However, Google are doing their utmost to solve the problem, by creating algorithms that are capable of differentiating between the two.
Matt Cutts, Google’s head of web spam, speaking on the latest “webmaster Help” video, says that the company are working on changes that will help Google improve its ability to recognise a site as an authority, and not just one that receives high traffic. Cutts said that the changes are in development at the moment, but that he would be “looking forward to rolling them out.”
Using pornography as an example he went on to describe the concept. More people visit porn sites in comparison to government information sites. So while porn sites have popularity, government sites have authority. It is also usual to visit government sites by using links, rather than visiting them in the first instance.
Cutts went on to say that the algorithm improvements would help authoritative sites gain higher rankings. “I want people to be able to say, ‘this is a site that actually has some evidence that it should rank for something related to medical queries’, not ‘this is a well-known site, therefore it should match for this query’.”
According to Cutts the changes to Google’s algorithms will provide a much needed boost to search result quality, and give higher rankings to sites that have specifically based content and knowledge.