Google has become a jungle, thanks to spammed content.

As the Internet behemoth strives to improve its search engine services, Google has decided to change its search algorithm a week ago. Google recently was under fire due to the quality of search results. Low-quality sites which are commonly known as “content farms” are ranking higher than higher-quality sites that should be more relevant and important to a user's query. As the world's online content grows sporadically every minute, all links are not created equal which is why Google's god-like authority in the search engine industry is of the essence.


Silicon Valley's poster child has indeed made its business by leveraging on algorithms that produces quick results without compromising quality. And to ascertain the quality of results, Google constantly revamps algorithms to prevent spammed content and artificial increase in rankings. Google showed retailers J.C. Penney Co. and a lesson and has penalized them for using artificial means to catapult their search engine rankings. Most content farms are also being omitted which saw a 12% change in Google's algorithm.


New SEO Strategies Needed

The whole algorithm revamp has affected not only big e-commerce sites, but a plethora of webmasters and their sites as well. Google didn't spill some of the sites that catapulted into the first page of the rankings, igniting a debate on whose function or job it is to help websites to improve their rankings in the fierce Google SERP's. “It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down,” the Google engineers wrote, adding that sites with original content “such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on” will move up.

With this in mind, a tiny nudge or tremendous drop in the rankings could mean revenues plummeting in a couple of months as SEO specialists and webmasters are already planning new SEO strategies to combat the next wave of repercussions brought about by the Google algorithm change. But one thing's for sure, the keywords and inbound links to your site will still play a crucial role in the rankings.


From SEO to Social Media Optimization

As social media platforms overwhelm the Web today, it's a no-brainer that SEO strategies have shifted from being “engine-focused” to a more open user-focused. As recent changes have shown that Google is slowly leaning towards a more user-focused algorithm, Internet marketers are noticing that fresh SEO strategies are required in order to thrive in the world of social business. Users are more difficult to manipulate than computer-based algorithm, after all search engine are really controlled by humans with eclectic preferences. As social business takes over the Web, online behavior is beyond e-mails, forums, and stand-alone blogs.


In a recent survey by a 2011 Marketing Sherpa Report, it's apparent that marketers have already enhancing their marketing campaigns with social media. Search engine giants Google and Bing have both confirmed that links shared on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter have deliberate effect on the SERP's. However, a crucial aspect of social links is the quality and not the quantity of tweets, shares, and likes that has an impact on the rankings.

Influencer power is one factor to maximize Social Media Optimization. The stronger and broader your clout, the more you're catapulted on the top of the search engine rankings. Jen Lopez at SEOmoz presented a case study that proves the correlation between a strong Twitter account and SERPs when @smashingmag retweeted SEOmoz's “Beginner’s Guide to SEO” and has ranked number four for “Beginner’s Guide” on Google. With this in tow, the notion of “buying” tweets from an influencer to rank high could emerge as an underground trend soon.


Google’s answer to eliminating content farms without manually intervening would be the new Chrome extension which allows users to block websites within results. Leading the way in killing content farms is Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam Team. Cutts says that the new Chrome extension seeks to omit low-quality content from suspected farms. It actually allows users to block sites from search engine results and can be sent to Google for analysis. The question is: will users bother to send the report for Google’s use?