Google updates its search engine to demote clickbait

Google will be making changes to its search engine rankings to promote original content over purely search engine optimized articles that fail to inform and clickbait.

Google dominates the search engine market; according to Statista, it accounted for 83.84 per cent of the global search engine market share in July 2022, dwarfing the runner-up, Bing, with 8.88 per cent. That translated to 86.5 billion visits in June 2022 alone, as reported by Similarweb.

The change will begin rolling out for English users globally starting next week. The full deployment could take up to two weeks and will introduce new site-wide ranking criteria. The search giant says the update will especially affect results related to online education, entertainment, shopping, and tech-related content.

To prepare for the change, Google suggested that creators focus on people-first content, and avoid creating content that’s purely optimized for search engine rankings. In some cases, a piece of content can currently rank high on Google’s search page if it can meet a few of its criteria, even if its quality is poor and uninformative. Google says removing these types of unhelpful content can also help increase a site’s ranking.

In a blog post, the company explained that this is a part of a broader effort to serve content that people expect. Last year, the company revamped its search ranking algorithms with “thousands of updates” based on quality tests. The full list of recommendations can be found on Google’s Blog.

Last year, the company specifically targeted product reviews, a sector rife with poor content. In April 2021, the company updated its search rankings to better promote high-quality, trusted product reviews instead of ones that provide shallow, regurgitated or curated content.

A few key takeaways from the previous update include writing the review from a user perspective, including quantitative analysis, and explaining the differences between the product under review and its competitors. The complete list of guidelines from last year’s update was posted on Google’s Blog.

IT World Canada has reached out to Google for comments and will update the article once it receives a reply.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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