On February 24, 2011, Google announced changes to its search engine algorithms that will affect the types of websites that are prominently displayed in search results. Spokespersons at Google say this latest change is part of their ongoing attempt to offer the best possible search engine features to users, but it will also have a dramatic impact on traffic to websites with high and low quality content.
Search engine changes are nothing new; Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms to offer the most relevant, reliable results and keep people from gaming the system with low-quality content. But unlike most of their changes, which are incremental and barely noticed by users or website owners, this change has been rolled out all at once and affects roughly 11.8 percent of all search queries.
Who does this affect most?
Because Google is targeting certain types of content-based websites, this latest round of changes to the search engine will have the most impact on two types of pages:
- “Content farms” that have huge amounts of content heavily targeted for SEO, but that offer mostly low quality or unprofessional writing
- Blogs that are mainly copied and pasted from news sites and other online sources, with little to no additional content or insight
What do these Google changes mean for independent websites and businesses?
If you’ve relied on unique, high-quality search-optimized content to bring traffic to your site, these changes won’t affect you—or they could even improve your search rankings. But if you’ve posted content that’s been copied from other online sources, such as news sites, or haven’t done any work to make your website search engine friendly, then you may notice your Google ranking sinking—and that can seriously limit the number of visitors you’ll receive, since most users never look beyond the first page of search results.
Is there cause for concern? The simplest answer is that nobody knows for sure. Some sites will lose a huge amount of traffic, while others will gain. If you’re concerned about your Google ranking, there are a number of simple and effective ways to improve your site’s SEO and make sure you maintain—or grow—your portion of traffic from the search engine giant despite these changes.
At Informatix, we specialize in custom SEO services targeted to Google’s newest algorithm. Contact us to learn more about how to rise to the top of Google’s search results for your field.