Google Wages Jihad on Content Farms


Tired of Making Chump Change Online?

When it comes to legal pronouncements or any other pronouncements that can impact people’s lives and incomes, there has to be TIGHTLY DEFINED PARAMETERS for the problem at hand.  Sadly, while this principle works well in law, it doesn’t apply, apparently, to Google.  Vaguely defined terms like “content farms” and “low quality” content can mean the difference between having an online income and having NO income.  Serious business.  Unfortunately, Google owns the flute and we’re the sad clowns dancing to the tune it chooses to play.

Here’s Matt Cutts’ recent fatwa on web spam (vague terms highlighted):

attention has shifted instead to “content farms,” which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. In 2010, we launched two major algorithmic changes focused on low-quality sites. Nonetheless, we hear the feedback from the web loud and clear: people are asking for even stronger action on content farms and sites that consist primarily of spammy or low-quality content. We take pride in Google search and strive to make each and every search perfect. The fact is that we’re not perfect, and combined with users’ skyrocketing expectations of Google, these imperfections get magnified in perception. However, we can and should do better.As we’ve increased both our size and freshness in recent months, we’ve naturally indexed a lot of good content and some spam as well. To respond to that challenge, we recently launched a redesigned document-level classifier that makes it harder for spammy on-page content to rank highly. The new classifier is better at detecting spam on individual web pages, e.g., repeated spammy words—the sort of phrases you tend to see in junky, automated, self-promoting blog comments. We’ve also radically improved our ability to detect hacked sites, which were a major source of spam in 2010. And we’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content. We’ll continue to explore ways to reduce spam, including new ways for users to give more explicit feedback about spammy and low-quality sites.

Straight from the horse’s mouth.  What do we deduce from all this?

Spammed keyword “articles” and blogposts are out. Kinda makes one wonder why it took Google this long to crack down on this since this is one of the oldest on page SEO tricks in the worlds.  While it’s easy to penalize blatant keyword density or keyword sniping articles and posts, there’s a WIDE RANGE of keyword title tricks that this new drive by Google can’t possibly hit.  We suspect that Google can only crack down on BLATANT keyword spam.  However, there are  workarounds.   These include:

Using main target keywords less and contextual keywords more
Using context keywords in subheadings
Building articles around themes as opposed to keywords

Automated blog posts are out. Again, just like with keyword repetition spam, there are many ways to define this.  At its most obvious and blatant, Google is again several years behind but the change will offer some relief because it will weed out the most flagrant abusers–RSS scrapers and clumsy automated rewriters.  This change will cut down on the purely automated “set it and forget it” blog farms out there.  However, the workaround will still work–manual blogs that automatically filter RSS feeds for keyword/topical relevance but modified by original content and commentary.  This process takes generic content and turns it into high quality and maybe, authoritative, content.  Of course, the results will vary depending on execution.

The new drive is targeted against spam sites ranking–it says nothing about using link farms. Based on the text, it appears blog farms aimed at boosting “money sites” or PR farming for link sales are safe.  For now.

Suggested SOLUTIONS:

  • Use high quality original content that seeks to make your blog an authority.
  • Never forget the end user/reader in your search for online income–keep the reader in mind and provide actual VALUE.
  • Spend more time STRATEGIZING article topics/blog post topics instead of just hammering away at keyword dumps
  • Focus more on site THEME and seamlessly integrating it with your backlink strategy
  • Focus on SOCIAL MEDIA buzz–is the content you’re producing compelementary to social media-created content?  Does it have a viral “hook”?

Thankfully, the solutions listed above don’t have to be expensive.  There is a low cost original content solution.  Click Here.

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