Last week Google changed their algorithm to help decrease search results spam levels and changing the way the Google Caffeine algorithm determines the level of content quality on a site.
Both changes will help increase more relevant search engines results (SER) to help people find exactly what they want.
Per Matt Cutts, Principle Engineer at Google:
“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.”
What does this mean to you?
Website owners, bloggers and companies should not have to change anything if they are running websites with quality content that is not duplicated by other websites. If the content is close to the exact copy (content) from another website, the Google algorithm change will either decrease the page rank of the newer web page or it will remove the page from the search results. There is no clean line as to which may occur if you decide to scrape or steal another website’s content.
What should you do?
1) Make sure that your website is set up to either use http://www.yoursite.com or http://yoursite.com. If you type in one and it does not redirect to the other, Google will see it as duplicate content. Choose to either have your domain with the www or without and make the necessary changes in your .htaccess file to redirect one URL to the other.
Example: If you choose go without the www in your URL, a script would need to be placed in your .htaccess file to push http://www.yoursite.com to http://yoursite.com. If you need to see an example, type google.com into your browser and watch it redirect to www.google.com.
2) Create quality content. If you don’t have a blog, then now would be the time to start one for your company. The search engines are beginning to rank more dynamic and quality content website higher on the search engines results page (SERP). Create and update often but remember to update when you have relevant content to share.
3) Don’t steal other people’s content. It takes a long time to create great quality content and although most would say that imitation is a form of flattery, this would not be the case when scraping content off other websites to use as your own. Use the content of others to spark the creativity in your own content writing and, if you must share their content, contact the author for permission.
When will Google’s Algorithm change effect me?
It already is! Whether your website went up or down in the rankings, Google implemented this change during the week of January 24th, 2011 and the change effects every website on the Internet. Time to start creating that quality content, share it with your customers/clients/visitors and build engage those visitors and search engines alike!