tedster - 3:06 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0) [edited by: tedster at 3:07 am (utc) on Feb 25, 2011]
Here's some official word on the update:
in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what's going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.
Danny Sullivan Interview Coverage
Officially, Google isn't saying the algorithm change is targeting content farms. The company specifically declined to confirm that, when I asked. However, Matt Cutts — who heads Google's spam fighting team — told me, "I think people will get the idea of the types of sites we're talking about."
Danny is calling this update the "Farmer Update" and the earlier one the "Scraper Update". Not exactly hurricane names, but they do make the distinction clear.
[edited by: tedster at 3:07 am (utc) on Feb 25, 2011]