Google's Content Farm Algorithm Harm You? Categorize Your Site To Fix It.

Jan 31, 2011 • 8:50 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

CategorizeWere you hit by the latest Google content farm algorithm? I have seen tons of sites and webmasters claim they were hit, even though they have unique and compelling content.

As you know, Google announced they will go after low quality content and content farm sites in early 2011. Google launched part or all of that algorithm on the 26th/27th of January.

So what do you do if your site was hit by this new algorithm?

Well, you can step back and try to see why Google might have classified your site as that. And if you can figure out why, then rework your site.

But I did spot an additional clue... JohnMu of Google replied to one person who was upset over his ranking decline in a Google Webmaster Help thread. Now, I am not sure if it is directly related to this new algorithm, but the ranking drop seems to have hit this webmaster at the time of this new algorithm release.

John from Google recommended he break out the content that is auto-generated from the content that is unique. He said you should separate out the auto-generated low quality content from the rest of your awesome content. By doing so, Google's new algorithm may just impact that portion of the site and not the other content on your site.

JohnMu said:

One thing that is very important to our users (and algorithms) is high-quality, unique and compelling content. Looking through that site, I have a hard time finding content that is only available on the site itself. If you do have such high-quality, unique and compelling content, I'd recommend separating it from the auto-generated rest of the site, and making sure that the auto-generated part is blocked from crawling and indexing, so that search engines can focus on what makes your site unique and valuable to users world-wide.

How do you separate it out. I'd assume subdomain is best, which might not be easy for most of these sites.

If you fall in this bucket, you may want to check out the thread.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

UPDATE: I was wrong in assuming the "content farm algorithm" was live. It is not live yet. What is live is the algorithm to block low-quality scraper sites from showing up in the Google index.

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01/31/2011 09:02 pm

If you read through JMs response, you'll notice it says; "... making sure that the auto-generated part is blocked from crawling and indexing ..." So the naff stuff shouldn't even by touched, or not used for direct Ranking. No need for SubDomains, special directories etc. You can use the NoIndex meta or x-robot header, or your robots.txt (poss. one of the few uses left for it :D) Personally -if you have weak, limited value auto-content (Spam), then put it in the bin. People need to understand that the concept of "easy money" is not going to work. You either invest a ton into clever link schemes, or you build a proper site with real content for real people. The road to riches via naff content and nill effort is basically closing down.


01/31/2011 09:03 pm

Hi Michael I post in the Google forum as a top contributor but along with many others, can't remember the last time I abused anyone. Agree with you about the relationship as well and best to be honest, can't remember the last time I had lunch with Larry or Sergey. That's probably because I haven't, like everyone else there, just someone posting in a forum. I'm not there to represent Google and not in every way a Google fan, to the point of seriously annoying a few Google staff off and on I imagine. We all should though acknowledge that Google staff plus others give valuable unpaid time to that forum and in general, the place is more respectful than many are. If you ever have issues with anyone posting there, the path to dealing with that is absolutely clear, post yourself and set a better example. Forums in the end take on the ethos of the majority, or can be partially led by shining examples. I'm not one of those but with your knowledge maybe you could be. Always good to see you there and every time you come to post with courtesy, good grace, ignoring any negativity, you are helping achieve what you want to see. Look forward to you being there leading the way by inherent politeness and solid information.

Michael Martinez

02/01/2011 02:18 am

Hi, Chibcha, Have you checked on Luzie's recent abusive activity -- where that particular Bionic Poster even boasted that it would be pointless to complain about abusive behavior from Bionic Posters? Try being honest with everyone about what goes down in the Google Webmaster Forums for a change, okay? Oh -- and don't bother threatening to yank my access for criticizing the Bionic Posters' bad behavior. Webado already played that card. It's clear and obvious there is a "relationship" between the Bionic Posters and Google, since you guys are moderating the Webmaster Help Forums. Just try being honest for a change, okay? Thanks.

Michael Martinez

02/01/2011 02:21 am

BTW Barry -- This algorithm update really doesn't appear to have anything at all to do with "content farms". It's some sort of duplicate content filter or ranking adjustment. You would help clear up a lot of confusion by changing the article titles and referring to the update as something OTHER than a "Content Farm" update. Some people have even suggested that Matt's original reference to "Content Farms" was not directly associated with a promised impending update.

Barry Schwartz

02/01/2011 02:22 am

Yes, I am hearing this. I've been working on finding out for sure for a couple days now… I hope to report back when I know more...


02/01/2011 09:56 am

The update appears to run like most of the others since early last year, it is targeting low quality content. Part of the problem may be peoples definition of the term "content farm", they maybe associating it with multiples (as in sites) ... where as in this case, it seems G means "collection of low value pages of unnatural origin" or "collection of low value pages lacking real originality". So still little new in their recent direction agains "spam" - they are attemptign to ditch the automated, scraped, poorly spun stuff ... esp. if it appears to be targeting niche terms or appears generated more for SEs than People.

Aaisha Monisha Malik

07/13/2013 09:05 am

I Want To Catagorize my website Yes, I am hearing this. I've been working on finding out for sure for a couple days now… I hope to report back when I know more...


07/18/2013 09:33 am

hi, my site traffic got down from the same time can you have a look at my site and let me know it it falls in content farm catagory. The site link is whatwherenhow,com

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