After watching the SEO industry debating the Google Panda or Content Farmer update as it was initially dubbed for weeks and now that the update has hit the UK as well I decided to compile a list of the most important resources on it.
This update seems to have hit far more SEO practicioners than average webmasters, that might be one of the reasons for the popularity of the topic.
Google itself says that 12% of search results have been impacted initially while in a survey 40% of US SEO practicioners admitted they have lost traffic in the update aftermath.
Content farmers have been hit but not all of them, the content farm that was the reason for the discussion on content farms got away unscathed. Demand Media’s eHow thrives even better than before. Why? It wasn’t really a content farms update.
It was a quality update as Google itself refers to it. Thus all kinds of sites have been affected even legit sites not following the content farm business model at all. Some of them have been reinstated after a public outcry though so it seems to be a good idea to ask your PR department for help when your rankings plummeted.
On the flip side it’s quite obvious what leads to rankings drops and what not do in order to stay on top in Google’s results in 2011.
- Do not scrape or copy content from other websites.
- Do not “spin” content using automated software that garbles it to the point where it’s understandable anymore.
- Do not let ads dominate your site visually
- Focus on quality content not quantity or sheer size.
Additionally I have already written how not to appear like a content farm.
OK, most of these aspects of this update have been covered already so I don’t have to repeat it. Instead check out these 30+ Google quality/panda update resources for content farmers and SEO practitioners.
Make sure not to miss the links to the UK specific statistics at the bottom.
Definition and overview
- Official Google Blog: Finding more high-quality sites in search
- Google Forecloses On Content Farms With “Farmer” Algorithm Update
- TED 2011: The ‘Panda’ That Hates Farms: A Q&A With Google’s Top Search Engineers
- SES NY | Panda: The Aftermath
- Panda, Google’s High Quality Sites Algorithm, Officially Adopts User Feedback As Search Signal
- Google Rolls Out Its Panda Update Internationally And Begins Incorporating Searcher Blocking Data
Reasons for ranking losses
- The Slippery Slope of SEO
- Article Marketing for SEO
- Google Slaps Webmaster Who Complained About Panda Update
- Google’s Panda Update—the Lessons I Learned
- The Farmer Panda Impact Nobody Is Talking About
Techniques to deal with the update
- Google Panda Update: Say Goodbye to Low-Quality Link Building
- Update: Demand Media ‘Taking Immediate Steps’ on Plagiarism
- Weed Out Your Lowest Performing Pages [Panda Strategies]
- The Farmer/Panda Update: New Information From Google
- 404 vs NoIndex vs 301 With Google’s Farmer Update
- Google’s “Farmer” Algorithm Update
Issues apparent after the update
- How Demand Media Used PR Spin to Have Google Kill Their Competitors
- Content Farm Update Conspiracy?
- British Medical Journal and Technorati among sites hit by Google downranking
- Dear Google…THAT was a content farm update?
- Google’s Farmer update and the squeezed middle
- The Google Farmer Update Was About Sites, Not Content
- My Thoughts on the Newest Google Algorithm Update
Statistics and analytics
- Google Panda – Winners and Losers analysed (UK)
- Google’s Panda Update Hits the UK: Early Winners & Losers
- Google Farmer Update – Self Diagnostic Kit
- Google algorithm change shifts billions in ad spending – Mar. 8, 2011
- Number Crunchers: Who Lost In Google’s “Farmer” Algorithm Change?
- Post Panda Social Engagement Measurements
- 40% Say Google’s Farmer/Panda Update Hurt Their Sites
- Google Algorithm Change Increases Publisher Search Traffic, Outbrain Data Shows
So you see, not only content farmers should care but those who defined the term weren’t affected as expected. So the Demand Media business model of content farming is far from gone. It just entered the next phase. More importantly
- article directories
- pseudo-search engines
- thin content sites
have been hit far more obviously.
Have you been affected by the recent quality update? How? Did you lose or gain rankings and traffic? Tell us in the comment section!
* Panda image by Scott Ableman.