me explain this further…

Many people, (present company excluded) businesses and organizations have found themselves or are the victims of negative postings on ‘Complaint Websites such as Rip-0F-F- Re-p0-rt, P1ss-0F-F- C0n$u-mers and others.

(All purposely typed-out the way because I do not want to give these websites or it’s owners ANY web reference weight by correctly spelling the domain name)

I have been following these websites for some time now and have learned two distinct things.

1) You either love or hate them.
2) These type of websites are turning the Internet into an information cesspool.

Let’s talk about point number one. You either love or hate them

You Love Them – You might love these types of websites because they provide you an online sounding board to vent, rant, whine and complain about a negative experience you might have had with product, service, person or company.

I can relate. Recently my wife had a bad experience with an employee of a local retailer; part of a national jewelry store chain.

It would have been cathartic for me to post negative reviews, but I chose to take the high road and keep my complaints between me, the store and the corporate office. As a small business man myself, making public posts would not contribute to the common economic good as it does not reflect well for the good employees who work in this store, and only serving some personal desire to impugn or embarrass this company online.

Having worked in corporate America and received a regular pay check for many years I probably who not have given it a second thought. I would have jumped right into the fray and posted a negative comment on a complaint website. However these past 10 years I own my company and this changes your perspective in a big way.

You Hate Them – You hate these types of websites because they are wide open to abuse. Examples of abuse include; Ex-employees posting false statements or Competitors posting false statements hoping to steal your sales or business.

Most people assume that some legal action is the best way to get a fraudulent posting removed, but think again. If you have a rich uncle or your father is a partner in a huge law firm you might try suing the website having the negative post for fun. But this is extremely expensive to do, not to mention the fact that every case brought before a court is never going to be a clear cut victory in your favor.

Also remember we live in America. Negative speech whether it be true or false is protected in most states. This is a tradition that was exercised in new papers and leaf lets during the political campaigns going all the way back to Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

However today the big difference is that the negative speech or in this case ‘online postings’ remain live and online indefinitely. And this has led to the proliferation of a new cottage industry called ‘Reputation Management’.

In the case of a political rival having ran so much negative advertising of an opponent, the opponent would seek to run as many or more ads to counter-act his rival and so on and so on. But long after the campaign is over the dust settles down and all the campaign fodder becomes yesterday’s papers.

Not so on the Web.

Fighting the Negative Search Result? Not so easy and it part of a growing problem.
On the World Wide Web, let’s say a complaint website containing a negative comment about your business appears on the 1st page of Google just below or above your regular business website result. Yikes! What do you do?

You could hire an online reputation management company or learn to push back this negative review yourself.

Below are the basic steps that any online reputation management company takes to push the resulting negative website back to page 2, 3, 4 or 5 on Google.

First the company will review and modify pages in your website to be sure it is search engine friendly.

Secondly they will create and/or post to Blogs, Directories, Websites, Forums to help facilitate the ‘pushing back’ of the negative website reference in specific search results.

Google is helping to turn the Web into a linking Cesspool – Today we have all these reputation companies, web developers, web writers, and SEO teams creating USELESS content and USELESS links to fight back against all these complaint websites. Even the complaint websites are getting in on this action and offering removal fees at up to $2400. There are even negative posts on competing complaint websites saying negative things about the other.. I have even found postings of people complaining that they paid to have the posting removed and once removed another appeared the next day. Sounds suspicious?

My Suggestion – Google engineers can come up with a better way in serving up ‘Complaint Websites’ in it’s search results as follows;

a. Any complaint website that does not display the full name, email and phone of the person making the complaint should get pushed back in results. Or at least display an email that is tied to so real or high SERPs website, Blog or Forum where they are a member.

a. Any companies having a +A rating with the BBB should algorithmically negate or receive a push back against any complaints website.

I think this makes sense and sounds doable. I truly hope this posting reaches a Google decision maker who wants to see search queries cleaned up, more relevant and increasingly useful.

At this writing it is well worth mentioning that Yahoo and Bing do not rank these type of complaint websites as relevant in searches, not nearly as much as Google does. As a developer I believe this speaks to inherent flaws in Google assigning so much value to back links.

Like mom used to say; ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say about somebody, then say nothing at all’. Thanks, Mom.

By Rick Vidallon - February 7, 2011

It’s great to see that Google is working on improving its results and trying to combat spam. Unfortunately it’s just a vicious cycle. The spammers come up with a strategy, the search engines become aware of it and try to eliminate it, and the spammers just come up with something else.

By Nick Stamoulis - February 11, 2011

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