Google’s Algorithm Farmer Panda Update

In February Google undertook a major change to its algorithm that was dubbed farmers update due to the fact that it is thought to target content farms that publish articles without adding value and it.

Farm pictureThe algorithm change, internally referred to as Panda, reportedly impacted about 12% of search results in the US alone was reported by Google’s chef engineer Matt Cutts. The news was picked up by several seo blogs such as searchengineland and state of search.

So what are content farms? Wikipedia defines a content farm as “a company that employs large numbers of often freelance writers to generate large amounts of textual content ….” which makes it all seem very harmless and useful to the internet in general. However, a new practice began to emerge whereby some sites would publish articles on expert topics with little substance or research with a sole aim to get to the top of search engines for genuine help queries.

The issue was picked up by the Blekko search engine banning a number of self help type of sites which they felt were of little to no use to searchers as follows:

ehow.com
experts-exchange.com
naymz.com
activehotels.com
robtex.com
encyclopedia.com
fixya.com
chacha.com
123people.com
download3k.com
petitionspot.com
thefreedictionary.com
networkedblogs.com
buzzillions.com
shopwiki.com
wowxos.com
answerbag.com
allexperts.com
freewebs.com
copygator.com

In the words of Blekko and spam clock founder, Rich Skrenta, spam is a major problem that could end up impacting search in a similar way as 90% of emails.