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Bye-Bye Bottom Feeders: Google Says You Lack Quality

Sorry bottom feeders, but Google says your time has come. An intense, new algorithmic adjustment arrived the other day and it doesn’t tolerate your kind.  Projected to influence almost 10.5 billion search results every month, this adjustment lowers the rank of scraper sites, link farms, and other useless sites while increasing the rank of quality sites.  What motivated this change? Google’s post,  Finding more high quality sites in search explains,  “Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.”

Quality means increased visibility

If there was ever a justification for content marketing this is it.  From now on, Google rewards websites with “original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis…” with higher search rankings amplifying the strong bond between search, social, and SEO.  Want to boost your brand’s visibility on search? Fill your website and blog with compelling content.  As TopRank’s Lee Odden says, ” If Social Media and SEO fit together like peanut butter and jelly then content is the bread that holds them together.”  Add social engagement from authoritative users into the mix and I predict powerful results.  Google says their algorithm adjustment is just a beginning and they plan to present us with more changes in the future.

They were warned.
The developers and SEO companies whose sites are being penalized for poor quality have known all along what Google considers the high road.  My guess is they ignored Google’s quality guidelines because their black hat strategies were working for them.  Doesn’t look like they’ll work anymore. Take a look at Google’s quality expectations:

Quality guidelines – basic principles

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
  • Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
  • Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.

Breaking News 2/28/11:

The data is in and the story is huge. According to search engine land, associated content is taking a big hit. Here is a brief look.  Top losers:,,, and  Top winners:,,, and   Biggest surprise to me - and are on the losers list.  "Number Crunchers: Who Lost in Google's 'Farmer' Algorithm Change" by Danny Sullivan is a MUST READ. Take a moment, review Sullivan's compelling data and share your thoughts here.

Join The Conversation

  • Apr 1 Posted 6 years ago Original THoughts (not verified)

    It's Google that lacks quality and morals

    It's hard to believe that the majority of people are still using Google.

    It's sad no one reads up on what Google has be developing. They are about to put Face Recognition in the hands of billions selling out privacy and security for monetary gain.

    Just think for a moment, sitting at a bar, someone snaps a photo of you with their iphone and with face recognition gets your name, now they cross refferances your facebook and gets your address and work info, and common places you like to brag about hanging out. Congrats, you now have a new stalker. I'm sure you can imagine the rest.

    what if he snapped a pic of your child......

    Please use your heads before blindly using or promoting anything google.

    At least read through their TOS. Google is up front about storing your IP with your searches. But being up front does not make it safe for you to search in the long run. Anyone with an IQ over 1 can see the potential dangers all this poses to privacy and security.

    I wish more people had common sense.
    The only reason google is the #1 search engion is because so many people use it with out reading google's TOS.
    Try not as pretty but still great results.
    also has a clean interface and great search results.
    This may not be on your topic but its not off topic.
  • Thomas Harpointner's picture
    Feb 28 Posted 6 years ago Thomas Harpointner

    At AIS Media, we've spent countless hours persuading business executives to commit to the path of developing quality content and properly integrating search and social media. It's refreshing to see that Google has taken a firm stance and committed to providing greater clarity to its SEO policy. Writing quality content isn't easy. If it were, everyone would do it. And properly integrating this content across search and social channels also requires some technical and marketing savvy. Most companies lack the internal talent and expertise necessary to implement and manage an effective SEO and social media strategy. That's why agencies like ours exist. 

    Thomas Harpointner, CEO
    AIS Media, Inc. |  

  • Feb 27 Posted 6 years ago Phill Ohren (not verified)

    Nice thoughts.

    Funny thing is, although warned, people continued to link from these sites beacuse it simply works - And still does now.

    Whats more worrying is that if Google is punishing sites that get links from these areas, what's there to stop being linking to their competitors in this way?

  • Feb 27 Posted 6 years ago Neveralone

     There is a new sheriff in town,time to clean up the web site traps an bogus get rich quick garbage

     that,s been out there which have destroyed the hopes and dreams of people that would try to start a business

    online.Isay Horray.

  • Feb 26 Posted 6 years ago Donovan Moore (not verified)

    About time for all those bogus sites.  Thank U Jesus.

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