The War on Thin Content Expands
Google puts affiliate marketers on notice this week, indicating in a post on its Webmaster Central blog that sites with thin or scraped content that don't add substantial "added value" to the user could find themselves removed from the index.
Chris Nelson of the Search Quality team posted that Google has seen this behavior on many video sites (in the adult industry and elsewhere), calling out those sites which display content provided by an affiliate program even though it may be available across hundreds (or thousands) of other sites simultaneously.
The professional search marketing community has been pointing its finger at Google over the past few months, highlighting what it believes are the shortcomings of the search engine and not the efforts of marketers (despite how misguided they may actually be).
Google however believes that if a website syndicates content that is going to be available at numerous digital destinations, it should ask if the site doing so provides "significant added benefits" that would make a user want to visit that site instead of the source. Google, of course, didn't provide much in the way of examples, but at least it's good to know that they're keeping an eye on the issue of original content.