Paywalls to be brought down by Google Update

April 26th, 2011 by James

Paywalls to be brought down by Google UpdatePage rank algorithm updates have been installed by Google that are expected to highlight quality web content over search engine optimized garble and promote quality journalism without paywalls.

The Panda update was rolled out on the Google’s English language search engine on 11 April.

From Theinquirer.net:

Visibility on a search engine is a metric used to gauge how close to the top a particular website appears when particular keywords are entered. Searchmetrics CEO Horst Joepen told The INQUIRER that websites that have low search engine visibility appear farther down in search rankings and are seen by fewer web users, adding that it would be “very bad” for website traffic.

Joepen said that Searchmetric’s tests showed that some price comparison websites fared particularly badly in its visibility tests with Google’s Panda algorithm. His firm reported visibility drops of up to 98 per cent, with Joepen saying that the declines were so great that the firm had to manually double check the validity of its algorithm.

When Google announced its Panda update the search giant claimed that less weight would be placed on websites that implement SEO, or in simple terms, binge on keywords. Google now says that quality, not quantity of keywords, is what it looks for, a claim that is backed up by Searchmetric’s tests.

Searchmetric has found that the time users spend on a particular website now plays a significant role in where it is ranked. Jeopen said that “the pressure on the [publishing] industry is to avoid SEO keywords” but added that Google might need to re-evaulate its algorithm as it has caused “collateral damage” to some websites.

Google claims that the update will produce search results that favour high quality websites, not ones that rely heavily on SEO.

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