Always trying to get a leg up on spammers and ranking cheats, Google is releasing a new search algorithm, which is says will impact about 3% of search queries.
“In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at Webspam,” the search giant explained in a blog post. “The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s quality guidelines.”
“What’s ‘Webspam,’ as Google calls it, or search spam?” Search Engine Land asks. “Pages that try to gain better rankings through things like: keyword stuffing, link schemes, cloaking, ‘sneaky’ redirects or ‘doorway’ pages, [and] purposeful duplicate content.”
“Google’s Matt Cutts has been talking about leveling the playing field for sites that don’t participate in ‘over-optimization,’” writes WebProNews. “Last month at SXSW, Cutts made something of a pre-announcement about such changes, and it looks like a major part of these efforts is now launching.
Unfortunately, “the shift to Google’s algorithm is likely to affect, at least initially, some Web sites that aren’t clearly violating its guidelines, according to a strategy paper for Web marketers released earlier this month by the search-engine marketing firm iProspect,” Macworld notes.
“Based on experiences with Panda and virtually all large algorithm shifts, we do expect sites that don’t appear to fit the description of the intended target to nevertheless be caught up in initial sweeps,” the iProspect paper explained.
Panda, as Macworld recalls, was a significant change in Google’s search algorithm, which was launched back in early 2011, and was also aimed at boosting the rankings of high-quality sites.
Regarding the latest changes, SEO by the Sea blogger Bill Slawski writes: “This isn’t something new, but it sounds like Google is turning up the heat some on violations of their guidelines, and we’ve seen patents and papers in the past that describe some of the approaches they might take to accomplish this change. “A good starting point is the Google patent Methods and systems for identifying manipulated articles.”