Google “Owl” Keeps An Eye On Your Content

by Stephanie on June 16, 2017

cwhiteharp / Pixabay picture of an owl

cwhiteharp / Pixabay

On the 25th of April, Google issued a change to its search algorithms called “Project Owl.”  This change was Google’s answer to fake news and to offensive suggestions in autocomplete.  Google frequently changes its algorithms, as I explained in my post Search Engine Optimization.  This is one more change to follow when writing content for your website.

Owl essentially did three things:

  1. Added a report form for users to report inappropriate autocomplete results when searching.  One example of this type of problem is when some one types “Did the Holocaust” and the auto completion offers several Holocaust denial websites. Clicking on the report form allows people to report these offensive auto completions by clicking on one of several items:  hateful, sexually expressive, violent or includes dangerous or harmful activity, or other.  There is a place to make comments, too.  No one report will trigger the removal of an auto complete item, but if something gets a lot of reports it will get the attention of Google and will be dealt with in the next update.  The exception is if something is so offensive it receives a large volume of reports over a short time.  This will prompt a human to look at the content and possibly remove it.
  2. The same report form appears at the bottom of the snippet Google displays.  This snippet is the first part of someone’s post and may be offensive or just unhelpful.  Now you have a way to tell Google about the problem.
  3. The final change is to search rankings.  In the past, Google ranked a site partially on how popular it was.  However, a site can be popular and wrong.  It can also have its popularity manipulated by having people pick it in a deliberate attempt to make it popular enough to send it higher in the rankings.  Google is now going to rank quality over popularity.  Websites with more authority will be ranked over websites that are popular but are not correct in their information.

How will this effect your search engine ranking?  As long as your content is useful and the information it contains is correct, it should not effect your web rankings in a negative way.  Google has stated that the new search algorithms will not count the age of the web page or the size of the website.  They will only judge each page on its own merit.  If you continue to produce authoritative content , you may be able to jump up quite a lot in the search rankings.

Authoritative content can be hard to produce.  It takes research, the ability to write well, and an understanding of your subject.  You may not have time to write such content.  However, I specialize in writing authoritative content for the many marketing channels a business needs to be on.  I offer a free consultation to show you how I can help you turn readers into leads.  Give me a call at (903) 268-9622 (Central time) or send me an email at and we can talk about what you need.  I look forward to working with you.





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