The update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites – sites which are low-value for Google’s users. For example ones that copy content from other websites or sites that offer little or no useful information, but were created for the sole benefit of  attempting to improve the ranking of another website.

 At the same time Google say it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites – sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

We conduct SEO services for some of our clients – we have both in-house staff and collaborate with SEO agencies. When formulating our SEO strategy for our clients we adhere to Google’s webmaster guidelines, avoiding tactics that could be deemed underhand.

Whilst it can be tempting to use some of the well-known “gameable” tactics to improve rankings, we have shied away from these to avoid our clients being penalised by Google.

However, it’s so frustrating to see some of our clients being out-ranked by their competitors by clearly using underhand tactics. Hopefully Google will start to stamp-down on these sites. 

Let’s hope Google’s latest algorithm change is a shot across the bow for all webmasters who are using spamy tactics.

Whilst the update is currently applied to US results, it shouldn’t be long before the UK will start to see big changes to the search results pages – a change that Google say “noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries”.

Keep a close eye on your website rankings as this update may have an impact on your website traffic.