Was Google Too Hasty with the Farmer Update? SEO's Discuss Good & Bad

Mar 3, 2011 • 1:55 pm | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google Content Farm AlgorithmWas Google too hasty with the Farmer Update? If you're on the loosing side of this update, I think you would agree Google hastily pushed out this update to appease those commentators/media pundits that have continually complained about the quality of the SERPs. If you on the winning side of the update, then this was a much needed update to wash the search index of the voluminous spam and low quality content websites that has taken over in recent years.

A recent Discussion of the Week thread on Sphinn started off asking how the Farmer Update should have worked. What did Google get right or wrong with this update? What would you do differently if you were Google? The discussion quickly turned to the timeliness of this update and it's got quite a few SEO questioning loudly whether this update was too reactionary.

This is not the first time SEO's have complained about Google being to reactionary. How many major updates over the last few years has been in response to major problems in the index that have gone on for extended periods of time. Florida? Nofollow? MayDay? In my opinion instead of reacting to a negative situation in the index, Google should have seen this coming and more proactively handled these issues algorithmically.

Member Aaranged commented saying:

"Farmer," on the other hand, as a reaction to criticisms regarding the quality - as opposed to relevance - of sites appearing in the search results, has achieved the same sort of scale of collateral damage as "Florida" without actually hitting the mark.

The update might have been rushed but as Jill Whalen points out that "whether the changes where planned already or not doesn't matter. The fact that they're finally doing something about their organic SERPs is definitely good". I think we can agree to that.

Continued forum discussion at Sphinn.

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Aaron Bradley

03/03/2011 08:26 pm

Okay, I prevented myself from getting picky on the Sphinn thread, but now that you too have used the word in the summary, I can't resist. "Reactionary," by almost any definition, means conservatism - as a noun, one who is opposed to change. Google, in the context of "Farmer" especially, should more properly be accused of being "reactive." Excuse my pedantry, and thanks for giving me the opportunity to get this off my chest here. :)

Julia Meecham

03/03/2011 08:31 pm

I think Google is basically feeling in the dark a lot of the time with the changes they implement.

Ben Pfeiffer

03/03/2011 09:36 pm

It's very much encouraged here. You make a good point, and I agree with you maybe I should have used "reactive" as opposed to "reactionary" which stands for something different.

Ryan B.

03/04/2011 02:44 am

I think this update wasn't as bad as the May-day update last year. It wasn't perfect solution this time around, but it was at least a step in the right direction.


03/04/2011 03:38 am

"loosing side" ... "if you on the winning side" ... "being to reactionary" ... not sure this article would pass any quality content filter


03/04/2011 05:26 am

What will happen link already in article directories or low quality sites? will Google give less value or penalize?


03/04/2011 06:23 am

Any update made always has scope for improvement. I guess the moment it is ready to be implemented is the right time for it to get started so the improvements can be a continous process and the quality goes on improving with time and real time implementation. Hence it is not a hasty step but a starting point I guess, from where the solution will go on improving and gradually be solved. Hence the marathon discussions which are taking place in the blogosphere will be meaningful only in due course of time when the update will start rolling on all the Google domains and the sites affected will take corrective action to regain their positions. Jill Whalen is right in saying yes atleast something is being done about it. And I personally think thats great.

Ian Harte

03/04/2011 11:40 am

It has had no effect on me at all, which I think is probably a good thing. Tbh I didn't even know anything about it until the week after it had happened lol! I should keep up to date! To busy though!


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