Before I started my blog, I decided to get a head start on different topics to cover, ones that can really educate my viewers in ways that other sites can’t. I found one topic that was relatively uncovered in a lot of SEO websites – unique content websites, such as Associatedcontent.com, suite101.com, hubpages.com, etc. I decided to get a head start and write this post, and it seemed to be pretty well rounded and an article that people would reference in the future. But as many of you know, Google made a major change within the last month, and by the time I found out about it, I had made the finishing touches on this article. The article was about whether or not to use these sites, but as many of you now know, these are considered content farms.
Many people have been tossing around the term “content farm” like it was taught to them in early childhood, despite the fact that a moderate amount of people on the web just don’t know exactly what a content farm really is. A content farm is a website such as the ones below that crank out very large numbers of articles a day (some up to 4,000) of low quality content written by freelancers almost solely for search engine rankings (freelancers are writers who sell their content writing services without long-term commitments).
In a nutshell, Google cracked down on these sites for their low quality content, and even the higher quality content on their site took a big hit too. The update hit roughly 16% of search queries, causing some sites that depend heavily on these content farms to lose major amounts of traffic. The content farms above aren’t only the ones that will be affected by these new changes; they also include article directories, which will affect article marketers in the not too distant future. One immediate effect on the article directories have caused the top ones to make their links nofollow: they no longer carry precious link juice back to your site. Even though some changes were made, article submission is still one of the top link building techniques.
For those wondering which exact websites are considered “content farms”, take a look:
(These are the most well-known ones, there were over 100 sites considered “content farms” by Google that were hit hard).
If you have been considering using some of these sites to get potential links by adding content to them, think again – with these new updates, these sites will slowly lose SERP authority, and won’t have the same power they’ve had in the past.