Did Google’s Farmer Update Affect Your Portfolio?

Google made a major change in their search algorithm at the end of February to punish “content farms” that serve-up warmed-over low-quality content.  There have been some interesting discussions of the impact of this online, including one by Matt Bentley, formerly of Sedo.  Matt argues that the Google change is a good thing for domainers.  One impact of the change is that some mega-sites (like Associated Content and eZine Articles) are pushed way down in Google.  Domain owners who have original content on their site now have an opportunity to move higher.   
SEO expert Danny Sulllivan has analyzed the results and noted a few surprises.  Demand Media’s eHow site, for example, actually increased in rank.  Sullivan quotes from a Sistrix report analyzing which content farms lost the most.  The biggest losers are:
Domain Positions Lost % Loss
associatedcontent.com 162,917 75%
suite101.com 141,469 79%
ezinearticles.com 130,231 71%
hubpages.com 102,820 67%
Internet marketer John Reese painted a somewhat different picture.  Reese sent out an email stating that:
Thousands upon thousands of marketer are seeing their free Google traffic PLUMMET overnight. This change has wiped out a lot of the free traffic that was coming from Article Directories and sites like Hub Pages and many others. Other “Auto-generated” sites also were wiped out. I bet some marketer just lost nearly ALL of their income with this change if they were heavily relying on their organic Google traffic.
He goes on to remind people that Google does things like this from time-to-time and that we just need to suck it up and build they kind of sites that will still rank well in Google.  Expect that domainer content farms like WhyPark have been pushed even further down in rank, except for any high-quality unique content that you have added.    
It’s a challenge for any algorithm to judge the quality of original content.  Google has penalized duplicate content for some time, but their task here is much more challenging.  Expect SEO experts to be analyzing this algorithm shift for weeks to come.  In the mean time see how your own domains are doing, and err on the side of good original content whenever you can.  Some of the mediocre big guys are no longer blocking your way.

3 thoughts on “Did Google’s Farmer Update Affect Your Portfolio?

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  1. Okay so I own some domains, awhile ago I used to park them and do fairly well, then parked pages pretty much stopped showing up in search engines, fair enough. That revenue dried up. I took those same domains and spent time building nice little pretty auto niche blog sites. Content is okay, not great, but definitely not sucky. Now those are drying up. On the bright side sales of my domains have been up so that has made up for the losses but what to do next? Some may say 'oh make great content and people will come'….well you know I have been down that road and where else can you work a 12 hour day and make two dollars for it. I still do arbitraged traffic though but sending people to autoblog sites. That still pays off a bit.Where to go now?


  2. We’ve actually seen an increase in traffic from Google since the algorithm change, not a decrease. I think Google was gunning for the single site, big brand offenders with this update so the same results weren’t showing over and over again. My guess anyway is that by removing some of them, it opened up the way for some of the long-tail searches to be claimed by others now. Now obviously with as many domains as we have hosted on our platform, you're going to have a mix of winners and losers with the most recent change. We have such a wide variety of names, subjects and content on our platform though.Like Leonard said though, we always recommend making the sites as unique as possible on WhyPark. You can add an unlimited number of custom pages at no cost and never need to use any of our content if you don't want to.CraigWhyPark


  3. Parking and mini-sites with AdSense are working best for me. I have a day job too and keeping original content updated is a real pain and not really possible on hundreds of domains.


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