Friday, February 25, 2011

New Google Algorithm is Live: News Aggregators Will Be Punished

Eric Blair & Michael Edwards
Activist Post

Just over a month ago, Google announced that they were changing their algorithm in order to weaken the search engine rankings of sites they deem to be "content farmers."

Whereas most of Google's algorithm changes are barely noticeable, the current change that they have been working on since last January will affect 12% of U.S. searches.

There has been much debate about what "content farming" is, and Google has done little to offer a clear explanation, simply stating, "low quality" or "shallow" sites would be affected.  This is similar to the vague definition of pornography -- you'll know it when you see it.

The problem with such a vague approach to what is a strictly defined algorithm is that it leaves too much room for a human interpretation.  And as we have seen, Google has been exposed as having connections to U.S. intelligence agencies, which doesn't bode well for alternative news sites that aggregate anti-establishment stories from around the web.  Given the other censorship threats facing the Internet, it seems those who might be critical of Internet control and real-time surveillance of average Americans are being targeted.

One definition of content farming sites comes from Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land:
  • Looks to see what are popular searches in a particular category (news, help topics)
  • Generates content specifically tailored to those searches
  • Usually spends very little time and or money, even perhaps as little as possible, to generate that content
The first point is particularly troubling for alternative news, since these are the sites who often scour mainstream news to discover which topics are of popular interest so that competing commentary can be offered on a given issue.  Even in the area of "help topics" there are many alternative news sites, such as our own, who focus on tips for survival, protection from economic crisis, advice for privacy protection and personal security, etc.

Again, with the overshadowing definition of "shallow" content, who is deciding this?  Furthermore, point two addresses tailoring content for specific searches, which sounds a lot like the "Google Bombs" introduced by Alex Jones and implemented by others as an effective way to compete with the mainstream media pablum, which focuses heavily on celebrities, sports, and other truly shallow and low quality content.

And, finally, point three seems to penalize blogs and other low-cost means of sharing opinions, as if not having a mainstream media budget automatically implies low quality, when provably the reverse is often true.  Those who research information and present their own opinions as to the significance of what they have studied generally are doing so out of a passion to expose lies and direct their fellow man to the truth.

Google's punishment of those who re-post material as an essential tool for sharing information appears to now reduce news aggregators to the status of plagiarists within the algorithm.  There are many alternative news sites and blogs which have original material that they freely share, in part or in full, purely to support one another in disseminating the truth. We all know what plagiarism looks like and a link back to the original source should not, for instance, be grounds for labeling a site as shallow.

Google needs to address the vital tool of sharing information, as well as to more clearly define their algorithm in upcoming press releases, or we can only conclude that they have begun to wage war on news sites who aggregate information to present an alternative to establishment media.

Read Google's announcement here

RELATED ARTICLES:
6 Threats to the Free and Open Internet
Google Seeks to Weaken "Content Farm" Websites




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23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I haven't used Google in 6 or 7 months.

c82e9f18-3f85-11e0-a322-000bcdcb5194 said...

Google is definitly a powerful search engine. There are a couple engines that scrape googles database to deny google revenue. Should use that.

http://scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm

Anonymous said...

"Just over a month ago, Google announced that they were changing their algorithm in order to weaken the search engine rankings of sites they deem to be "content farmers."

So what about news.google.com? Isn't that a content farm?

Anonymous said...

Make the pages or posts of content noindex so search engines can't index those pages or use rel="canonical" tag to refer to orginial source of article you will not be penalized by google if you use the above method.

Nicholas said...

"I haven't used Google in 6 or 7 months."
Well good for you. But billions of others still do.

Anonymous said...

More people are waking up to the fact that Google is a front for corporate news and not a trustworthy source of news and information.

Google is already a very low percentage of the traffic for alternative news sites.

A leading alternative news site only gets 8% of their traffic from Google. Not a big loss if it went to zero. It'll be replaced in less than a month.

Who needs Google anymore with social networks, direct referral links from other sites, etc.?

Anonymous said...

StartPage works just fine for me, thanks. Say NO to Google.

CJ Anderson said...

Yes No loss. Those of us that follow this kind of news use other search engines other then google.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes use the EFF's Ixquick seacrch engine, which offers a point and click proxy as well. It is not quite as effective google sometimes is, but still a good search engine.

