Google Algorithm Change: The "Farmer" Update

By Joe

Announced on February 24th by Google, the latest algorithm change targets sites that contain duplicate or very low quality content, many of which are often referred to as “content farms”. The problem with content farms is that they would always rank well in search results for popular queries, even if they contained duplicate or shallow content. To address this issue, Google made a change to its algorithm which now negatively impacts the rankings of many pages on these sites. The change has also affected about 12% of all search queries, which is a fairly large percentage compared to other minor tweaks the company is constantly making to its algorithm. Some notable sites that were negatively impacted in rankings by this change are some popular shopping engines that would often duplicate or “scrape” content from ecommerce sites selling on their shopping sites.

So what should you do as a site owner to make sure you are benefitting the most from this change? Well, just as we have always stressed, you should always be creating unique, well written content for your site. Not only will having unique, quality content show Google you are creating quality pages for the web, which can help your site’s visibility in search engines, but it will also encourage links from other sites that find your content helpful or interesting. As you are working on creating this content for your newer pages, don’t forget to go back to your already existing pages and make sure that they are also unique. If you find another site is copying your content, reach out to them and ask them to remove it or consider rewriting the page if they are unresponsive.