A few days ago Google gave some hints on how Google web spam team is changing the way web pages are ranked and trying to implement a redesigned “document level classifier” in Google search algorithm. This whole saga of Google search spam got ignited by Jess Atwood’s post at CodingHorror; so if you have missed the details, read that article and our response article on the issue.
Earlier today, Google Engineer Matt Cutts announced that a new algorithmic change has been launched which will rank the content scraping sites lower in search results. Hence, users are more likely to see those sites higher in search results, who wrote the original content.
Matt said that this change was very much targeted and geared towards improving the overall experience of users.
Note that Matt says “lower in search results” and not that these scraped content will never appear in a search result page.
Let’s quickly take an example.
We announced an Apple Ipad Giveaway on 23rd december 2010, which received 254 responses and was pretty much successfull.
Some websites thought it’s wise to scrap that content and put their own “mix” to the scraped material. They changed the Title, modified the URL (thinking that adding the author’s name might just work) and added the same sentences, keywords over and over in the meta description. The result is something like this
The first search result points to this site (thanks Google for your algo).
My point is: Some users will still click the second and third links and arrive to that scraped website who have no original content. Because they are not organizing the Giveaway and can never give an Apple iPad on behalf of Techie Buzz. ( Those who need proof, can read this research article on “Eye tracking in search results” (PDF), learn the facts and then comment on this post).
So what happens is that some users arrive to the scraped website, can’t find what they are looking for and quit. The will simply go elsewhere.
The Result: We lose those prospective readers who are searching our website, just because Google showed the scraped sites on search result pages. Agree the number of such readers is way less, but it’s never ZERO.
Our Suggestion To Google Web Spam Team
Don’t show the scraped sites at all. Never. I mean “Why ?”
Google Engineers can easily judge whether the content is an exact photocopy of the source website or not, so there is no point in showing these sites on any of the search result pages. Not even on the 99th page.
Learn from Bing
Surprisingly, the same search at Bing.com shows only one spam link (third one).
This is just an example and I am not saying that Bing is better than Google. But as you can see – Bing shows less number of scraped sites, when you consider a long tail of search.
@Google: We are Praying for better search results.