Over at the Official Google Blog today, Matt Cutts wrote a little about what they're focusing on in his neck of the woods:

...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.


As "pure webspam" has decreased over time, attention has shifted instead to "content farms," which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. In 2010, we launched two major algorithmic changes focused on low-quality sites. Nonetheless, we 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.

Does that mean you might as well stop cranking out content in hopes of getting it ranked high in Google?

No. It just means that you need to be sure that the content you're cranking out is not "shallow or low-quality". If that means cranking a little slower and putting a more effort into the quality of each piece you publish, it sounds like that's what you need to do.

The way I read Matt's post, it sounds like sites and practices that might be at risk include:

  • autoblogs that simply rip content from somebody else's feed and republish it.
  • autoblogs that spin content to try to make it look unique when it really duplicates content that can be found elsewhere.
  • low-quality articles written by people who don't really know the subject -- who just did some quick online research and regurgitated what they found.
  • comment spammers.

If you're Blog Riffing, be sure to contribute something of value -- not just grab a quote and link to the original. That's what I've always recommended. But it sounds like it's getting more important than ever.

Reader Comment:
Antone Roundy said:
As Jerry West reports: http://blog.seorevolution.com/2011/02/15/you-too-can-be-a-signal-in-googles-algorithm/ Google has released an extension for Chrome that'll let people remove pages from their own search results. Google will use the informa...
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If you're curating good content that you find elsewhere, but not adding your own commentary, are you at risk of looking like an autoblogger to Google? Perhaps. If you have a strong following that actively comments on your blog, that may give you enough original content to keep you out of the dog house. If not, adding more comments of your own would be a smart move.