Google has been updating its search engine algorithm over the past year to combat “spam” and kick sites out of high-ranking for using nefarious methods for SEO. The changes continued today with some small tweaks.
Since the company has been rolling out these updates, codenamed Panda, companies have been complaining about their inability to innovate because they’ve been penalized with poorer search rankings.
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Some even call the practice anti-competitive, but the company remains firm on continuing to make search results as spam-free as possible.
A little over a year ago, Google started discussing its approach to cleaning up search results:
Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.
Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. 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. 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.
It’s understandable why Google took so much heat when Panda updates starting to make its way to all users, since it affected 11.8% of the queries made on the search engine. This small tweak only affects 1.6% of queries, the company says.