On 23 February 2011 Google updated their algorithm to weed out ‘content farms’. These are usually low quality sites where people can submit their content, and even content scraper sites, which literally ‘scrape’ content (via software) from other sites to use on their site. These sites have often performed well in search rankings, but visitors to these sites can end up landing on low quality, useless content and surf away.
It was only a few weeks ago that Google hit ‘link farms’ which can artificially inflate links to a site, again with links back to sites on very low quality pages. (you can read my post about this here – Do You Care Where Your Links are From). This latest update is a continuation of Google’s latest clamp down on spam to increase the quality of their search results and the user’s experience.
As you can imagine, this latest clamp down hasn’t been good news for some sites, in particular some of the popular article submission sites such as Ezine Articles, Hubpages and Squidoo. Even we’ve suggested to clients and through our blog posts that these sites are useful for recycling content and gaining more traffic to your site. Until now these tactics have worked well. However, it’s the quality of the article that is key. Although we’ve recommended using these sites, submitting low quality articles won’t have the desired impact as it’s unlikely anyone reading a poor quality article will be likely to bother visiting your site. Just submitting a low quality article for the sake of a link is never a good idea anyway.
Ezine Articles responded very quickly to Google’s latest update as they lost 35% of their traffic literally overnight! To prove to Google that they’re worthy of regaining rankings, they’ve revised submission guidelines to improve article quality and increased the length of articles, which you can read here, Quality Matters.
I personally think this is good news, not only for Ezine Articles themselves, but will help to improve the quality of content on the internet. Unfortunately as more and more people get their own sites, and let’s face it, you can be up and running with a free site in a matter of minutes, the more dross is out there, with some people still believing that putting up a sub-standard site with sub-standard content will somehow still lead to overnight success and lots of £££s!
I’ve been fed up with coming across an awful lot of rubbish out there for quite a while, with people jumping on the latest trendy ‘bandwagon’, offering misleading information, and it’s no wonder anyone starting out online to promote their site ends up getting totally confused and frustrated! I hope that this is the start of a big clean up of online content that is well needed. I realise it’s not as black and white as this and there are some genuinely good sites which have been hit, however, these changes will hopefully help to convince people that writing sub-standard ‘lazy’ content will no longer work.
To read more about these latest changes, there are a number of articles well worth reading:
Google Forecloses On Content Farms With “Farmer” Algorithm Update – from SearchEngineLand.com
Number Crunchers: Who Lost In Google’s “Farmer” Algorithm Change? – from SearchEngineLand.com
Where, Why, When & How To Benefit From Google’s Farmer Update – from SearchEngineLand.com
Finding more high-quality sites in search – from The Official Google Blog
Some Farm Aid for the Afflicted: Google Farmer Update – from HighRankings.com
What do you think about these latest changes in search? Do you think that it’ll help to improve the quality of content on the internet? Please share your views!