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Google Tries To Snuff Out Spam, Content Farms With New Changes

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Content farms take note: Google is trying to snuff out spam and "low-quality sites" in search results.

In a blog post, the search giant acknowledged that it had seen "a slight uptick of spam in recent months" and announced that it has launched new efforts to improve the quality of its search results.

Google's changes--which include a new document-level classifier, as well as better ways of detecting hacked websites and soliciting feedback from users--take aim at "webspam" as well as content farms--"sites with shallow or low-quality content," in Google's words.

"[W]e hear the feedback from the web loud and clear: people are asking for even stronger action on content farms and sites that consist primarily of spammy or low-quality content," wrote Google engineer Matt Cutts in a statement. "We take pride in Google search and strive to make each and every search perfect."

Google offered technical details on the tweaks:

We recently launched a redesigned document-level classifier that makes it harder for spammy on-page content to rank highly. The new classifier is better at detecting spam on individual web pages, e.g., repeated spammy words--the sort of phrases you tend to see in junky, automated, self-promoting blog comments. We've also radically improved our ability to detect hacked sites, which were a major source of spam in 2010. And we're evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others' content and sites with low levels of original content. We'll continue to explore ways to reduce spam, including new ways for users to give more explicit feedback about spammy and low-quality sites.

Have you noticed more spam in search results? What changes do you hope to see? Tell us below.

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