Looks like we're in for another wild Google ride, and if early indications are accurate, this one may rival the November 2003 Google ranking algorithm update for shaking up the rankings and shaking down some of the top place holders.
Google, as any good SEO company knows, rewards sites for content. Specifically, for relevant, informative, non-repetitive and routinely updated text content. This matches well with their stated desire to give the highest rankings to the most relevant sites. Therefore it would seem that the sites with the most pages would rank the highest, and in many categories, that has seemed to be true.
The problem is, having what one person described as a "mega-site" does not necessarily mean you have a relevant and informative website. In fact, many people have pointed out that unless that huge site is a directory or a major discussion forum along the lines of WebProWorld, repetition is inevitable. Some, most or all of those pages are so repetitive as to be considered spam. These pages are ranked all over Google, and are crowding out many smaller, worthy sites.
Webmasters and administrators are now seeing a new Googlebot crawling their sites, and are reporting associated changes in ranking. The changes would appear to be good news for the owners, webmaster and SEO's of smaller websites: Webmaster of "mega-sites" are reporting dropping rankings, while webmasters of smaller sites are reporting improvements.
From the point of view of most webmasters and most web users, this is almost certainly good news! Smaller businesses lack the resources to create giant websites, pay for hosting, and maintain them. Web users don't appreciate seeing a bunch of repetitive spam pages in the results when they are trying to find unique, useful information.
The November update last year led to some major changes in website design and marketing, including the demise of most link farms and other exploits. If the new Googlebot performs as expected, this too could lead to some very positive changes on the World Wide Web. Sites would most likely be more streamlined, eliminating the padding and getting straight to the point. Repetitive pages would disappear. Hopefully, search results would yield more unique information and less repetition.
As both an internet marketer and an internet user, I welcome anything that can cut down on spam. If this new ranking algorithm works, it is to be hoped that search engine users will respond favorably, and that MSN and Yahoo! are taking notes.