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Google changes search formula to push down 'low-quality' sites

February 25, 2011 | 11:16 am

Google
Google Inc. has modified the algorithms that dictate search result rankings in an attempt to push up more “high-quality sites.”

The formula changes will affect 11.8% of search queries –- about one in every eight, Google said in a blog post. For now, the tweaks will stay in the U.S. before eventually rolling out to the rest of the world.

For months, Google has been combating the presence of “content farms” such as eHow that mine for clicks by generating articles based on popular searches, though none were mentioned specifically.

The new algorithm will lower such sites in the search rankings in favor of “sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on,” the company wrote.

The update is not directly related to feedback from the Blocklist Chrome extension Google launched last week to block specific sites that show up in search results. But when crosschecked against the top several dozen domains blocked through the extension, Google found that the formula change also addressed 84% of blocked domains.

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-- Tiffany Hsu [follow]

Photo: Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty Images

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