The are others too. DuckDuckGo, Scroogle.org, and I have been exploring Yacy for Linux.

Anyone who is truly concerned with google's potential might be interested an article called "The AGI Manhattan Project".

DOGISMYTH said...

Thanks for wiping out my original comment...I guess Google has gotten to activistpost.com

Too bad.

http://gibiru.com/

Anonymous said...

Content Farming maybe another optimize anathematize for functional classified searches. Items like UFO, Patents, government malfeasance to mention only a few searches or search brine's.
I believe Google is throttling back positive results on searches or it could be sanctioning those sites that are popular due to its content.

Anonymous said...

GOOGLE...PEEEEEUUUUUUUU.....AND SCROOGLE IS ALSO PART OF GOOGLE IN CASE YOU DON'T KNOW

Anonymous said...

I have first hand experience with google and ms cutting off my accounts "forever" as google put it for simply critising israel. All internet giants are cia/mossad operations I believe and when they finally turned the internet over to us peons when the military were finished with it the entire purpose was to spy on everyone. No one is allowed to be a billionaire on this planet unless he is zionist whether christian or jew, no one.

Anonymous said...

i guess its hard to know all google does to interfere with the real truth , so few people even know what that is ...even if they do lie about everything ,and you know they do..all the true answers are in your original kjv of the HOLY BIBLE. Im sure they ARe spying on everyone,'they' have a problem when their sneaky,snakey,luciferian agenda starts to show. cant have everybody suddenly realize whats going on without first knowing about it and nipping it in the bud...FEMA...GUANTANIMO....so called suicides...accidents .the bible says the LORD shall have them in derision(laughed at or ridiculed).AND SO HE DOES.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of very good search engines that aren't in bed with the government, ditch google and use a new one.

Anonymous said...

It's Google who, in the end, will be punished. This is a classic self-destructive solution to what is incorrectly perceived as a net sum game.

http://tradewithdave.com/?p=5482

Anonymous said...

We have NEVER used Google for all the reasons stated and implied in this article. We find them CREEPY. Nevertheless we have found this and other news sites simply by linking from other web sites with similar objectives or from blogs who carry links in a reciprocal fashion.

You can still determine the most popular searches on other search engines that would like to take some business away from Google.

In other words forget Google and find other ways to fulfil your mission without them. Be creative.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with the changes and here's why. I don't search for news aggregators, that's just stupid, I usually find them by someone linking to them. On the other hand I'm finding the usefulness of search engines diminished by the huge number of sites that just harvest and publish in an attempt to get some sucker to click on a paid link. That's the big problem and I hope google has a plan.

Max Shapiro said...

This biggest issue with content farming and search engine rankings is duplicate content. If you have duplicate content, you are going to get massively penalzed because obviously google wants to send you to the original site, not the copied site which may have previously ranked higher for other reasons. If you have all original content, this change should hardly affect you at all.

Anonymous said...

StartPage works the best for me, too ..

s'ace said...

"the benchmark is at the temple/well itself"

applies to the related context answered by
"the related object in the higher context which recalls the subject"

who or what is the subject ...

anyway the subject cannot be a projection from an ambigious well such as commodity ... because if it did it is a fraus in itself ... a ol' democratic rules pick just the wrong guy - exceptions beholded from that rule ...

what can noo' democratic rules guarantee?

Steve said...

This and Righthaven, LLC suing anyone who uses anything from anywhere is the Obama/Rockefeller/Sunstein salvo across our bow! They warned us (indirectly) that this was coming; use Startpage.com ...a less glitzy but sufficient search engine which not only lets you search w/o collecting/saving info, it also lets you search via "proxy" invisibly!

B said...

Google claim these web site are mostly content farm website without
original content. The truth is, the existing of these companies are
actually competition to Google. What Google itself really is? Does
Google use its own original content all the time? Absolutely not!
Google crawl, organize and index other website's content and present
them to the user, and name it "SEARCH". This is exactly what these
content farm websites are doing. We aggregate tons of information on
the internet and present them in a way that people can easily find
them out. Google use new algorithm filter them out so that they can be
the only gateway to all the content over the internet. This is unfair
competition, and all people impacted by this should take actions

Join us for action at http://google-algorithm-ruins-my-business.blogspot.com/

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