Sites that focus solely on the display of other people’s content like content farms are now on Google’s radar. Google has decided to make a lot of algorithmic changes that would focus on the reduction of spam from search results and give higher ranking to top quality sites with unique content.
Google’s Matt Cutts in a blog post described content farms as sites with shallow or low quality content and wrote about a new document level classifier. “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.”
This has sparked a lot of debates across the web community in particular with reference to news sites and other sites that feature primarily, the content of others but are not spammy content farms. A few questions were raised in the Webmasterworld forum about Wikipedia and About.com, which it was pointed out, were content farms that always ranked highly on Google’s search results. The fate of these and others like Demand Studio; rests in the hands of Google. For other smaller sites though, if they specialize in scrapping other people’s work and replicate other sites in order to get higher ranking, Google is keeping a sharp eye on them.
The number of content farms on the internet and spammy sites are countless. One wonders if Google will truly be able to keep their word where this is concerned and actually penalize the sites that carry ‘shallow or low quality content.’ What do you think?