Google’s Farmer Update – Is It a Nightmare for Internet Marketers?

Google just dropped a huge bomb on your head with its Farmer Update 2011. Major news organizations like CNN to small news forums are discussing this Farmer’s Update big time.

Google's Farmer Update – Is It a Nightmare for Internet Marketers?According to Google’s new algorithm shift, Google is targeting those websites that have poor or low quality content and shifting them way down in Google’s Page Rankings.

On the other hand, Google is promoting those websites with excellent content (useful content for readers) and raising them up in the rankings.

A typical high ranking content website will have original content and information that is not copied from anywhere and content websites will have high SEO rankings that have depth and thoughtful analysis put in.

Reacting to media comments and intense speculation, the official Google page published this statement:

“We can’t make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites. It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down. Google depends on the high quality content created by wonderful websites around the world and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high quality sites to be rewards, and that’s exactly what this change does”.

The Farmer’s Update has created problems for Internet marketers mostly because Google has sought to target “Content Farms” and reduced their SEO rankings.

As we all know, Internet marketing depends on content writing and promotions. Article directories like Ezine and eHow are used by Internet marketers to submit articles directing links to their own websites.

Internet experts feel that this kind of promotional activity is in danger if Google continues to update their search system every few months.

Within 48 hours of the Farmer’s Update, the SISTRIX Visibility Index finds that popular article directories and content websites are experiencing the algorithm change in their website ranking. According to SISTRIX, the 15 biggest losers were:

  1. Wisegeek.com: -77%
  2. Ezinearticles.com: – 90%
  3. Suite101.com: – 94%
  4. Hubpages.com: – 87%
  5. Buzzle.com: – 85%
  6. AssociatedContent.com: – 93%
  7. FreeDownloadCenter.com: – 90%
  8. Essortment.com: – 91%
  9. Fixya.com: – 80%
  10. AmericanTowns.com: – 91%
  11. LoveToKnow.com: – 83%
  12. ArticleBase.com: – 94%
  13. HowToDoThings.com: – 84%
  14. Mahalo.com: – 84%
  15. Business.com: – 93%

Most of the websites listed above are content farms.

Is Google particularly targeting content farms? What are content farms by the way?

Google has maintained their silence on defining content farms but the buzz going around the web suggests that content farms are those websites which contain keyword-rich content and they are optimized more than is necessary.

By this off-hand definition, content farms would include the hundreds of article directories that Internet marketers use to promote businesses.

Take Ezinearticles.com for instance. SISTRIX reports 90% drop in traffic flow. Why? Those who are familiar with Ezine directory will agree that not all content published there is of high quality.

While some content is excellent, others are below average. Still, the content is published on Ezine and one look at the number of unique visitors to those below average articles will tell you one important thing – the reason being below average articles also get traffic because of their SEO.

Such articles climb the SEO rankings while other useful articles go down – this is what Google’s Farmer Update hopes to remedy.

Another reason why Google is targeting Ezine and other directories is because they have topics on which information has reached a saturation point – there is nothing “new” to write but still… Internet marketers keep on publishing content on those topics.

The Ezine Blog says that there are 7 topics which have gone beyond saturation point and they have no idea what to do about those topics or content.

Get Your Ex Back, Penis Enlargement, Acai Berry, Reverse Call Phone Lookup, Credit Card Debt Relief, Male Enhancement Pill and TV / PC are the 7 categories.

What can one possibly do?

Either they block these categories for the next few months or do a complete re-edit of published articles to weed out useless or fluff content and then reopen these categories for further submission.

But, can Ezine do this? 90% of Ezine search traffic comes from those categories only!

From here on, there are two possible scenarios for Internet marketers:

  • If you are an Internet marketer who used to purchase and publish cheap content and didn’t devote much time to make your website high in content quality, your business is in danger!
  • If you are an Internet marketer who was committed to publishing high quality content, both on your website and article marketing directories, you have absolutely nothing to worry about! Just sit back and let the Google change take place.

If you fall into the first category, you have to definitely rethink your article marketing plans. No more buying cheap or PLR articles because they are posted online at several other forums.

If you want good SEO ranking, you have to invest in getting high quality content – both for your website and for directory marketing.

Moreover, you need to publish promotional articles in good directories. By good directory, we mean a directory with high SEO ranking and a directory that has high quality content.

What’s next?

Its time to make an adjustment to your business promotional strategies! Whether you have been publishing high quality content or not, take a break and assess the situation you are in.

You may have to rethink your budget for online article marketing or you may have to switch accounts to high quality article submission blogs from low quality article submitting directories.

Or, you may have to come up with new ways to promote your website or business better so that your SEO ranking is higher in the upcoming months.

Don’t let Google’s Farmer Update 2011 slow down your business. Just follow the new update clauses and your business will be back with a bang!

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