Google to Downgrade Unnecessary Sites Using SEO Tactics for Gaming Algorithm

  • Google’s new search results will downgrade pages it deems “unnecessary” in favor of substantial content.
  • Machine-written content can be spared, but only if Google’s own AI deems the content to be of high quality.
  • Previous changes to Google Search decimated some online businesses, while helping others. blossom.

Hold on. The engine that drives much of the online world is about to be revamped again.

Google will soon take a big swipe at web pages it deems “unnecessary”, in a major move by the tech giant that is set to shake up the digital content industry.

Next week, the company will release an update to its search engine that downgrades pages that its systems believe don’t provide users with high-quality information. Google tries to prioritize pages that are authoritative, written by humans, and don’t explicitly play on its search results.

“In particular, it will target content that appears to have been created primarily for search engine rankings – ‘SEO-first’ content rather than human content,” the company said in a blog post.

Dubbed the “useful content” update, it’s the latest onslaught in a long battle between Google and the sea of ​​web pages, content creators, and SEO experts vying for the top of the search results. research. The company said the tests showed the biggest impact on online educational materials, arts and entertainment, shopping, and tech-related content. However, a company spokesperson also told Insider that “it potentially impacts every query we make.”

The ripple effects of changes in Google’s search algorithm extend far across the web. Because Google is the dispatch station for most people’s online information search, even small changes can drastically alter web traffic for thousands of sites, making or destroying a business.

“Paragraphs can be full of knowledge. But that’s not what you’re looking for.”

Google’s target in this update is pages it says were created primarily to game its algorithm rather than give people real information they were looking for. Even if useful information is somewhere on the page, it is often buried under paragraphs of superfluous and sometimes unrelated content.

It “has all the look and feel of a substantial article until you read it and say ‘that’s not really getting into it.’ It may contain paragraphs of information, and the paragraphs alone may be full of knowledge, but that’s not what you’re looking for,” said Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Liaison for Search.

For example, a page that appears when someone searches “How much would I weigh on Mars” contains the answer. But before and after this answer, there might be paragraphs about the search for extraterrestrial life on Mars, other planets, and general space facts. Google’s search engine will now try to prioritize the most authoritative pages, such as those from NASA or a university.

Google will downgrade pages that aggregate reviews from other sites

The change will also target sites that review products and movies. Google will downgrade pages that aggregate reviews from other sites without offering unique content on their own.

Sullivan admits that the type of sites that Google tries to minimize in search results can be hard to define and exist in a “you know it when you see it” space. But that vagueness itself could have broad web implications.

Google’s decision to downgrade unnecessary pages echoes previous revisions to the search. Ten years ago, Google released an algorithm change dubbed “Panda” to weed out low-quality content. This targeted so-called “content farms” that produced large volumes of content optimized for Google’s search engine. The move decimated the market value of companies like Demand Media, which owned sites like eHow that suddenly disappeared from the first search page.

Machine-written content may be OK under certain circumstances

Sullivan said Google does not target specific businesses. And he said the change was not necessarily aimed at eliminating pages whose content was written by machines using artificial intelligence software.

“It’s not that using automation to produce content is wrong or against our rules. An AI system can do that in a potentially acceptable way,” he said, quoting content such as sports scores or news articles that are often not written by humans. The distinguishing feature is “did you use AI to get search engine traffic or did you use it to create content that people would have navigated to even if we didn’t have search engines? ” he explained.

How does Google identify if a page was written by a machine? By using its own AI, Sullivan said.

As this is a system-wide algorithm change, websites that are downgraded due to the change will not have the ability to appeal the decision. Sullivan noted that people can submit questions and complaints through Google’s forums.

What is unclear in this change is whether articles written by well-known media companies could be caught up in this change. Sullivan said that wasn’t the intention, but it’s possible that if media sites post articles that fall into the category of low-quality and unnecessary content designed primarily to mess with Google’s algorithm, they could be affected.

“My advice to site owners and creators is this: would you publish this content if you already had readers and you didn’t have search engines?” said Sullivan.

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