What is a content farm and what does it do? ” … create a ton of niche, mostly uninspired content targeted to search engines, then make it viral through social software and make lots of money through ads. In December 2009 Richard MacManus published Content Farms: Why Media, Blogs & Google Should Be Worried. That article and his earlier ones struck a chord with me as I had been witnessing low-quality content in search results.
Well , the good news is that Google has announced an algorithm change that commences in the U.S. only to start and then will roll it out out from there. I’m encouraged by this turn of events and think my readers will be too.
Google says this change isn’t a result of feedback gained from last week’s launch of the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension, but also says the algorithmic change addresses 84% the top several dozen or so most-blocked domains from the Chrome extension. They have been working on this for some time now.
This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.
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. — Finding more high-quality sites in search
Below are some early responses:
While Google has come under intense pressure in the past month to act against content farms, the company told me that this change has been in the works since last January. — Google Forecloses On Content Farms With “Farmer” Algorithm Update
What are those sites? Google isn’t saying. But the changes are designed to weed out low-value content, they say, such as content copied from other websites or non-useful content. That means sites like Demand Media, Associated Content and Mahalo are likely on the list. In a couple of months traffic data to those sites will likely confirm that they were impacted. — Google Targets Content Farms With Major Search Algorithm Tweaks