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If you’ve been listening to the news or reading it online at all in the last few weeks, you know that Google recently made a big change to its algorithm. That change affected the way sites and articles are indexed, and affected what appears in search results for Google users, too.
Those things are very important, and the opinions about the changes run the gamut from thinking that Google is doing a great job policing its content to stating that Google shouldn’t be controlling what users receive when they search for something. Both are valid thoughts on the issue, but the real crux of the matter is what Google is doing, as opposed to what it should or should not be doing.
The change in the Google algorithm made “content farms” rank lower in searches, and gave greater weight to sites that were more specific to a user’s search results. Sites like Yahoo! Contributor Network, Suite101, and others that have similar types of content ended up down in the rankings. Sites that were more search-specific and didn’t contain so many different types of user-submitted content moved up in the rankings. Whether that’s good or bad largely depends on a person’s opinion and what they really need from their Google experience.
For searchers who use Google, there really isn’t any problem unless they feel as though their search results are being too heavily controlled. For writers, it’s a bit different. Many of the sites that lost a lot of ranking were revenue-share sites where authors were expecting their articles to continue to earn them money. Of course, that won’t happen if people don’t find those articles. Understandably, writers at many content farms are extremely worried about their livelihood. Many of them are branching out and looking for other revenue-building opportunities, but they also continue to hold out hope that Google will make changes that will help them increase their search ranking.
Just because things are now different on Google doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way. There are always changes being made by Google. As the number one search engine, it has to keep working to make sure it gives users the best experience possible. It doesn’t want to lose its top billing. People are sounding off all around the world regarding the changes, in order to make sure that Google hears what they think. That’s a good idea actually, because Google has been shown in the past to respond to user wants and needs more than would often be expected by a company of that size. Undoubtedly, there will be adjustments in the future. As long as a site has good content that’s high quality and keeps the user in mind, that site’s Google ranking should remain high.