The New York Times had an article last week on a development in web search that may have an impact on e-commerce merchants: Google Tweaks Algorithm to Push Down Low-Quality Sites. This major change in Google’s algorithm will essentially demote links to low-quality “content farms” which, in the past, have gamed Google’s algorithm to appear higher in search results with less relevant content.
How does it affect you? Well, for one, if a content farm is linking to a merchant’s web page, they may see traffic coming from that farm decline. For example, let’s say a merchant gets a few hundred views a month from an content farm’s article titled “How to save money on landscaping” and the article linked to a push mower on their web site. Perhaps that article was appearing high when people searched for something unrelated…yet they were still clicking the link to the article and then coming through to their store. As of now, that article will be appearing lower in search results since it is less relevant.
However, there is a good side to this as well. Now the article from the content farm will appear lower in the search results — but the merchant’s product page for the push mower has a chance to appear higher!
What the precise impact will be is unclear, but one thing we do know: Google has taken another major step forward in increasing the relevance of its search results — and that’s good for everyone.