Earlier this week Google’s “head of web spam”—Matt Cutts—posted on his blog that they’re implementing a change in their algorithm that impacts those that publish content from elsewhere on the Web.
The changes are all about ranking the original sources of content higher than those who scrape/republish/copy it. This has always been Google’s intent but increasingly some have been seeing scraped content ranking higher than original sources.
In Matt’s words:
“The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content.”
This has a couple of implications for bloggers of different types.
For those who produce blogs with original content, it hopefully means not being out-ranked by other sites reproducing your content (with or without permission). As someone who finds his own content appearing on other sites many times a day (many times without credit of the source), for me this is a welcome change.
For those who do use scraping (or syndication) strategies, this news might stimulate a rethink in that approach. I know there are times and places for syndication (particularly if you do so with permission), but this serves as a reminder that in most cases if you’re looking to build a prominent and successful blog, you need to produce something that’s not only relevant and useful, but is also unique.