Earlier on in the year Google made changes to it’s algorithm, this time with the intention to favour sites with quality content rather than those who are cynically using SEO to push themselves to the top of the search results.
What do they mean by that? These are websites that are loaded with keywords to raise their rankings and are basically full of spam content. This change follows the Panda update last year where their aim was to target ‘content farms’ (where content and re-use of other sites is stolen to attract advertising).
Google intends to include a tool in its search which will answer your query rather than matching it to sites that contain keywords and links. This is already implemented in some popular topics, eg.airfares,sports scores and weather queries but Google intend to utilise it more. The aim of the semantic update is that more answers will be returned at the top of the results page and reduce the need for you to click through to another site. When you enter the query, ‘Where is the largest library’ your answer is on the first search page. You can tell from these results that you are in the correct area to pursue your query and will not find yourself on a spam site completely unrelated to your initial search.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the change will apparently only affect between 10 – 20% of queries.
When SEO experts check out how the algorithm works and apply the necessary changes to their sites, hopefully this Google update will help honest websites to stay ahead of those who are abusing the system. Although this is yet another change from Google it is a necessary move if the search engine is to provide relevant results for sites that are adhering to the rules and providing quality content.