Google Breaks Out the Guillotine

Google Guillotine Google has pulled out the guillotine once again by beefing up their algorithms to rid their search results of violators of their terms of service, scrapers and now content farms. The latest algorithm change should not come as that much of a shock as in late January Matt Cutts announced in his search engine spam post “we’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content.” Then we were encouraged to report sites (and for non Chrome users, to change to Chrome) through the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension. The data had to be used for something as Google is never requesting feedback without taking action in some way.

Scrapers Be Gone

Google has created an algorithm that targets the scrapers. If you have not experienced being scraped, you are not missing out, trust me. It is the online version of being violated. The content that bloggers and journalists create is ours. We created it with our own two hands (or hired someone as and paid them as a ghost writer) and that content is a part of us/our business as a hobby or a livelihood. It is a challenge to get the scrapers to remove the content. They do not care, they laugh and the more we push or call them out, the more they seem to scrape; regardless if there are links back to your site. Sure this helps however when they are ranking higher for an article you wrote, you want to scream to Matt Cutts, “dude, I wrote this and not them. That is MY name and not theirs.” Well our screams have been heard and the scrapers will meet their fate. The Google Guillotine.

Google Trims the Fat on Content Farms

Content Farms, while not being named directly by Google, are the target here. The content farms that produce good content consistently are not in jeopardy however the ones that produce “shallow and low quality content” will now also be subjected to the Google Guillotine. There are many that fall into this category as their main existence is based upon keeping up on what is popular and targeting the keywords/search phrases with content that is so poorly written that we have to question how they have been able to achieve such high rankings for so long.

What Does this all Really Mean?

The algorithm changes to target scrapers and sites with shallow and low quality content are going to be removed to allow for more comprehensive search results. The good news is that the scrapers and content farms have only affected roughly 12% of the search queries (for now) but that is enough to increase the user experience. It is frustrating when we are searching and the same article over and over appears. These new algorithm changes (which happen regularly but are not as publicized) is Google’s way of making attempts to provide the best search experience while at the same time protect the creators of the content though shutting down the scrapers and non-productive content farms by focusing on the content that is reliable, valuable, consistent and worthy of appearing in the search results from the original author. In other words, no gaming Google.

These algorithm changes are very much welcomed. However what about Bing? As we saw with the results for the terms that JC Penny and Overstock.com were punished for on Google were still appearing prominently on Bing. Will scrapers and content farms appear as well? I suppose that if they continue to copy Google’s search results they will be gone.

photo credit: Matías!

  • That’s some awesome news there, I have been following the situation and as a content creator I cannot be less than very happy about Google finally taking action.
    As I said elsewhere, this is a good indication of how Google keeps striving to be original and innovative, unlike other search engines.
    We’ll see if Bing will adapt to this change as well. I think that for once no one will complain about them copying something.

    • It is a great move by Google as it happens so many times where content is stolen (even with links back to the original article) and we as the author have to chase them down and tell them to remove it. Yeah like that happens.

      Bing – well I have not seen much content scraping or content farms over there but I do not spend s much time on Bing as I do Google.

  • Fantastic. This has been going on for far too long and the sooner they lose their search power, the better.

    • Marco

      Very well said as it has been going on for so long that it is time for them to be cut and known that they are not welcome.

  • Pingback: Bing To Feature Facebook Likes More Prominently | The World Matters()