This week, Google made a significant change to its search engine algorithm that has resulted in an onslaught of complaints from businesses. The changes are aimed at increasing the quality and relevance of search results on Google affecting approximately 12 percent of all websites in Google’s database.
While Google frequently updates its algorithms with regard to search engine results, many of the changes are so subtle that users are typically unaware. However, the sweeping changes that Google has recently implemented may have a significant affect on internet-based businesses immediately.
According to CNN Money, the independent tests conducted show an apparent bias in content selection for rankings on Google search results. The data found in this study concluded that the changes are affecting the ‘content farms.’ This term essentially denotes the way in which Google screens for sites that collect content based on the most frequently searched key words of the day.
Recently, popular Internet sites such as Demand Media, AOL, Mahalo, and the Huffington Post have been alleged to use this strategy in order to get higher rankings in Google, thereby driving more traffic to their websites.
A harsh reaction from the Internet business community has ensued. Particularly, a forum called Webmaster World stated on Wednesday that their traffic dropped dramatically due to this change. Others have stated that because of the size of their Internet-based business, they simply cannot adapt quickly enough in order to modify their efforts toward the specifications of the new Google algorithm.
The recent move by Google is an attempt to draw a line in the sand as to what is considered legitimate and illegitimate in terms of Search Engine Optimization. While there have been allegations that this move will decrease sales for businesses, the effect from major companies on the Internet remains to be seen.
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