Archives for February 2011

Google Algorithm Change Announced by Matt Cutts

It is always good to read about progress that Google makes in the fight against spam so I was pleased to read a recent post from Matt Cutts announcing that Google is evaluating multiple changes to its search ranking algorithm to combat spam and, specifically one particular change, to combat the problem of publishers having their original content copied and then finding that the websites containing the duplicate versions of their content appear higher in the search results pages than their own websites.

Having read the post and then through all of the comments which broadly welcomed the impending developments, it occurred to me that a good way to illustrate the problem, or conversely the degree to which it has thus far been remedied, would be to test the search rankings of some of the content of the very blog post I was reading.

So I copied the entire second sentence of the third paragraph of Matt’s post, wrapped it in quotes, and pasted it into Google’s search box (

The result is shown in the screenshot below. If there was ever a way to illustrate the problem of original content being subordinated in the search results to copies of it, this must be it. Matt’s blog post ranks in 6th position for its own content. You can see a larger version of it by clicking on the image.

matt cutts blog post on algo update

Matt Cutts blog post on algo update

This also reminded me of the ongoing debate about search neutrality and whether Google favours its own sites in their search results pages. Clearly not always (or at least not those of their employees)!

Anyway, we welcome the changes and look forward to seeing the publishers of original content get a further helping hand!

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