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Panda Inadvertently Classifies Google Places as a “Content Farm” – Removes & Later Restored into Google Search Index

Matt Cutts and other Google’s webspam team after getting a blow from the Nikesh Arora, Google revenue chief who has reportedly lashed out at the webspam team privately at various sales events for targeting some of Google’s most valuable partners. The Adsense. Demand Media, worth around $2 billion, generates approximately 100% of its revenues from low quality content wrapped in Google Adsense ads.

Now the Cutts and team has earned the ire of Marissa Mayer, as the Google’s new algorithm changes “automatically classified Google Places as spam,” say sources inside Google, and for a few hours most Google Places results were inadvertently stripped from Google search results.

“Google Places, is a service that gives info about local businesses and aggregates reviews from sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, among other properties. Like many other Google properties, Places automatically show at the top of search results. The content aggregated by Places from third party sites is found, if at all, much lower in results.”

The fact that many Place pages only contain content scraped from third party sites and little or no original content was a key factor in the automatic change, say sources.

Panda Update de-index Google Places

Place pages were quickly restored to Google search results over loud objections from Cutts and the webspam team.

Cutts refused to comment specifically on this story, although he did say in an email exchange that Google absolutely doesn’t use humans in determining search results and that the algorithms make ranking decisions based on a proprietary blend of a variety of signals, such as how much revenue Google generates from the results. “If Google were to determine that Google properties weren’t providing high quality results, it would not matter whether or not those Google properties were displaying Google ads,” he said.

Mayer, in an off the record phone conversation said “Screw the webspam team,” and “It’s not like people are going to start using Bing.”

[Via: TechCrunch]

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