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The Ultimate Guide to Google Updates: The Google Attribution Update

Posted on December 4th, 2011 by | Google+

Here is a continued look at Google Updates from 2011:

Earlier this year on January 28th, Google released its’ new Attribution Update.  If you’re not aware of this update, that’s okay.  Absolute Placement Today is here to help make all these complex technological terms simple enough for anyone to understand.

googleupdatebombAccording to Matt Cutts, Google’s lead engineer, the main point of the update was to help reduce the spam levels in Google’s search results.  Sites that copied the content of other sites and sites with low levels of original content were specifically targeted.

These sites would either be ranked much lower or entirely eliminated from Google’s search results.  The update would affect about 2% of all searches.  However, you would probably only notice about a half percent change in the search results.

Before this update, Google was actually ranking copied content higher than its’ source.

Many SEO professionals were somewhat concerned about this update.  A part of many SEO strategies is article marketing.

“Article marketing” is when you either manually or automatically spread your articles across the internet.  The basic idea is that your website will gain links and free traffic.

Now that Google has decided to reduce the rankings of copied content, the question to ask is,“How did this end up affecting SEO?”

Google’s Focus on Quality is Sometimes Questionable

Well, first take a look at how Google could easily be tricked into ranking websites much higher than they should be.  The guys at SEO MOZ did their own study and found some interesting results.

First, they decided to study a pretty popular brand of merchandise, “nfl jerseys.”  Many of the results Google returned first included sites offering up to 75% off the original price.

At the time of the search, every result on the first page was fraudulent!  If you searched on other popular brands, you would get the same results.

By the process of elimination, SEO MOZ determined that the text in the back links was helping these sites to rank highly.  Not surprisingly, most of the links resulted from forum spam, blog spam, and hacked websites.

Owners of these fraudulent online shops would use special programs to post thousands of forum posts and blog comments.  On the surface, this doesn’t sound so bad.  But, since these posts and comments are generated by a computer program and not a person, they are often completely unrelated to the topic of discussion.

They’re called “spam “ because they rarely make any sense and are only present to get someone’s website a back link.

Keep in mind…Google’s Not Perfect!

What is interesting is how invested Google is in returning fresh and high-quality search results.  At the same time, Google still has difficulty in returning high-quality search results.

The Attribution Update acted as a step in the right direction.  But, it also only applied to content, not back links.

In terms of content, Google seemed to be returning higher-quality results.  But, in terms of quality websites, Google was still struggling at this time.

If you’re an SEO Service provider or if your site uses SEO services, you may or may not like this update.  In the end, it all really depends on your SEO strategy.

Stay tuned, and be prepared to learn more about future Google updates next week!

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