What do content farms talk about? They talk about what we search about--i.e., what we care about. The biggest tags are "money (which appears 6,204 times in the tags), movie, show, school, family, students, business, game, years, and film."
This recent search engine algorithm update by Google made a huge impact on lots of popular websites and blogs causing reduction in their organic traffic source. But the worst thing is that a lots of quality content blogs are already suffering from this fenomenon by getting labeled as “Content Farm” and all this by mistake.
When it comes to the latest changes from Google and their effect on content, the stakes are high for all content-production companies — including Yahoo’s Contributor Network and other sites such as Suite101 — but they are arguably highest for Demand Media.
What we said and would have said is we applaud Google removing duplicate content ... removing shallow, low quality content because it clogs the search results. I think content farms have become such a general term that everyone is just throwing around.
Given the recent move by Blekko removing 20 spam sites from their index. We need to ask; is this the right approach? In this article we discuss why an algorithmic solution is more likely the day to go.
Google has been facing swelling criticism from tech types over the quality of its search results because they often include links to sites like eHow, which critics disparagingly refer to as content farms. Now Google is giving its users a chance to block those sites from search results.
Judging by Demand Media's successful IPO, HuffPo getting bought for $315 million and Wikimedia raising over $16 million from Wikipedia users and fans, it appears online content is red hot (again).
So when a company asks me to have a look at their online article directory, which they say gets visited by more than 20 million unique users every month, I pay attention. Even more surprising are those stats when you look at the size of the company: only 11 employees, but ArticlesBase is already - self-reportedly - raking in about $500,000 a month, at a 80% profit margin. What gives?
The background for Googles changes in its algoritm: Our index grew so quickly, and we were just crawling at a much faster speed. When that happened, we basically got a lot of good fresh content, and some not so good. The problem had shifted from random gibberish, which the spam team had nicely taken care of, into somewhat more like written prose. But the content was shallow.
Google issued its largest search algorithm update ever in attempt to weed out "low quality" sites last week, but an odd number of legitimate Web sites have been hit by the update as well. Meanwhile, some spammy sites seem entirely unaffected or boosted by the update. Does Google know what it's doing?
Demand Media's CEO is the consummate sales professional, when Google first warned about content farms Mr. Rosenblatt he used the above to disclaim that Google means "duplicate content" when they write about content farms. Then Demand quickly scrambled after they were caught publishing plagiarized content the following day. :)
We looked closely at the same search terms using Google's new algorithm and its old algorithm run through a proxy server. The new algorithm search yielded very different results. Having clicked through all 20 links, The information delivered by the new algorithm is much, much better.
The problem I have with content farms is they tend to push higher quality articles down the search page. The more popular a search is the more likely this is to happen. They also tend to be simplistic and leave out important details. The question is what to do about content farms.
The trouble lies in the quality of information -- a thorny problem due to the subjectivity of quality in general. Google keeps tweaking its algorithms, but the junk content keeps rising to the top. In the arms race against spammers, the next few years are crucial.