Google to change search algorithms to combat clickbait

Google is changing its search results to prioritize “content by people for people” and combat the scourge of clickbait, the company says.

“We know that people don’t find content useful if it looks like it’s designed to attract clicks rather than inform readers,” said Danny Sullivan. Google said this in a blog post. “Many of us have experienced the disappointment of visiting a web page that appears to have what we’re looking for but doesn’t live up to our expectations. The content may not have the information you want or may not even appear to be created by an individual.”

“SEO spam” content written plainly to appear at the top of search engine results pages has long been a thorn in the side of companies like Google. To combat this, the company is launching a “helpful content update” next week.

The update includes a series of tweaks to the company’s ranking algorithms that attempt to identify content that is “created primarily to rank well in search engines, not to help or inform people.” Google says that during testing, the update resulted in improvements especially for searches related to online education, arts and entertainment, shopping, and technology.

In one example, Sullivan says, a search for a recent movie can sometimes bring up articles that simply aggregate reviews from other sites; now “you’ll see more results with unique, original information, so you’re more likely to read something you haven’t seen before.”

Of course, there are winners and losers in such changes, and online publishers may fear that their content strategy will catch them off guard. In its advice to “content creators,” Google suggests that some of the signals it will use to demote search results are whether a website has a primary purpose or focus, and whether it has an “existing or intended audience.” useful content if they come directly to the page.

“Banhammer” will be used freely. “Any content on sites identified as having a relatively high amount of junk content—assuming there’s not just junk content, but other content that’s better displayed on the web—is less likely to perform well in search,” he says. “For this reason, removing useless content can help your other content rank.”

In recent months, Google has launched a concerted effort to combat perceptions that the company’s search products have gotten worse over time. titles likeIt’s not just you, Google search is getting really bad“and”Google search gone bad. Here’s a trick people find to get around it” blames the company’s growing willingness to offer structured results, paid ads and links to other Google services above simple web links, as well as a constant cat-and-mouse game with SEO spam, and suggests looking to sites like Reddit to find it. helpful answers to questions.

Navneet Alang writes in the Toronto Star, called the process “kind of a bad cycle.” “Google is endlessly improving search to predict what people want, but in response, entire industries are trying to pollute search results by giving people cheap, inadequate versions of what they want,” he said.

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