The head of Google's antispam team has confirmed that the search giant launched an updated algorhithm to filter spam and punish sites that offer subpar content.

As Brafton reported, Matt Cutts recently emphasized that quality content will be key to ranking well in Google. Now, the head of Google's antispam team has confirmed that the search giant launched an updated algorithm to filter spam and punish sites that offer subpar content.

In his recent post on the Google blog about the company’s antispam initiatives for 2011, Cutts said, “Google's search quality is better than it has ever been in terms of relevance, freshness and comprehensiveness.” He also mentioned that Google would be evaluating changes that “should help drive spam levels even lower.”

Today, in a post on his personal blog, Cutts announced that spam-fighting algorithm changes were approved at the last Google team meeting, and the update was launched earlier this week.

Cutts explains that the change will mainly impact sites guilty of article scraping. “The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content,” he said.

This makes clear that brands should invest in original, exclusive content this year in order to reap the benefits of search engine optimization. In addition to Google ranking benefits, custom content is also essential to reaching the right online audience. As Brafton has reported, experts at the recent Affiliate Summit West conference agreed that highly targeted custom content is key to branding on the web.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.