It's a small change, which Cutts said affects "less than half a percent of search results ... enough that someone might really notice."
Yesterday, as part of a forum discussion on this topic, I had googled the phrase "how to cure an ingrown toenail" (without quotation marks). Most of the top results were from content sites.
I googled the same phrase now, after the Google algorithm had been tweaked -- and I got essentially the same results.
So whatever Google did today, it did not eliminate content sites from the top of the search-engine results.
Does that mean content sites are in the clear? That depends on what, if anything, Google does next to curb the problems mentioned in Cutts' earlier post.
What Google said:
Here's what Matt Cutts wrote on his blog today:
I just wanted to give a quick update on one thing I mentioned in my search engine spam post.This does not seem to have to do with content sites, which usually post original, though often shallow content. Does this mean that Cutts was never going after content sites in the first place? If so, what, exactly, did he mean by "content farms"? Or is it that Google is first going after the worst of the spammers, and then working its way up the food chain, with the content sites to be dealt with later?
My post mentioned that “we’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content.” That change was approved at our weekly quality launch meeting last Thursday and launched earlier this week.
This was a pretty targeted launch: slightly over 2% of queries change in some way, but less than half a percent of search results change enough that someone might really notice. The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content....
Cutts does mention that they were evaluating "multiple changes," so it sounds as if they are not done yet.
For the moment, at least, the content sites seemed to have dodged a bullet. I still think that content-site writers should proceed with caution, because we don't know what is ahead.