Google released another algorithm update last week that was designed to weed out low quality content sites. Many low quality websites disappeared from the search rankings which was great. Who wants to see garbage websites in the search rankings?
The update was designed to weed out content farms and link farms. Content farms are automated websites that use RSS to pull content from reputable websites and share that content among other automated websites. They websites are linked together in a spiderweb arrangement so not all sites are linked to each other. The spiderweb configuration is designed to fool Google into thinking these sites are unrelated and they just happen to be sharing some content. In reality, all of the sites are controlled by one entity and eventually Google catches up with them.
Link farms work the same way. Sites are linked together in a spiderweb configuration so they seem unrelated. Thousands of related websites can be linked together which Google loves to see. If you link to one of the sites in the link farm, your website will benefit from the power of the thousands of related links until you get caught.
The problem with Google's recent update is that many reputable websites were flagged as content or link farms even though most of their content is original and unique. Sites like www.ehow.com and www.ezinearticles.com are user-generated content websites. That means all of the content is created and uploaded to the site by the web visitors. These sites aren't trying to trick Google to receive higher search rankings. They're just providing a venue for people to share their content.
For years www.ezinearticles.com was a great website for small business owners and consultants to post their content. By writing quality content and posting it online let consultants demonstrate their knowledge and expertise. It was like free advertising.
Articles posted on EzineArticles.com started showing up on the first page of Google. The combination of a website with hundreds of thousands of pages of content, lots of keyword-related content and lots of internal links made EzineArticles.com a powerful website.
As usual, once people saw they could get top search rankings by posting articles, they started posting thousands of articles. Article spinning software was created so you can take one article and change the wording to create ten similar, but different articles. Offshore workers started writing articles in broken English for pennies. Article directories were being flooded with low quality content that was full of keywords and links.
So when Google figures out how people are tricking their algorithm, they update the algorithm to weed out the low quality websites. It's necessary for Google to stay on top of their search results to ensure the highest quality results. The bad news is that many innocent, high quality websites are being punished because they had links to the sites that were targeted.
The cream will rise back to the top as Google adjusts their algorithm and the reputable websites adjust. The moral of the story is that you shouldn't try to trick the system to get good search rankings. Provide high quality content on a regular basis and you'll do just fine.
If you want to read more about the winners and losers of the latest Google update visit these articles. Also tell us how you fared by Commenting on this post.
Let Google Know How You Were Affected
Penalizing Good Sites to Get Some Bad Sites?
Google Kills eHow Competitors