Google Rolls Update to Target Japanese Low-Quality and Affiliate Sites

Google Japanese DoodleHello nifty Japanese site owners! Have you noticed anything different in the last few days, you know, Google-wise? Experienced sudden and vehement rankings movement up or down? Trying to make sense in the Nihonkai of traffic chaos? Well, it appears that Google unleashed a new search algorithm just for you!

Google’s search quality team in Japan has announced (in Japanese) a few days ago on a new forceful algorithm update which aims to demote low-quality content websites and to avail original content sites. This update has a pretty severe impact of 5% on all search queries in Japanese.

More specifically, this update mostly supposed to target websites that have copied content from other websites merely with minor alterations to make it look original (article spinning). Apparently, in too many cases in Google Japan this kind of practice had crookedly aided the copier to outrank the original source.

What’s even more interesting about this update though, is that Google also states loud and clear it is going after thin affiliate sites. It isn’t new that Google demands from these type of websites to add more value, but noting it as one of the goals of a certain algorithm may indicate on the search team’s future intentions outside of Japan as well.

In any case, here’s a translated version of the announcement to English (for corrections leave me a comment):

In order to value more original content

14:54 | Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Google focuses to return better quality search results to the user (links to Panda and Penguin announcements). We want to inform about implementing algorithm changes to improve the search rankings of particularly high quality sites in Japanese.

Google receives a lot of feedback from our users every day. Among others, there were number of complaints that sites with their own content are buried under sites that have composed copies of their content. To address this problem, this algorithm update was carried to show more aggressive changes with the original content sites. This change is expected to affect about 5% of the Japanese search results.

In addition, as we have told you before, affiliate sites without their own content and value-added is a violation of our webmaster guidelines so regardless of the (aforementioned) change of this algorithm, it may lower their search rankings. Also, please note that it may be a violation of our guidelines to reproduce content without permission as well.

Google will continue to promote improvements to the algorithm in the future to make it easier for users to find useful original content. Please send questions and comments regarding this change in the Webmaster Help Forum.

Please observe that Google doesn’t associate this update with the Panda and nor with the Penguin updates. Back in July Google already released a Panda update for Japanese and Korean which also had an impact of around 5%.

Moshi moshi!