content farms

Google Targets Content Farms and Low Quality

1 Comments
January 26  |  Black Hat  |   Ryan Clark

There has been a lot of talk about Matt Cutts recent remarks regarding the amount of content farms and low-quality (spun and other) content that dominates the SERPs. We saw in the Mayday update how Ecommerce sites with manufacturer content descriptions started taking a dive. This was also seen throughout the real estate industry because of IDX and MLS listing system spread across tens of thousands of Realtor sites.

There definitely is a reason why SEO’s keep talking about content being king, so be ready for that adage to be more real than ever. By the sounds of Matt’s post, I’m suspecting another major algorithm update in the very near future…are you ready? I’m hoping these coming changes play well into our new series of blog posts entitled “Google vs Bing“. I was recently searching for a serious dental product and got quickly frustrated with Google’s results…I was getting hit after hit of the same ripped content ranking nearly for 8 out of the 10 spots. This is what prompted the new series of posts, and I look forward to checking that search term again later for a blog post update.

One misconception that we’ve seen in the last few weeks is the idea that Google doesn’t take as strong action on spammy content in our index if those sites are serving Google ads

This statement I find tricky because sites like Mahalo for example has not stopped growing. That site has taken our content, taken my personal sites content and it is so thin on good material it makes me wonder. I know that site is making Google millions a month, as well other useless sites…so the question I still have in my brain is, would they put a stop to that? If I were a major shareholder I certainly wouldn’t want to see any of that happen…sadly I’m not a share holder.

While it’s not fair to pick on Mahalo as they’ve been attacked enough, I imagine Matt is more after sites like Fixya.com. I had a problem with my BenQ projector and that site dominated the SERPs for just about every result I looked at. This site rarely, if ever had an answer to the problem. It also had one line of text and the rest of the site was saturated with Google Ads and internal links…I couldn’t make out what was going on. By the looks of it, they just input long tail questions taken from other sites, and perhaps tools like Word Tracker. You can see what I mean here;

So basically if you spam a bunch of H1′s and not have any real content then you’ll rank anyway. The Fixya Alexa ranking certainly shows that Google thinks this is currently great. I imagine they’re making Google a mint so we’ll see if the lose some of their traffic due to ultra low quality pages. They have about 50 million indexed pages, and I imagine half are the kind of junk I showed you above. There are already enough Q/A sites as well so it makes me wonder how many of these sites are going to be able to grow like this.

I’ve seen other content farm sites in their infancy, making me frustrated about doing a site in a legit manor. Never the less, I can give you a perfect example of a site that show up huge in the rankings but eventually got the boot. DayMix.com is a site that was basically pulled RSS feeds and it saw some serious growth for a period of a few months. This was the first time I had looked at their Alexa graph in a while and it does look like Google figured them out and put the kibosh on that.

I really like what Matt has to say in the very recent video. We here at Linkbuildr always push for this type of content to our clients, especially in this day and age of getting social media followers. You’re not going to grow that area of your business well just tweeting about product prices and weights. Facebook fans are not going to stick around if you’re just posting pictures of your products…well, unless you’re selling bikinis or lingerie I take that back!

In closing, I highly highly recommend following this Webmaster World thread on the subject, don’t fully listen to me of course and keep a watch on the SERPs. If you’re a little worried about the quality if your content then I’d start looking for a writer, contacting us or getting out Notepad and get to work. I’m excited for a cleaner search result page, and it only backs up the people following the rules as well not expecting to dominate in a month. Good content, relationships and brand images take time to build up so make sure you do it right!

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