Google Strikes Back At Low Quality and Duplicate and Stolen Content

Two Recent Updates
To Google SERPS
Work in Favor of Bloggers.
(and punish Article Directories?)

Google updates its search ranking algorithm regularly in increasing efforts to produce high quality, original, organic, valid content results for visitors.

In two back-to-back changes Google has taken taken a massive efforts against two different types of low quality results – that may impact your business.

Bye Bye Thieves!

The first change, known to most as the “Scraper Update”, takes action against “scraper sites”  – which are usually autoblogging type sites that grab the content from sites they do not own and repost it. These sites were being terribly effective at outranking the original site with content that plagiarized and this was hurting bloggers both emotionally and financially.

This is actually a one-two punch for autoblogging sites as the “Scraper Update” is designed to drop their ranking while a change to the Google Adsense policy now official makes it clear that content theft will result in termination of the sites Adsense earnings.

Now if someone is re-hosting your copy-write protected content without permission and outside of the boundaries of the Fair Use policy, then visiting their site and checking for Adsense and reporting them for copyright violations becomes an effective way to fight back!

Reducing Low Quality Content

The second change, being called by many the “Farmer Update”, has the potential to be another helpful update but however has the possibility of a dangerous catch-22.

This change is currently USA only but being slow released to other countries.

So what’s the scoop? Essentially, Google wants to take large portion of sites producing “low quality content” out of the search results and has confirmed that as much as 12% of search results were affected by this.

This could possibly affect “content farms” (which Google denies) , article directories, and even regular bloggers whose sites are considered sub-par.

The impact on reducing article directories SEO value will be a game changer for many.

Of course, any site that takes lots of guest posts and is not strict about quality (several large ones come to mind) is also likely to be impacted. The same would be true of any bookmarking site that gives link juice automatically to every submitted link without a quality analysis of some sort (usually by peers).

What’s Hot vs What’s NOT!

The SISTRIX VisibilityIndex, a score of traffic on keywords, ranking and click-through rate on specific positions was used to create a list of the 25 biggest losers.

Here’s the top 12 as I feel they most accurately indicate what we’re seeing regarding article directories dropping like flies!

(Also note quite a few sites that republish content from other sites)




Regarding the scraper site policies, all I can say is about damn time! I do suggest that you know your rights under copyright laws however.

A post that is slightly out of date now but full of all sorts of good ideas and discussion and talk about the subject is “Copyright Infringement – What Should You Do if Your Blog Post is Stolen?” by Sherryl Perry over at @KeepUpWeb.

The penalty to the vast number of article directories I feel is vastly overdue and I am thrilled to see them get out of the way in the search results in favor sites with high quality unique content on the home base of the author.

It will however have a major negative impact on those who have been doing article spinning for article marketing and link building!  As a long-time internet user, I’m not a fan of spun content for SEO. It works for the purpose of link building and can work for nonSEO reasons to put new eyes on similar content on different sites, but from a search engine results to my query it certainly will not be missed.

What are your thoughts on these changes and how they will impact your blog marketing strategy?

Thank in advance for sharing and tweeting this with others you think might find it useful!

Kimberly Castleberry
Your Partner In Online Success

PS: Enjoying all the SEO education and looking for more? Stay tuned for an upcoming SEO course I’ll be sharing!

PS: EzineArticles just released a major statement regarding their now-much-more-strict submission guidelines.

Related articles
Get The Inside Scoop!
social tripletKeep up with all the latest social marketing changes!

After Post Widget

This is where you can place your after content optin

Relevant Posts

This is the widget for relevant posts

Leave a Reply

18 Comments on "Google Strikes Back At Low Quality and Duplicate and Stolen Content"

4 years 2 months ago

This is really a good news for authentic bloggers. I have seen some autoblogs get content from my site without permission and their posts are even ranked better than my original ones on Google SERPs.

Hopefully the new change will work well, I am afraid that it can be mistaken in determining original articles sometimes.

4 years 2 months ago

Thanks, Kim for this great summary of the recent changes over at Google.

I think for bloggers who work hard at their craft and put out the quality content to the best of their ability, this is a win-win situation. On the flip side, I know many article marketers who are shaking in their boots right about now.

I used to do extensive article spinning to gain a foothold for certain valuable keywords in my niche. And it worked. But it always felt a little sleezy, like I was trying to beat the system without original thinking.

I guess we’ll see how it plays out for sites like EzineArticles, and I know they are taking extensive action to compensate for the loss of traffic. It’s a great site to submit quality articles, but I’ve seen many poor quality articles coming out of there as well.

It’s my hope that this move by Google will be yet another push for marketers to clean up their act, stop trying to beat systems and just focus on providing great content for interested readers.

4 years 2 months ago

Hi Kimberly, I am first time visitor of your blog and thought to say hello. It was truly a learning experience browsing your blog posts and articles. I am happy with this change brought by Google in ranking websites and blogs. But at the same time, I am also concerned like Tuan , the first commenter here, is about the original articles thinking whether they might be identified perfectly. Even, at times, I find some article posts of our company blog similar to that of the posts of other blogs relating to our business. I know ours is original because we have our own content writers.

4 years 2 months ago

This is great news! And, thanks for describing it so well Kim! I remember a couple of years ago, I was competing with a couple of Articles on for top position on a keyword I was optimizing my blog for. My blog would jump up and down, but the Ezine articles always won. It was very disappointing when I was so close.

Some Articles sites are (were? ) a great way to get highly ranked backlinks to your site. You can still write totally original articles for those sites, but it’s going to be a LOT of work. And, if the sites don’t have a high PR, then it’s not worth all that work.

bye for now, Julieanne

4 years 2 months ago

I wonder how this will impact sites with a high amount of reposted RSS content?