In what appears to be a second move to counter Blekko’s content farm exclusions, last night Google their “pretty big algorithmic improvement” to their ranking. I performed typical searches to check ranking on various sites I watch, and it would appear that Google has removed many of the same sites Blekko already had.
Specifically, I’ve noticed the lesser placement of 123people.com and experts-exchange.com. A bunch of other scrapers also appear to be missing from the first page of the SERPs. Also vertical “directories” – or at least sites that pass themselves off as directories. Sites in question, however, have not been completely removed. In many cases they have been pushed back to the second page or beyond. But there are still a few instances where people scraping sites show up for certain name searches.
Blekko blocked ehow.com last month. Yet, it still appears fairly prominently (though no longer number one) on Google’s “new” results. For general how-to answers, I’m noticing a few different sites. For example, I’m now seeing for the first time Microsoft Answers – a site I didn’t even know existed.
Brent Rangen has a great analysis on the Google ranking algorithm change at Search Engine Watch.
Most importantly, businesses seem to have remained intact. I have noticed many smaller companies getting a boost. Is this, perhaps, because the spam is gone? Many clients for whom I have performed search optimization services, have maintained their ranking. Some have even gained a few spots. I have noticed that they all appear to have more competitors now.
To the rest of the SEO community: what are you noticing?