Websites that rely on copied content to boost their search engine optimisation are among those that will be targeted by updates to Google's search algorithms.

In a blog post, the company's Matt Cutts stated that the company would seek to drive down the amount of spam presented in results of user queries, with sites that have low levels of original content among those to be filtered out.

He explained that the implementation of the changes to the system had been carefully targeted and only around two per cent of results would see changes, with less than half a per cent being adjusted to the extent that people would 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."

The move is part of a drive the company has initiated for this year in order to improve the quality of the results it delivers, due to what Mr Cutts described to CNET as "a slight uptick of spam in recent months".

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