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Google to crack down on “content farms”?

Kevin Murphy, January 21, 2011, 18:05:32 (UTC), Domain Services

Bad news for domain developers? Bad news for Demand Media?

Google is to take another look at how its search engine ranks “content farms”, according to a new blog post by principal engineer Matt Cutts.

In a discussion about search quality and web spam, Cutts wrote:

As “pure webspam” has decreased over time, 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.

The post does not get into any details about what hearing feedback “loud and clear” means, but it certainly suggests that Google will rethink how low-quality content sites are ranked.

This could be problematic Demand Media, which generates a lot of its revenue from “content mill” sites such as eHow, which is widely derided but ranks highly for many searches.

Demand Media is on the verge of going public.

It might also not be great news for domain investors who choose to develop their domains with low-quality content, although I suspect that kind of site would be harder to detect than a large mill.

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Comments (7)

  1. Wiki sites normally have fairly good coverage of topics but are they really the best of the best that the web has to offer on everything?

  2. Jakes says:

    This probably also is the end of micro niche and niche websites. Google wants to provide quality content it’s users that such sites rarely provide.

    • Larry Clark says:

      I disagree with you. I think that small niche sites will get more aggressive in the quality of content it provides. I also think that small niche sites usually do provide good content, unless your a blatant web spammer.

  3. theo says:

    i got the feeling that Epik might have nother deindex issue.

    When it comes to parking.. the revenue made there willbe even less.. but it will depend on the domain exposure.. I think sedo will do right there.

  4. Joey Starkey says:

    It is almost like Big Daddy G wants to eat itself. They turn down advertisers. They want to eliminate all of the sites that carry adsense ads.

    If you notice lots of the Large Sites do longer carry adsense.

    I actually think they will become an paid inclusion search engine.

  5. […] Google to crack down on “content farms”? […]

  6. […] Google to crack down on “content farms”? […]

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