Google is tweaking its search algorithms in an effort to prioritize “content made by people, for people” and combat the scourge of clickbait by improving results for those investing in SEO strategies.
Danny Sullivan, from Google, said that: “Many of us experience the frustration of visiting a web page that appears to contain what we are looking for but does not meet our expectations. The content may not contain the statistics you want, or it may not look like it was created by someone or even them.”
We know this nuisance, it’s called “spam SEO,” and it’s basically content written explicitly for the sole purpose of appearing at the top of search engine results pages.
To solve this problem, Google is rolling out a “useful content update.” It covers a series of tweaks to the company’s ranking algorithms that attempt to identify content “that mostly ranks well in search engines, but doesn’t help or inform people.”
Google says that in testing, the update made improvements specifically for searches related to education, arts, entertainment, shopping and technology.
For example, searching for a recent movie can sometimes result in articles that simply collect comments from other sites.
With the change, you will see more results with unique and original information, so you are more likely to read something you have not seen before.
What changes for those who invest in SEO strategies?
Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages with these changes, and expert SEO copywriters may fear that their content strategies will leave them stranded on the web.
Google advises “content creators” that it will restrict search results for sites that:
- Don’t have a primary goal or focus:
- There is no “existing or intended audience”;
- It does not display the useful content to anyone who goes directly to the page.
If you use blog text in your SEO strategy, beware, Google states that “Any content – not just useless content – on sites that have been determined to have relatively large amounts of generally useless content is unlikely to perform well in search, assuming there is other content elsewhere on the web that is better served to display.”
For this reason, removing useless content can help rank your other content.
In recent months, Google has been struggling to combat the perception that the company’s search algorithms have gotten worse over time.
Tweets like “It’s not just you, Google search is actually getting worse” and “Google search just got worse” have been seen frequently.
Navneet Alang, writing for the Toronto Star, described the process as “a kind of vicious circle. Google endlessly improves search to try to predict what people want, but in response, whole industries are polluting the search results, giving people a cheap copy of what they want. “Like the news? Enjoy and learn more about importance of appearing on the first page of Google.