Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer at Google, in his 1/21/2011 blog post titled 'Google search and search engine spam' warned “content farms.” He pointed out that there have been many stories, regarding Google's search quality, on the web this month. However, Cutts reassures by saying that Google’s search quality has in fact improved than ever “in terms of relevance, freshness and comprehensiveness.”
Cutts goes on with reminding the readers with 'Webspam' as a reminder and how bad the spam situation was, a decade ago. He also added that Google's ability to detect hacked sites (from where major spams came in 2010) were also improved. Now, as “pure webspam” has already been reduced considerably, Google's has diverted its focus instead to “content farms,” – sites with shallow or low-quality content.
Cutts said “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.”
He also clarified the misconception that Google goes easy on spammy content in their index if the sites are serving Google ads. Cutts said:
- “Google absolutely takes action on sites that violate our quality guidelines regardless of whether they have ads powered by Google;
- Displaying Google ads does not help a site’s rankings in Google; and
- Buying Google ads does not increase a site’s rankings in Google’s search results.
These principles have always applied, but it’s important to affirm they still hold true.”
The timing of this announcement is interesting as Demand Media, that owns eHow, LiveStrong.com, and other such sites that usually get labeled as “content farms,” is all ready for an IPO. They are also reported to go public next week. Other sites like AOL, Seed.com and Yahoo are also into content farm business.