SEO bloggers were abuzz only a few months ago about the mighty Google update. Nicknamed “Panda”, this was the update that was to limit the ranking of low-quality text-farm type sites that clog search results. The new update valid about June of 2011 is Panda 2.2, and Search Engine Roundtable has the dirt on that.
Now, they didn’t specifically come out and say content farms… but it’s pretty clear that they were looking in their direction.
This is actually good news for those of us who work to be both legitimate and high-quality. When we mean “content farms”, we mean the typical empty keyword-stuffing filler content that most of us knew better than to keep using past 1998. All that and more is explained by Search Engine Land, which also goes on to mention ‘scraper’ sites that steal your content and repost it without even bothering to write their own!
Another kind of content is the “article spinner” variety. In this method, there’s an attempt to make robots write like humans. You can spot spinner content a mile away, if you’re a functional English speaker: “This is was good contents method and our are happy to provides it to you to use in or health.” It’s done by scraping content and then implementing an algorithm that changes one word for another. Nice try, guys, but – with a sigh of relief from those of us who write for a living – the tech’s not there yet.
More recently, SEOBook also asked whether that update worked or not. You’re still seeing some farmed content come up in SERPs, of course, but maybe not as much as there was a year ago.