The aftermath of Google’s fight against spam in listings

Google’s latest algorithm change that was targeting content farms and low-quality content sites, of which the definition could be quite wide, has left a lot of websites in the dark, even some that perhaps did not deserve it.

As always when someone like Google does any big updates to their search listings engine there is bound to be some changes happening as the web is filled to the brim with poor quality content and what i would deem as pure spam. There is however always a grey area between what can be deemed as content farming and actually providing commentary and opinions on relevant topics that might have been brought up by other content sources.

The Sistrix VisibilityIndex provides us with a good overview of what is happening as it looks at the value of traffic keywords , ranking, and CTR on spesific positions. They have provided the below list of the top 25 losers following the Google algorithm change in the US:

Sistrix visibility index losers list following latest Google change

As you can see the lists consist of quite a few article based websites, as well as some that many would consider content farms. One of the sites that have been hit hard and written about is Mahalo, which due to the loss of traffic has had to cut 10% of their workforce.

As always seem someone gets demoted, someone else gets promoted, and according to SEOBook it looks like some of the winners are, amazon, ebay, and facebook.

Looking at some of the verticals that i am following here in the UK, i have also noticed a few changes taking place, although it is my understanding that the same algorithm update has not been rolled out here in the UK yet.

For many gadget related accessory search terms over the last month or so i have noticed key merchants like Amazon UK, Currys, PC World etc improve their search rankings, usually taking the places previously occupied by independent review sites. I would be very interested in finding out if anyone else has noticed similar changes.

It does however look like Google wants to learn what the impact of their latest changes have been, as they have opened up for feedback from site owners that feel that they have been unjustly demoted in the listings, which was the case with CultofMac. Google has opened up a feedback function through their Webmaster Central where you can post your feedback to them.

For those of you that feel you have been unjustly hit by the latest change, you can only plead your case to Google and continue to work hard on providing good quality content. For the rest of you, lets face it, if you are too lazy to not create your own angle on content and are just copying others, then you don’t deserve to be in the SERP listings.

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It is natural for a business to chase growth and wanting to get bigger and more successful. But there are many potential traps along the growing path, with one of the key ones being customer experience with your brand and managing brand perception along the way.



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