Google Triumphs Over Content Farms
Content farms have long been considered the bane of the search engine’s existence. While many definitions can be attributed to this term, it generally refers to low-quality websites which publish large amounts of largely unoriginal content in response to current search trends. They clog up search results and generally yield less-than-credible content.
Major search engines like Google and Bing have been hard-pressed to respond to the issue of content farms for a while now, and Google’s most recent “Panda” update was designed to crack down on these websites in a large way. Impacting around 12% of websites, this algorithm change was debuted back in February. Now, the results are in and it looks like content farms are finally being dealt a good dose of Internet justice.
The alrogithm change that went along with the Panda Update essentially gave more relevance to websites which regularly publish unique and original content, thereby lessening the significance of content farms in a big way. Reported by New Scientist magazine, University of Glasgow computer scientist Richard McCreadie found after studying 50 popular content farm search queries that “Google and Microsoft have won a major victory” by pushing low-quality hits away from the top 10 results.
McCreadie focused on search queries which were “known to be a target of content farmers,” such as “how to train for a marathon.” He observed the queries in March and August, and over this timeframe, lower-quality sites that were once present in the top 10 results had disappeared by August. In their place were more reputable and freshly updated websites, such as Runner’s World magazine in the instance of the “how to train for a marathon” query.
McCreadie’s study focused on major search engines, but Google’s Panda update has proved to be more effective than efforts taken by Bing. We’ll see how content farms fare in subsequent updates – hopefully, shallow sites are pushed even further down in place of sites that have the information people actually need.
What’s your take on content farms and the Panda update? Let us know in the comments!