Google’s head of search quality – Matt Cutts, yesterday announced on Twitter that Google had released a new search algorithm change.

The intent of the change is to focus more on providing quality results, pointing to pages with unique, in depth content.    The change will lower the ranking of sites which “scrape” (copy) results from other sites in an attempt to earn revenue through advertising.

It’s unknown what this change actually involves – all we know for now is that it affects approximately 11.8% of search queries.   This is one of the largest Google updates in a while which is going to result in a lot of discussion within the SEO community.

For now, Google have only rolled out the changes in the US.   They’ve stated that changes will roll out worldwide “over time”.    I’m guessing how long this takes will rely on internal and external feedback after reviewing the results in the US.

Interestingly Google have said that the change doesn’t use the new Chrome blocklist extension.   However they have said that they’ve compared the user provided blocklists to those site highlighted by the algorithm change and have found the results comparable.

Let us know if you’ve seen a change in the traffic to your sight since 24th February 2011


View the blog post announcing the algorithm change