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Google makes rich richer, poor poorer in search results

Sean Hollister

If you've been paying attention to the state of search as of late, you'll know that Google's between a proverbial rock and hard place right now. Some individuals and companies claim Mountain View's beloved search engine is losing to the spammers, squatters, scrapers and content farms by failing to weed them from the system -- though you can now do that on your own -- while others say it's squashing the little guy by unfairly downranking competitors in search results. We're not sure if either is truly the case, the company's made a mildly controversial move this week: it's tweaked the search algorithms to "reduce rankings for low-quality sites," and "provide better rankings for high-quality" ones. As ever, Mountain View's not talking about what that change mathematically entails, though it says about 11.8 percent of queries will be affected as a result. In short: some will be happy, some sad, some angry, and many won't notice at all.

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