Google has announced that it has amended its Search Engine Ranking Algorithm to place more emphasis on the quality of content that a site provides. This change has been launched initially in the US but Google have promised that this change will be rolled out internationally.
Why have they done this? In their official blog Google explains:
“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. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”
“We can’t make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites. It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down....Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.”
So when this change is rolled out in the UK how can you expect the algorithm change to affect your site? It has been noted that in the US around 12% of all search query results have seen a noticeable change so this is a situation to take very seriously as even a small change in the Search Engine Rankings can have a major effect upon a business.
We would expect that sites that have numerous adverts on will see rankings drop and we would also expect that sites that are not content rich to be punished. “Content is King” has long been a mantra for the SEO industry and the upcoming changes highlight that this is just as true now as it ever was.
One of the key points to address for every site is that the changes will negatively affect any site that contains low quality or even worse, duplicate content. Unique high quality content is now the order of the day and sites that provide a low quality user experience can expect dramatic falls in their Google keyword rankings.
Recommended actions would be for site administrators to check their site content to make sure nothing can be seen to be duplicated content, pages with little content need to be built out with extra unique material and you should also make sure that your site contains only a limited number of advertisements.
The user experience should be at the forefront of your SEO campaign moving forward and sites that provide a poor user experience and suffer from high bounce rates can expect a tough time from Google once this latest algorithm change is rolled out internationally.