Often times Google makes its algorithm changes rather quietly, progressively and typically tries to spread the pain or go after the very obvious offenders such as link farms or other black hat SEO sites.
This time it is different though, the recent change to nearly 12% of online search impacts a much wider swath of results and targets a number of article directories and content farms that have, for years, gone from Google darling to top of the most hated list.
A good example is EzineArticles.com that was once treated extremely well by Google with a high page rank, much of its content ranked exceptionally high and provided solid inbound link juice to websites who would link back through article resource boxes.
In the recent changes though it seems EzineArticles was one of the hardest hit – they were even forced to admit that on their own blog here.
What is interesting about their response though is that they blame a small % of their article writers for the Google changes when in reality what Google is doing is changing its focus from these wide scope article directories because 99% of the material is rather useful and not typically what people are looking for.
Granted, EzineArticles is better than most article directories – but really, is an article directory a natural type of website?
Instead, wouldn't it make more sense to raise the ranking on sites that are highly focused on the topic people are searching for instead of returning one Ezine article of millions that deal with other topics?
Which one serves the user better?
But that's not the only reason Google is making these changes, what they are doing is lowering the rank of these content farms and increasing the rank on content that IS in higher demand such as Youtube videos, Facebook and Twitter realtime information - so what we have is Google literally re-structuring 12% of its search to be more relevant in today's internet.
Take a look at this blog posting by Danny Sullivan and note the winners and losers in the latest search engine changes -
Notice how the content farms are losers and newer, more interactive, social networking sites and e-commerce site Ebay are the winners?
Fail to include social networking sites in search and risk being irrelevant in a very short period of time – that is the real message here!
Make no mistake, this Google search change is entirely about making sure they remain highly relevant, is anyone screaming for Ezine article content? Not exactly.
Is anyone screaming for Facebook, Twitter or YouTube content – Yah!
As internet marketers, that means we also need to stay relevant, and that means we must learn social networking – how it works, why it works and put that to action right now if we want to stay relevant and keep traffic flowing to our sites.
Are you active in social networking? Leave us a comment and let us know which social networks you are using most.