Google is preparing a major update to its search engine that will significantly change how websites are ranked.
Google is trying to improve the quality of search results and reduce the number of misleading sites, misinformation, and clickbait users are subjected to. In a blog post, Danny Sullivan, Public Liason for Search, said the company wants “more content by people, for people.”
According to Sullivan, in the coming weeks, the company will decrease and deprioritize low-quality results:
We know people don’t find content helpful if it seems like it was designed to attract clicks rather than inform readers. So starting next week for English users globally, we’re rolling out a series of improvements to Search to make it easier for people to find helpful content made by, and for, people. This ranking work joins a similar effort related to ranking better quality product review content over the past year, which will also receive an update. Together, these launches are part of a broader, ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in Search.
As part of the change, the company will roll out its “helpful content update” to identify content that is primarily written to rank well in search engines and lower its rank. Sullivan says the update seems to especially benefit searches related to tech, online education, shopping, arts, and entertainment.
The company is also working to improve access to high-quality reviews, ones that provide helpful, in-depth information.
Overall the update seems poised to be one of the biggest in some time and will address one of the worst aspects of online search.