Google have announced on their blog the release of a very significant algorithm change from the 24th February 2011, I can’t believe they waited until I went skiing to make the change :-). The statement on their blog states that 11.8% of the queries they receive will be affected. Now for Google that is a pretty big number.
The key points of what they have tried to achieve are as follows:
- To reduce the ranking of low quality sites, i.e. that copy content from other sites or are not considered to provide useful information
- Provide better ranking for high quality sites with original content
The changes have been rolled out in the United States first but will eventually migrate to the rest of the world. There are also going to be further changes as they learn from the changes they have made, but with the same objectives in mind.
You can read the full account of the changes under the title Finding More High-Quality Sites in Search
It is worth noting that the feature of Google Chrome that allows users to block certain domain names from appearing in search results is being used to compare the results from Internet users of that function against the new algorithm results. Google are happy to announce that this comparison provides a strong indication of user benefits by matching around 84% of the top sites that have been manually blocked when using the new algorithm. In other words the sites that people have indicated to Google that they do not want to see in search results are being screened out by the new algorithm to the tune of 84%.
See what the press is saying about Google’s algorithm change.