How Does Google's New "Farmer" Algorithm Affect SEO Tactics?
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Google put its new "Farmer" search engine algorithm into effect in late February, affecting over 11 percent of all Google search queries in the US. Although it improved query results for end users, it negatively affected many online businesses that had been reusing content--including product descriptions.
Google implemented the changes in order to weed out bad search engine optimization (SEO) practices that are designed to "hack" the search engine in order to receive higher search engine rankings. They routinely update their search results algorithm, but this latest update seems to have been more serious than previous updates.
Google Fellow Amit Singhal put it this way, ""This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites — sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful." Bottom line for ecommerce shops--be sure you include original descriptions for your products. Don't copy them verbatum from the manufacturer's site, or anywhere else, for that matter. Google will consider it to be copied content, and will adjust your search rankings accordingly--just like they recently did to J.C. Penny's website.
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