Google has just made a change to its search engine that noticeably impacts 12% of all queries. Yet again, it is aimed at reducing the prevalence of non-original content farm content in search results. It also heavily biases sites with "original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis," increasing their chance of being at the top. This only affects google.com at the moment, but it will be rolled out to other domains in due course.
Last month Google publicised its first anti-content farm maneuver -- and while that only affected 2% of queries, we still noticed a significant increase of traffic here on Download Squad. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, Google launched the Personal Blocklist, an extension that lets you filter out content farms from your search results.
With today's massive alteration of Google's search algorithm, it really could mean the difference between life and death for ad-supported sites that produce original content. A quick look at our logs from last night suggest that it could be a very big boost indeed.
It should be noted that the results from the Personal Blocklist haven't been used yet -- but apparently, Google's search changes filter out 84% of the sites that users have been blocking with the extension; a sure sign that Google has hit the nail on the head.