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Google Algorithm: Updated 24th February 2011

by on 4th March 2011  •  In Search Engine Optimisation

Google Algorithm

Google has changed its algorithm. It did so on 24th February 2011. This is the so called content farm update.

In a nutshell, Google are saying the new update will promote original content of high quality and demote both low quality content and copies of high quality content.

The Official Google Blog

The Official Google Blog explains, “Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.”

Everyone and his dog

Now as is often the case with updates to Google’s algorithm, loads of new content has popped up on the net to discuss it (this article being a case in point). Everyone and his dog has an opinion. Some say the content farm update is good, some say it’s bad, some argue that it is both good and bad at the same time, whilst others ‘vocally’ sit on the fence and reserve judgement.

Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team says on his blog in a post called Algorithm change launched says, “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.”

My opinion

It all seems pretty simple to me; Google has made a change that promotes originality and quality, whilst demoting second source material and low quality web junk.

I have read loads of commentary from people who are ranting about sites like EzineArticles and eHow being hit hard by the changes. If they are being hit hard by this update, then I believe it is a short term effect and a lot of hype and nonsense caused by people who aren’t considering this from Google’s perspective.

EzineArticles and eHow are both great sites and they both have a mixture of really good content and really bad content among their pages. To me, this update will simply ‘weed out’ the poor content, promote the good content and encourage people to write more good content. Who doesn’t want that?

For my money there are no losers here except the people who think they can manipulate search engine results pages with spammy garbage that nobody wants to read.

The net result is that Google has made another step to improve web search for all of us and I’m a big fan of that.

Further reading

For more on this latest update to Google’s Algorithm and other related details, I recommend all of the following…

What do you think?

If you use the Internet, your opinion is as valid as anyone else’s. So please, have your say by leaving a reply below.

Tags: Blog, Google, Matt Cutts


Steve is the owner of Small Business Marketing, which is based in North Norfolk in the UK. He is passionate about helping small business owners to improve their web presence and their understanding of how the Internet works. He believes that by doing so, they will improve their businesses.

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