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Update: Latest Findings from the Google 'Farmer' Algorithm


Blog Article
Following on from my initial blog post on Google’s latest algorithm update – ‘Farmer’, I wanted to see the impacts it has made so far. The algorithm was aimed to increase the quality of Google’s search results ensuring it’s SERP’s were not being dominated by low-quality content farms which mastered in creating a wealth of content rich pages to rank well. Google has many times received increasing amounts of complaints on the quality of its results put forward to its world-wide user base. They needed to gain back user credibility and from my initial findings they have no doubt accomplished this and more! The ‘Farmer’ update has already shown early signs that the type of sites whose content appeared dominantly on page one of Google’s SERP’s have been dropped down the rankings. Google Taking Control of Content Farms Lets dig deeper to ‘name and shame’ some of these sites. SISTRIX, an independent German SEO provider that looks at how websites rank against large numbers of search queries has collected data on one million keywords before and after the ‘Farmer’ updated. They have put together a table of top 25 websites most affected by Google’s new algorithm change. Looking at some of these sites, I have listed my top 10 with names that we all in the SEO industry have surely heard of:
1. wisegeek.com 2. ezinearticles.com 3. suite101.com 4. buzzle.com 5. associatedcontent.com 6. essortment.com 7. lovetoknow.com 8. articlesbase.com 9. howtodothings.com 10. mahalo.com
As you can see, the majority of this list is full of article submission and ‘how to’ sites. This is still early days in this new Google algorithm update and will still require further analysis to gain the full impacts of the ‘Farmer’ update. Nevertheless, it is safe to say Google has begun cracking down on content farms. It will be interesting to see how many of these companies dropped in Google’s SERP’s are planning to do going forward. Surely they have to change their ways and adopt a new strategy. In my previous blog, I referred to a post on techcrunch.com where they predicted two of three sites in the above list to be affected which proved correct – Associated Content and Mahalo. Demand Media was the third prediction that’s notably not on the list. For those that don’t know, Demand Media own eHow.com which is a site that often get’s classed as a ‘content farm’. Basically content farms take a users search query and generate content around the key phrase to match. It would not surprise me if this Google shake-up has actually helped eHow.com! Although it seems Demand Media have escaped this time, Google are sending a clear message and are sure to tweak future algorithms to refine search results and provide information accurate to search queries of its users.

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