According to Google their latest algorithm supports ” sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on”. In contrast, it will penalise low quality sites – with little added value, content copied from other sites [including RSS feeds] and sites that are just plainly ‘un-useful’. This will include content farms, and article directories, which will impact back-link tactics by article marketers. Just two days following the change, Ezine Articles claims to have a 35% reduction in monthly unique visitors. Normally, 57million, this represents a significant drop in traffic. However, it is likely the impact will only apply to low quality articles – you know the ones, 320 words of drivel that tell you nothing. Perhaps Google has just helped Article Ezine to filter out its spam quality articles. It will however impact news aggregators such as the popular Huffington Post.
According to Alexa statistics, EzineArticles has dropped 16-17% in ranking with a 11-13% decline in reach over the past week. Its too early to see how long term this impact will be but it must sure have the sites team working hard to respond to the potential threat.
The change is estimated by Google to impact 11.8% of queries. The goal of Google’s change is to create a “healthy web ecosystem”. The change was made in the USA only, with other global regions to be rolled out in the future.
Fortunately, since launching in 2006 my business strategy was to always provide valuable content – aka no auto-posting scripts or automated blog posting plug-ins for WordPress. I do however use RSS scripts to add specialist content updates to my websites, however this accounts for less than 5% of total content. I doubt this will impact the ranking of these sites. Its early days yet, but I have not noticed any negative impact.
The lesson here is to always aim to provide value to customers – no value, no point making the effort. Personally, I think it’s a good thing to get rid of spam sites. Maybe the BIG and FAST strategy most top IM gurus proclaim is the way to go may not work out so well afterall.