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Old 02-27-2011
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Default Google algorithm update knocks 'content farms' off the radar
This has been a long time coming - in Google's efforts to bring more quality to organic search results they're recently updated their algorithm with the goal of removing sites with low-quality content (content farms) from the search returns.

A German software development company called Sistrix wrote a very interesting blog post about the change and shares the top 25 sites impacted by Google's update (according to their own 'visibility index' software) along with some very telling graphs. (As is often the case, the comments on the post are very much worth reading as well)

For VAs with articles on sites like ezinearticles, suite101, hubpages, merchantcircle, and more you may be disappointed to learn that the content you've posted there is now less likely to garner a search return.

If I had content on any of the sites mentioned I'd keep an eye on my own analytics, watching for a relative drop in traffic to prove the point - and then I'd think about taking my content down from those sites. First making sure the content was on my own site or blog and/or a select handful of high-quality, industry-related sites that rank high for the keywords and phrases I want.

That's not to say you're necessarily going to be penalized for having content on the sites on the list (although who knows how Google's algorithm is handling links from those sites) but at the very least your content could be rendered ineffectual in terms of traffic and SEO.

For example, according to the Sistrix article: "...the number of keywords these domains are ranking for dropped dramatically. Looking at mahalo.com as an example, it went from 33,875 keywords before the update to just 9,740 keywords after the update went public – a decrease of more than 70%."

That's a huge drop, and ultimately means many of these content farms are finally being recognized for what they are and will no longer rank in the SERPs. It also means that sites with valid content to contribute now have a greater chance of ranking.
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Old 02-27-2011
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Default Re: Changes in Google algorithm knocks 'content farms' off the radar
Quick update, I forgot to include a link to the Google Blog post on the same algorithm changes.
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Old 02-27-2011
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Default Re: Google algorithm update knocks 'content farms' off the radar
Thanks, Tess. I didn't know that ezinarticles.com was affected. (#2 on the list)

I am surprised eHow was not affected.

What will this do for article marketing as a virtual assistant service?

I need to give this further consideration as many of the article sites I have worked with are now 'low ranking'.

Thank you!

Janine
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Old 02-28-2011
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Default Re: Google algorithm update knocks 'content farms' off the radar
Both a good thing and bad things.

The good:
You will get more relevant items when you search, also smaller sites have a higher chance to get a better ranking.

The Bad:
Completely changes the game for article marketing. I don't know if this is bad how ever, it will force us and others to make things more relevant and place them in areas that are more relevant. It also gives more of a value to a service like a VA.
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Old 02-28-2011
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Default Re: Google algorithm update knocks 'content farms' off the radar
This is a gigantic change. Does it mean there's no search engine visibility at all, or does it mean the visibility is reduced? Because many people look to article sites for their website content, right? Articles available for re-posting (with proper credit, of course) serve a need, without which many a website administrator would flounder.
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Old 02-28-2011
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Default Re: Google algorithm update knocks 'content farms' off the radar
Here is an interesting blog post by Chris Knight CEO of Ezinearticles.com which was one of the sites 'hit' by Google's algorithm changes.

Knight lays out new changes to EzineArticles submission requirements including article length changes, removal of the WordPress Plugin, reduction in the number of ads per page, removal of 'thin' categories such as "men's issues" and "acai berry" and a crackdown on statistically unusual keyphrase limits.

As a personal side comment: I am interested in reading about the farm sites' reactions to the new changes and how quickly sites like Ezinearticles and others have already made immediate changes to improve Google ranking. Some sites such as Ezinearticles.com feel they were unfairly lumped into one big 'content farm' group but are willing to make necessary changes. Fascinating.

Janine
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Old 03-01-2011
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Default Re: Google algorithm update knocks 'content farms' off the radar
Like Janine, I'm surprised to see the mix of sites most affected. Some are exactly the ones that come to mind when I hear "content farm," and there they are listed right next to ones with high, stringent standards.

Surely there will be lots of fine-tuning going on in the coming months, both by Google and by the sites (both legit and seedy) that have lost traffic to the new algorithm. We have not heard the end of this story.

However--at the moment anyway--this news doesn't affect my article marketing strategy. I'm constantly refining the list of sites to which I submit. If a formerly good one starts getting spammy looking, loads content with ad links, or otherwise drops standards, I dump it and go somewhere else. I don't like the idea that my client's name would be associated with anything that just doesn't look pro. That will not change regardless anyone's algorithm.

I do think this will put some of those auto-submit software packages on notice, though.
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Old 01-08-2012
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Default Re: Google algorithm update knocks 'content farms' off the radar
This Google Panda update is really good for VA writers like me. Since I myself denounce posting the same article to different sites.
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