Confirmed: Google's Content Farm Algorithm Live! Sites Are Dropping!

Jan 28, 2011 • 9:05 am | comments (38) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Ranking DroppingsA WebmasterWorld thread has a bunch of SEOs and Webmasters complaining about a recent and significant drop in traffic from Google. These reports all come from webmasters who have had stable rankings in Google and stable traffic from Google for years.

UPDATE #2: I was wrong in assuming the "content farm algorithm" was live. It is not live yet. What is live is the algorithm to block low-quality scraper sites from showing up in the Google index.

Update: Matt Cutts of Google confirmed this in a blog post at his personal blog.

There is some speculation that Google's new content spam detection and prevention techniques have kicked in impacting these particular web sites from ranking well in Google.

A senior member at WebmasterWorld said:

Something really BIG changed yesterday about midday. We are still in triage mode here covering our basics. We saw a huge 10-20 drop in almost all positions for our biggest and oldest site.

Another person said everything was doing great and then January 26th came "at exactly 3:30pm CST. It's as if the switch was turned off again, " he said. And another webmaster said the same thing, "We have lost 40-60% traffic in several sites, all same time yesterday. Very frustrating and to see server idle now."

They mostly all claim they have unique and useful content on their site, but as you know, with any Google change, there are always examples of collateral damage.

Did you notice maybe changes in Google in the past couple days? If so, do you think it is the beginning of the content spam prevention Google mentioned earlier?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: Matt Cutts of Google confirmed this in a blog post at his personal blog.

That change was approved at our weekly quality launch meeting last Thursday and launched earlier this week.

This was a pretty targeted launch: slightly over 2% of queries change in some way, but less than half a percent of search results change enough that someone might really notice. The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content.

More stories on this will be complied at Techmeme.

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