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Google changes its search algorithm

Demoting content aggregator websites
Fri Feb 25 2011, 14:31

SEARCH GIANT Google has made changes to its search algorithms in an attempt to lower the rankings of content aggregator websites.

Google made the algorithmic announcement on its blog yesterday and said that the change is significant. However, it is only designed to target low value websites that copy content from other websites.

Google claimed the change should only affect 11.8 per cent of queries and said better websites will get higher rankings.

"We can't make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites," blogged Google Fellow Amit Singhal and principal engineer Matt Cutts.

"If you take the top several dozen or so most-blocked domains from the Chrome extension, then this algorithmic change addresses 84 [per cent] of them, which is strong independent confirmation of the user benefits," they added.

So everyone's happy, right? Well not the content farms that aggregate information. Most of those websites tend to be travel companies and Google has already landed itself in a legal quagmire for alleged search bias by lowering the ranking of such companies.

Google has been dragged into several anti-competitive lawsuits filed by travel companies recently. The INQURIER reported in December that travel website Tripadvisor filed a claim against Google for demoting its search rankings.

Google has also been charged with competitive abuse for search bias by several smaller companies. Worthpoint, Mytriggers, Foundem, Tradecmet and Sourcetool are all at varying legal stages with Google after accusing it of search bias.

Amidst the accusations, last week Google refused to reveal if it had complied with a US anti-trust review of complaints about anti-competitive search rankings.

Google's search algorithm change is effective in the US now but will be rolling out elsewhere over time. µ

 

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