Though several sites have seen marked (like 80% marked) downturns in traffic since Google got publicly tough on "content farms," the search engine giant says that they are pleased with the change in search results following the first phase of the crackdown.
Google says the "pretty big algorithmic change" has impacted nearly 12% of queries, and though they expressed regret that some sites would inevitably suffer, they also feel the steps were completely necessary to improve search results:
We can't make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites. It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down. Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that's exactly what this change does.As for user feedback versus algorithmic changes, Google says the user data gathered from the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension for the top "dozen or so" blocked domains matches up by 84% with their algorithmic change. Since the update, sites like Helium, Associated Content, Suite 101 and Mahalo have seen traffic drops nearing or even exceeding 90%.
Have you noticed a quieter, more relevant web in the wake of the change? Are you pleased with the results?