Google Looks to Oust Content Farming

By Michelle Amodio January 24, 2011

Google took time over the weekend to admit that its Web search results have left much to be desired as of late. The search engine company realized that January was less than noteworthy, as it brought to light some not-so-great feedback on its search quality.

“Content farms,” as Google’s Principal Engineer Matt Cutts refers to it on his blog post, are sites with “shallow or low-quality content.” Unfortunately, the value of such content is generic, often lacks knowledge and considered content that is produced “made to order,” according to ReadWriteWeb.

These so-called articles are not to be confused with “pure webspam,” which has been managed over the last decade by Google.

“For the most part, Google has successfully beaten back that type of “pure webspam” -- even while some spammers resort to sneakier or even illegal tactics such as hacking websites,” wrote Cutts.

Google has since shifted its focus to content farms.

“In 2010, we launched two major algorithmic changes focused on low-quality sites. Nonetheless, we hear the feedback from the web loud and clear: people are asking for even stronger action on content farms and sites that consist primarily of spammy or low-quality content. We take pride in Google search and strive to make each and every search perfect. The fact is that we’re not perfect, and combined with users’ skyrocketing expectations of Google, these imperfections get magnified in perception. However, we can and should do better,” Cutts continued.’

The news, while promising for many of Google’s users, is already receiving some critical questioning. Is this Google’s way of censoring the Internet?

TG Daily reports that it sounds too close to “editorial control,” and that it is unfeasible for “Google to prove that it isn’t exercising editorial control or favoring sites carrying Google’s ads.”

For those whose sites create quality content and mashups, it might serve as a detriment depending on how the new spam detection algorithm works. It’s a matter of time before any results will be visible and whether this will have an impact on users’ trust of Google. 

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Michelle Amodio is a TechZone360 Contributor. She has years of experience in business and marketing. Previously, she worked in broadcast journalism and as an editor abroad in London, England for a privately owned magazine. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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