Google has finally taken a step towards weeding out content farms from search results. These sites have been a bain for many a user over the years and Google have announced an algorithmic change to help combat searchers frustration, affectionately named within the SEO community as the “Farmer Update”.
Officially, Google isn’t saying the algorithm change is targeting content farms. It is more targeted to those sites that scrape or automate content. This should reduce the chances that sites who use duplicated content from outranking the original source.
However this may indeed pose questions for those who use article sites to submit content as part of an offline strategy and whether this tactic will now be penalised.
In a recent article on SearchEngineLand by Danny Sullivan it appears that this should not be an issue as long as the content submitted is of course original and interesting and the sites themselves are of high page rank and relevance to the subject.
So far 12% of sites in U.S have seen drop in rankings, in particular article sites i.e. Hubpages.com, buzz article.
The long term effects of this Google algorithm change in other countries remains to be seen but for many SEO consultants now would be a good time to review your offsite strategies.
Best practice – ensure relevance to your subject and avoid spamming within your content. Make it interesting and compelling but be sure to watch this space as this could be a shake up of things to come from Google.