Customer Magnetism Review is a monthly blog feature. We review various events, websites and products that you might want to check out – or not. It’s our way of keeping you up to date on the Internet’s latest.
Last week, Google made a “major change” in its algorithm. According to its official blog, the new change affects 11.8 percent of the searches in the US in an effort to filter out low quality and useless information from higher rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
It has certainly stirred the pot. The Internet has been abuzz for days over what is and is not considered cheap or useless content and what is and is not a “content farm.” Rankings for some informational websites plummeted drastically, while others rose even higher than usual.
Quality and Relevance Count
A website that focuses solely on content publishing is not necessarily a bad thing. There are plenty of websites loaded with well-researched quality content that were not devalued by Google’s algorithm change. This is not a great surprise, since some of the websites known for having articles on everything under the sun are very strict about what they will and will not accept from their contributors; others are not so discriminating. True, how to make a hardboiled egg may not be scintillating, but it’s useful. Most people usually don’t care what colors make brown paint, but if you’re trying to make a tree trunk for scenery in your child’s play at 3 a.m. without brown paint, you probably care – a lot. You’ll find these answers on the Internet, too. Ad nauseum.
A Few Numbers
Just six days after the algorithm change was made, some numbers have been crunched and a verdict of sorts has been reached. While anyone can do a basic keyword search for any term and notice that some of the usual suspects are not there, a company named Sistrix has something a little more concrete. They made a comparison of pre- and post-algorithm changes based on 1 million keywords for ranking and click-through rate. In their comparison of websites, the biggest losers dropped visibility more than 90%, while others consistently ranked high in the SERPs.
Why the Change?
Last month, Google noted in its blog that its search quality is “better than it has ever been in terms of relevance, freshness and comprehensiveness.” Last week, Google made the algorithm change to make its search results “better.” The sites that seem to have taken the biggest hits in rankings are those that do not focus on unique quality content. Matt Cutts and the PTB at Google have consistently said over the years that duplicate content will be devalued. Poor quality will be devalued. Irrelevant content will be devalued. They also consistently note that the search engine’s algorithm seeks out unique relevant content. The latest search engine results seem to ring true to that philosophy.
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