Google to Clamp Down on Content Farms
According to reports in the Guardian, Google is making a “pretty big” change that will demote “low-quality” or “shallow” websites from online search engine results, in a move designed to tackle so-called “content farms”.
The change, which will affect around 12% of Google search queries in the US, follows pressure from the media industry and many of its users.
Although Google did not specify which sites would be affected, the search engine has come under fire for allowing content farm sites like Demand Media – which produces thousands of articles a day based on popular search terms – to “pollute” its results.
“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites – sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful,” said Amit Singhal, a Google fellow, and Matt Cutts, head of the company’s spam-fighting team, wrote in a blog post late on Thursday.
“At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites — sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”
The move is Google’s biggest yet in responding to growing criticism over the relevancy of the world’s most popular search engine.