Google combats webspam with search algorithm change

Webmasters complain of dramatically reduced traffic
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Google has implemented a change to the search giant's secret ranking algorithm which is aimed at combatting so-called 'webspam'.

Google principal engineer Matt Cutts posted on the Google blog earlier in the month that firm was evaluating changes to the search giant's ranking algorithm in order to reduce unwanted webspam.

Web pages of unhelpful content and links, dubbed 'webspam', are designed by spammers to trick search engines into providing high ranking results. Google said it was investigating a change that would hit "sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content."

Cutts posted on his personal plug that the algorithm change had been approved and was launched onto the Google search engine. 

"This was a pretty targeted launch: slightly over 2% of queries change in some way, but less than half a percent of search results change enough that someone might really notice," wrote Cutts.

"The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content."

A number of webmasters complained on the Webmaster World forums about the Google search engine ranking changes with one claiming that they had lost 40-60 per cent of traffic on several web sites.

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