Closely following the "Mobilegeddon" change of April, Google has released some news about another algorithm change that recently took hold. The SEO community is dubbing it "The Quality Update", reflecting the search engine's ongoing strides to deliver the best results to users.
Like the Panda update a couple years ago, this change seems geared toward judging sites harder on the quality of the content. Sites full of low quality writing that is not helpful to readers will be further penalized, and sites with original, thoughtful material will theoretically be rewarded.
Whenever changes like this happen there's always a buzz across the internet with the inevitable sky-is-falling headlines about how it will change everything about SEO. But despite the negative angle often presented, changes like this are usually good for the internet.
When a junk site employing shady tactics get slapped down, that's one less useless result to sift through when doing searches. Those with nothing useful to share trying to game the system get shut out, allowing more space for real information. And for unscrupulous SEO firms using tactics that no longer work? Almost always the result of doing something they shouldn't have been doing anyway.
Google hasn't yet released much information about how this new update works. It's clear that well thought out writing and design are more important than ever, but the specific criteria Google is using to rein in "quality content" is still mysterious.
It's good to be aware of changes like this in a general sense, but if you've been creating strong articles and playing by the rules thus far you probably have little to worry about. Keep doing what you're doing.
If you notice your site has been drooping in the rankings recently, you should examine your SEO strategy. Either you're doing something Google doesn't like or just aren't doing enough to stand out. And if you've been relying on bulk content that focuses more on quantity than quality, putting an immediate stop to that is your first step.
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