Google is tweaking search results to prioritize “content by people, for people” and fight the scourge of clickbait, the company says.
Danny Sullivan says, “We know that people don’t find content useful that appears to be designed to attract clicks rather than inform readers.” Google said in a blog post. “Many of us have experienced the frustration of visiting a web page that seemed to have what we were looking for, but did not meet our expectations. The content may not have the insights you want, or it may not appear to have been created for or even by one person.”
Content so-called “SEO spam”, clearly written to appear high on search engine results pages, has long plagued companies like Google. To deal with this, the company is launching a “useful content update” next week.
The update includes a series of tweaks to the company’s ranking algorithms, which try to identify content that “seems to be built primarily to rank well in search engines rather than helping or informing people.” Google says the update to tests brings improvements specifically to searches related to online education, arts and entertainment, shopping, and technology.
In one example, Sullivan says, a search for a recent movie can sometimes bring up articles that aggregate reviews from other sites; Now, “you will see more results with unique, authentic information, so you are more likely to read something you haven’t seen before”.
Of course, such changes have winners and losers, and online publishers may fear that their content strategy will find them caught on the net. In its advice to “creators”, Google implies that some of the signals it will use to downgrade search results are whether it’s a website’s primary purpose or focus, and whether there’s an “existing or targeted audience” that might find it. useful if the content came directly to the page.
“Banhammer” will be used freely. “Any content on sites that are determined to have a relatively high amount of useless content overall, not just useless content, is less likely to perform well in search,” says Google. “So removing useless content can help your other content rank.”
In recent months, Google has launched a concerted effort to combat perceptions that the company’s search products are getting worse over time. titles likeIt’s not just you, Google search is getting really bad“and”Google search just got worse. Here’s the trick people find to get aroundBlame the constant game of cat and mouse with SEO spam, along with the company’s growing desire to offer results structured above simple web links, paid ads, and links to other Google services, and suggest focusing on sites like Reddit to find helpful answers to questions.
Navneet Alang writes in the Toronto Star, He called the process a “vicious circle”. “Google endlessly refines search to predict what people want, but in turn, entire industries are trying to pollute search results by giving people a cheap, knock-out version of what they want,” he wrote.