Web Publisher Gets Wacked by Google

Every day there is another story about the ramifications of Google’s new algorithm, designed to lower the rankings of so called “content farms’ in the search engine’s results. Google’s goal was to penalize lower quality websites, but they have hurt many legitimate sites in their quest.

In today’s Wall St. Journal Northampton publisher Morris Rosenthal was described as one of those who have been hurt by this massive update. He runs Foner Books and publishes several websites about esoteric topics. For many years, his site daileyint.com has been a top result in searches like “book contracts” and “book sales.” He went from top ten to around 30. What bothers him most is that sites like ehow.com with short, pithy text on very short pages, has seen its rankings improve. Rosenthal has been writing about his topic for ten years and is an expert, and the pages had been linked to by many sites over time.

Rosenthal speculated to Web Pro News that now Google hates his site, despite his formerly high search rankings, and now prefers the simplicity of ehow.com. But he also theorizes that Google penalized him for duplicate content–ironically because so many sites took his content and put it on their own sites! 

Old style sites like Rosenthal’s may be viewed by Google as bad reader experiences, versus the search engine-souped up pages created by the thousand by ehow and Demand Media.

There might even be worse news for the Northampton man, since this change has only affected Google searches in the US. He has sold ebooks about self publishing to readers in 86 countries and it’s likely that the same change will soon be made across the Google universe.