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Google's Matt Cutts Talks of New Focus On Low Quality Content

 5:31 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just in
... attention has shifted instead to “content farms,” which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. In 2010, we launched two major algorithmic changes focused on low-quality sites. Nonetheless, we hear the feedback from the web loud and clear: people are asking for even stronger action on content farms and sites that consist primarily of spammy or low-quality content. We take pride in Google search and strive to make each and every search perfect. The fact is that we’re not perfect, and combined with users’ skyrocketing expectations of Google, these imperfections get magnified in perception. However, we can and should do better.

One misconception that we’ve seen in the last few weeks is the idea that Google doesn’t take as strong action on spammy content in our index if those sites are serving Google ads. To be crystal clear:
Google absolutely takes action on sites that violate our quality guidelines regardless of whether they have ads powered by Google;
Displaying Google ads does not help a site’s rankings in Google; and
Buying Google ads does not increase a site’s rankings in Google’s search results. [googleblog.blogspot.com...]

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 7:12 pm (utc) on Jan 21, 2011]
[edit reason] added quote [/edit]



 8:58 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have to agree w/ whoever suggested manual intervention on some level. I know engineers like to automate & leave it to the technology, but the 'engine' behind the technology has loads of biases & decisions built into it.

Those ad funds are pretty hard to turn off though. . . but if any co. can afford to, it's G. In the long run, what's right for the user will be what's right for G & her investors.


 10:04 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I get what you all are saying, but I disagree about eHow. To be fair, take this with a grain of salt, because I've written for Demand Media Studios in the past.

But talking as a user, for me Demand/eHow's quality varies in exactly the same way as that of other large websites. Some pages are helpful; others aren't. I'll often hit the site as a starting point when researching topics about which I know nothing - those "shallow articles" get to the core concepts of a topic without making you wade through scads of details. E.g., to find out basically what's involved in soap making.

And I've followed the Resources links when I actually want to, say, make the soap. It does really suck that they're nofollow. I think that could be a legacy of when they accepted community-generated content - people were using Resources for self-serving links. Now all their content is produced via Demand Media Studios, sources are checked (eliminating low-quality sites), and I can't see any SEO advantage to them to make the links nofollow - quite the contrary. Or am I wrong about this?

As for copied content, my experience is from the other end - because eHow is so high-profile, its content gets copied without permission a lot. I'm not sure of their procedure for DMCA complaints, but from the "back end," there doesn't seem to be any shortage of quality control procedures. What might confuse some folks is that rewritten content IS a copyright violation. Demand Media Studios doesn't allow it (if they know about it) and if your content has been rewritten, it's a valid reason to file a DMCA.


 11:41 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I get Alerts from Google on a daily basis telling me eHow has grabbed another page of content. I think they target certain websites then methodically pick up every article ever published.

At this point, they've used material from 500 of our 1,500 pages.

I'm waiting for the class action lawsuit because I know I'm not alone.


 1:17 am on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

I mean I get the Idea when Mega Scrapers(repackagers) do it, but what is the point for the smaller ones? I mean how long does it take to start making 5 bucks a month with all the advertizing platforms out there?

As far as Goog saying something is gotta be done, I understand that, they have to keep Webmasters happy to some extent, other wise the Ad dollars go elsewhere. I also understand the theory that if someone comes along and drops a few terabytes of junk into my index it would make me mad as (h)well.

BTW, Goog in my opinion is a content farm itself, but it drives traffic to my sites. Their content farm is stuck in my head as a user of it and as the 1 that is trying to milk the ad dollars from sites I deal with, bit by bit.

I understand Matt from developer point of view but at the same time.... I said y peace toooo many times....


 1:31 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

In other news, Demand Media IPO skyrockets up 33% on day of IPO.


Demand Media’s stock jumped 33 percent on its first day of trading. As we reported yesterday, the company had already priced its shares at $17, above the $14 to $16 a share it had initially said it would sell its stock for. Investors ended up bidding up the company’s stock to $22.65 a share, giving the company a market value of $1.87 billion.

Man, old media is scared to death over Demand Media:


It will be tempting to overestimate the meaning of the stock’s first-day movement (or in subsequent days, for that matter), so I’ll try hard not to. But we can at least agree that this the first big-name Web company to go public in a very, very long time.

So even if Demand’s business didn’t have anything to do with the media business, it would get plenty of scrutiny.

And, of course, Demand is in the media business, using a model that terrifies lots of people in the media business. It produces lots and lots of Google-ready content at very low prices, with the help of computer taskmasters and an army of freelancers.

Lucky for me! None of them write news stories about media companies going public. So I’ll make the most of the opportunity and check back in later today.


 5:02 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

So what if google ditches Demand media, they could now start a "How to" search engine of their own (and probably an ad company too) after this IPO success story..is google already foreseeing this? :)


 7:56 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

they could now start a "How to" search engine... is google already foreseeing this

That's an interesting thought, and given how many other popular websites / web services / web past-times that they've attempted to copy, something like that would make a lot of sense. In fact, it would be easier for them to pull that off then to launch a social networking site from the ground up, since they already have access to all the answers. First clear out all the content farms, then make "how to" a part of the Google search page ~ I think you're onto something indyank...



 8:33 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Demand Media and their breathern are Google's Achilles heel right now. Unfortunately Bing simply threw in the towel years ago and aspires to do no more than simply copy Google so they will never grasp that and take advantage of it.

Robert Charlton

 11:24 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

...Bing simply threw in the towel years ago and aspires to do no more than simply copy Google...

As I'm seeing it, they often show the same results, but not exactly. They're both having trouble with these thin Q&A sites, and depending on what the difficulties are, they sometimes err in different ways.

On some queries that have no answer, eg, Google sometimes will return pages with different (but close) questions. Bing on the other hand sticks more precisely to the question, but returns more blank pages.

I just got a return on Bing where the answer was...
This question has not been answered yet.

Cached page was dated 8/7/2010. It's not a question that's asked a lot.

Both Google and Bing are too often fooled, though, by a group of pages that all give essentially unsatisfactory answers to the same question. My take on some of these, particularly answers to systematically compiled questions, say, about Windows error messages, is that they are often intentional spam... or at best equivalent to a stub page in Wikipedia.


 4:00 pm on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

This makes me laugh - I am watching a site that popped up out of nowhere, that scraps our site for content, then gives it away for free on their adsense infused pages. This site was created by an SEO "link building" firm (they state that on every page), yet it out ranks my 14 year old original content site, pushing my site from a long held #1 to #2... Hey Matt, it's not working!


 5:22 pm on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

yet it out ranks my 14 year old original content site

Every time we go through this ~ my websites dropped precipitously on Jan 14/15 ~ I am reminded how dangerous it is to do business in the online world where Google remains a crucial part of the income puzzle. They cough, we choke; they sneeze, we suffocate.



 5:25 pm on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

And it's official - the first step at least in this algorithm changes is live:

Matt Cutts: Google algorithm change launched [webmasterworld.com]

This 102 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 102 ( 1 2 3 [4]
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