A recent announcement from Google will have a major impact on businesses trying to take SEO short cuts.

Google took action to reduce the rank of lower-quality sites such as “content farms,” and, in turn, improve the results displayed to their users. In their press release they announced that the change “noticeably impacts 11.8% of [their] queries” and that the “update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites–sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.”

What does this mean for you? As a searcher, you should have less garbage results to wade through in order to find a decent result to your query. As a marketer, you no longer have to compete with low-quality scraper sites and content farms for high results on the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages).

As a business trying to get found online it is important today more than ever, to make sure that you are following SEO best practices. This includes creating interesting and engaging content relevant to your industry as a way to drive traffic and links to your website. Google’s announcement as well as recent penalties they have announced against J.C. Penny and Overstock.com demonstrate that the search engine giant is in the midst of a crack-down against businesses looking to cheat their way to the top of rankings.