Preferential Treatment? The Huffington Puff
On one hand, a ‘news’ site, the Huffington Post, which auto-publishes stories pulled from various news sites, managed to outrank its original news sources. This latest development appears to contradict Google’s intention to weed out content farms supposedly in favor of high quality content.
Google’s search algorithm reportedly includes a classifier that distinguishes high quality sites from the “content farms”, a term that has no strict definition and which Google simply defines as sites with “low quality” or “shallow” content.
Initially, it seemed to target the formerly high-ranking article directories that publish hundreds of user-contributed articles daily, and collect advertising revenue in return. But as days passed, a major flaw in the algorithm appeared to demote sites containing original content while upgrading the rankings of their copycats.
On the other hand, a news aggregator site, OneWorldScam, is raising objections over the Google algorithm change (most would agree this a futile exercise), suggesting that it could be a part of a concerted effort to silence anti-establishment voices such as theirs. (Even the casual observer would see that this site gathers news items primarily to expose the plan to create a “New World Order” with a “one world government”.)
While the site admittedly republishes news items from other sources, it does so for purposes of providing insight and comment, not to rank well for search words as ordinary content farms do.
The problem obviously lies in Google’s criteria for determining low from high quality, which remain arbitrary and vague as it maintains source code secrecy to avoid being gamed. Instead of cleaning out web garbage, Google’s algorithm has promoted (G)arbitrage.
Google admits that its algorithm update is not perfect and that it is being constantly refined to approximate ‘near perfect’. In the meantime, legitimate websites that have been severely affected by the modification may just have to lay the facts before Google or bring it to their attention for manual white-listing just as it did with Cult of Mac, a popular Apple-focused blog.
Have the Google changes affected your sites or posts?