It was clear a few weeks ago that Google had released another major update to its search engine algorithm that determines which web sites are displayed for web searches. This affected a large number of web sites, and I have read that somewhere in the vicinity of 10-20% of all searches were affected.

Google has never made a secret about the fact that its main concern is to provide the most relevant web sites to match a person’s search query and to maximize that person’s experience. In some ways they are trying to determine the intent of the person making the search and display the best possible sites to answer the searcher’s question.

I think it is true that Google has a vision of what the ideal internet and an ideal search experience will be for their users. They like sites that offer unique information and an original view of different subjects. This means that they are deemphasizing web sites that only offer information which has been taken from somewhere else on the internet. Duplicate content is something they have been working against in their search results as the years have progressed.

Article directory sites have been around for years, and these sites will provide content for use on other web sites. They thus foster the use of duplicate content. Surprisingly, Google seemed to favor some of these sites in the past. With this latest algorithm change, however, most of these sites have been punished. The largest and best known of all these sites immediately reported that their traffic levels had dropped something like eighty to ninety per cent. Needless to say this means the loss of a lot of revenues, and this revenue loss must be severely affecting their operations.

I was personally frustrated when one on my web sites in the golf niche was shoved from the bottom of page 1 of Google search results to the top of page 2 by a single article from an article directory. The difference between being on page 1 and page 2 of Google results is huge. In one case your site will have traffic and sales, and in the other it gets very little traffic and consequently very few, if any, sales. I thought my site deserved better, because it has many pages of good and original content, if I do say so myself. Fortunately for me, the article directory listing no longer appears, and I am back on page one getting traffic and earning some money.

Although it takes more work, if you want to rank high on Google search results, you need to give them what they want. They want original and good content that contributes to the internet and helps Google searchers solve their problems and answer their questions.

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