Correction: Google's Scraper Algorithm Now Live, Not Content Farms

Feb 1, 2011 • 4:49 pm | comments (18) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Scraper AlgoLast Friday, I reported some webmasters and SEOs discussing signs of Google's content farm algorithm going live. Then Matt Cutts did a blog post confirming a new algorithm change went live.

I went ahead and assumed the new algorithm change was related to content farms and I was WRONG.

Danny Sullivan spoke to Matt Cutts of Google today to find out if the algorithm change was related to both low quality content and content farms or just low quality content. Matt told Danny, who passed it on to me, that the algorithm change from last week was just related to blocking low quality scraper sites from showing up in Google's search results.

Again, the algorithm that is live is related to low quality scraper sites and not content farms.

I do not know when the content farm algorithm will go live. I do not know what sites it will impact exactly, but there are many suspicions on that. As you may know, Blekko banned content farms today and they listed the specific content farms they removed from their index.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: February 1, 2011


Suzanne McDonald

02/01/2011 10:32 pm



02/01/2011 11:07 pm

That Google Scraper image is amazing :)

Matt Hodgson

02/01/2011 11:19 pm

New alogo or not, so long as you're maintaining a good quality site that covers off on all SEO fundamentals and you are not trying to spoof other sites / trick the engines there should not be any concerns about these new updates.


02/01/2011 11:45 pm

To me a scraper site is specific type of content farm since they often scrape more than a singe site to get any money out of it and turn into a scraped content farms. Either way, they are closely related. I think they chose to go with scraper because everyone hates them and there would be a positive reception, but that the actual algorithm is already in place. Hence all the complaining, the boards always tell more than google does.

Barry Schwartz

02/02/2011 12:13 am

Thank you.

Barry Schwartz

02/02/2011 12:13 am

I am not sure. I don't think Matt would lie here.


02/02/2011 02:13 am

Technically it's not a lie, if I was implementing an algo with those characteristics the first thing I would target is things like scraper sites... it's easy enough to expand from scraper sites (duplicate content) to sites that have *partial duplicate* content or referenced sources aka. content farms. Basically it's the same code with a slider which dictates how much duplicate content they will allow, fully duplicate or partial duplicate. Rewritten content will always be safe as long as it's done correctly and there is no reference to the source. Then again, if you have some questionable quality content like and ehow... it's a targeting thing like Blekko, which I give them a big ups for.... although I'm not so happy that they missed which to me is poor content when looked at in general.

Rob Abdul

02/02/2011 12:29 pm

It is humbling to know Google is cleaning out the trash. I really like the Google scraper logo it is so appropriate! @Barry to admit that you were "WRONG" publicly my respect grows for you.

Menachem Pritzker

02/02/2011 12:45 pm

we all know what the content farms are, I don't see what the big deal would be to google to simply de-index them. they're clinging to their "no manual edits to the index" policy a little too tightly, i think. I'm suprised there isn't a ffox extension out there (unless there is? havent looked too hard) that applies blekko-like community edits to google results, and edits them off the google SERP page.


02/02/2011 12:47 pm

Looking forward for the content farm algorithms updates! I hope Google will launch and implement it soon!

aluminium kozijnen

02/02/2011 12:59 pm

This logo is really suits for this scraper site.. Awesome image.. Aluminium Kozijnen

Anil Gupta

02/02/2011 01:01 pm

Content farms are often treated as low quality content. However as Matt told, I think only website/blogs that use 'Content Scraping techniques will be effected with this. If that is so, I really appreciate Google!

Michael Martinez

02/02/2011 05:49 pm

I would not consider Matt Cutts to be a liar. Sometimes I disagree with his interpretation of things but he has always struck me as having a lot of integrity. I think Google went with the scraper fix now because it was already in place and because it would deal with ongoing issues that had received less press. That the topic was conveniently included in the same post addressing the content farm issue probably should not be (but most likely will be) held against Google. It was prudent to cover several issues at once, even if they were not all bound up together.

Oneal Degrassi

02/03/2011 03:01 am

I was wondering why article directories have not been included in most conversations about this. EZA has a nice share of the SERPs. Looks like this one is doing something about it...

SEO Services India

02/03/2011 05:07 pm

Yes now all the low quality pages and duplicate content is going to be out of indexing.. did you know how much google was wasting to store all these low quality content, now googlebot will feel some relief...


03/08/2011 05:47 am

that update is pure BS, you wanna know why? it turns out that many medium sized sites who write their OWN content, are being pushed down.. in my niche, the first page is DOMINATED by scraper sites. I've learned to do the exact opposite of what google tells everyone.. In fact, now that I see that scrapers are dominating right now, I'm going to create a so many fucking scraper sites that I'll own the first 3 pages

Ben Guest

01/30/2013 03:32 pm

Well, looks like Search Engine Land is looking to hire to assist them with their content farm. LOL

Ben Guest

01/30/2013 03:35 pm

Mad props for taking a scrapper and applying Google to it in Photoshop LOL I tease and kid...probably too much. ;-)

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