We already posted Chas' interesting post about Google's attempt to "demote" content farms
, and people are starting to explore whether or not the results are actually better. Alexis Madrigal, over at The Atlantic, used the fact that Google only rolled out the changes in the US and some remote proxies to compare results and noticed a clear improvement
, at least in the search he tried.
Granted, this is just one search for "drywall dust," but if this is even remotely indicative of how well the new algorithm works, we're all going to be tremendously impressed. The search via India led to seven sites that were producing low-quality or aggregated content, a photo of someone covered in dust, and a blog about an individual's remodel. The new algorithm search yielded very different results. Not only were there less content farms but two specialty sites and five fora made the list as well as a Centers for Disease Control page on the dangers of drywall dust. Having clicked through all 20 links, I can assure you that the information delivered by the new algorithm is much, much better.
It's definitely still early, and I'm sure that there will be many similar comparisons, but it looks like some of my prediction
from last summer in response to all sorts of public fretting about evil content farms may be coming true. As I noted at the time:
The situation that we're in right now is one where the current filtering mechanisms might not yet be good enough to distinguish quality content from crappy content. But that's a temporary state of affairs... If Google starts realizing that people do, in fact, find content farm content to be useless, that content will eventually get rated down, no matter how much they try to play SEO games.
Nice to see that might actually be happening.