Jack Yan
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The Persuader

My personal blog, started in 2006.



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25.02.2011

Google’s new algorithm will likely weed out content mills

I’m not enough of a bastard to only dis Google, because they have made a pretty good move today.
   Google’s new algorithm, it is claimed, will weed out content farms, one type of site that has annoyed us here regularly.
   These are sites that just pinch others’ content automatically. Because search engines pick them up, people visit their pages. Those pages are filled with ads—quite often supplied by Google. The content-pinchers make money, but the people who took the time to create the piece don’t.
   I wrote, not a long time ago, that Google Blog Search had become entirely useless. That’s no exaggeration: head in there, and a lot of the blogs are scraped: they are duplicates of other sites.
   In fact, when Vincent Wright’s blog was deleted, and I helped him to get it back, the Googlebot was trying to delete those scraped blogs. It’s just a shame that the Google machine was so damned useless at helping legitimate people get their blogs back, and intentionally stonewalled us to get some weird kick. If it were not for the Blogger product manager’s intervention, Vincent’s blog would still be in cyber-oblivion.
   So the move, in principle, is a good one.
   Google claims, ‘If you take the top several dozen or so most-blocked domains from the Chrome [Personal Blocklist] extension, then this algorithmic change addresses 84 percent of them, which is strong independent confirmation of the user benefits.’
   Let’s just hope that Google won’t mistakenly take out legit sites again (I have to ask what the other 16 per cent consists of!), though the fact that there has been some correlation with human editing (sites chosen by users for the Blocklist) helps.

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Filed under: internet, media, publishing, technology, USA—Jack Yan @ 12.05

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