Work in progress
Submitted by Alexis Wilke on Fri, 03/25/2011 - 23:30
I mentioned several times that you shouldn't just copy others materials freely on your website.
Now Google decided that too much is too much and they made their new algorithm live late February. This new algorithm penalizes that kind of websites...
If you have been doing such a thing, know that your website rank has already decreased.
Some people have been creating websites only to copy content from others. This means their website is just and only a large pile of aggregated articles, often not complete, that are copies of things you can find on what Google labels as better websites.
Although you are more than welcome to copy an article here and there, just copying others work and not writing your own is now deadly. Especially, do not scrape articles. In other words, when you copy someone else's article, make sure to attribute the article to them, otherwise it is not unlikely to be seen as the wrong thing.
This new system seem to have a negative effect on websites that legally aggregate articles for others, especially if those articles are duplicates. Although, I'm not too sure how Google is able to distinguish main street newspapers (which for many replicate press release articles, all the same!) from the little Internet Marketer defrauding their search engine capabilities...
If you've noticed a great drop in the number of hits you were getting on your site on February 24, 2011 then you were affected by that change. Google said that 11.8% of US websites were affected1. The first step will be for you to determine what went wrong. Check each of your channels, and determine which ones got broken. Use your Google Analytics or equivalent to find the pages that lost and your best keywords. Then establish a plan to replace them. Obviously, no scrapping this time!
For detailed information on how to rework your website traffic, please, check out the very complete article on Search Engine Land by Vanessa Fox: Your Site’s Traffic Has Plummeted Since Google’s Farmer/Panda Update. Now What?