Google algorithm downgrades content farms - who benefits?

Google have done it again. After I reported recently how Google are coming down heavy on Duplicate Content, now Google are downgrading search results of what they deem to be Content Farms of average to poor content. But what sites and websites are being hit in particular? And where do writers stand in relation to HubPages? Will our hubs be downgraded? Are writers noticing a fall in web search views or a fall in readership in general? Could this be trouble for Hub Pages and for Hub writers? Is there a list or blacklist of bad sites or content farms? I reproduce here below a list of sites that have done well as a result of the algorithm change. Some people will be happy while some will not.

There is a lot of detail here that Hub Page authors have to digest, and decide whether this is good or bad. Google’s algorithm is supposed to be “neutral” and so not affect good content or prejudice good original material on the web. Hub Pages has much to contribute in the way it has enhanced informative articles, with relevant information and relevant keywords to match. Sites like Facebook, Dailymotion, LinkedIn,, blogspot (owned by Google) all fare well, as do, Snopes,, Sears, Flickr, Tumblr, and ebay.

But if writers who write good hubs and articles - write for a site that is going to lose traction on Google Search results, it is only a matter of time before they begin to feel uncomfortable staying with such a community before heading off in search of greener pastures.

Among the websites that will be affected are EZineArticles, Cult of Mac, Demand Media, to name but some. They have already made their objections quite public, and they have got everyone's attention. Mahalo have said that for some queries, they have noticed a drop in results on searches and so thus enquiries and traffic. And traffic as we all know means reads, views, followers and income. Do you know any more websites that have been negatively affected by the Google algorithm change to downgrade content farms? Sistrix have made a list of sites that have gone up in the grades and standards set out by Google. So is Hub Pages on it? You can read below to see...

So far the changes only affect USA based web content. The rest of the world will soon follow. Facebook is not affected, nor is Scribd, softpedia, techbargains, eopinions, etsy, photobucket, or ehow. Youtube is doing well from this change. In fact video content is up across many parts of the web. has done very well from this change also.

(Click on each list image to see it in the original size...)

As you can see, Hub Pages is not on the Sistrix list of websites that have benefited as a result of the Google algorithm change. So does this mean Hub Pages is in the bad books?

Not neccessarily. I believe the content of Hub Pages to be of very high quality in the vast majority of cases. And this makes Hub Pages a community of great articles and hubs of high quality, as clearly shown by the way Hub Pages rates pages that are written. There needs to be more studies made to ascertain who ought to benefit or be relegated or downgraded since the change. This will need time. And a clear way to check is to see how your pages rank and rate in Hub Pages. Meanwhile there are a lot of very talented and Quality writers, many even published and proven in the publishing world, who write here at Hub Pages. They prove that Hub Pages is a web article collection, archive and living reference library, and community with a unique voice and Unique selling point on the internet. Not to mention a place where writers can earn good money for their writing too!

However - could this also mean that at some point in the future Hub Pages may review whatever content that might not fit its criteria? Might Hub Pages change the criteria so as to meet the stricter standards laid down by Google's algorithm change? And if this hypothetical event were to happen some day, are hubbers prepared for it? Will it be even necessary? What do you think?

Further Reading - "Has Google Affected Article writing on Hub Pages" - a follow up to this important topic, which includes updates on the "White List" admissions from Google and Bing. Now The NY Times, Wikipedia and the IRS are excluded from the algorithm update...why? How did they "Qualify"?...

Please bookmark this page if you wish and tweet or refer it via Facebook. Please leave a comment here and tell me what you think about the changes to the Google algorithm or how it might affect you, if at all. Thanks.

Copyright (c) 2011 Cheeky Girl. List provided by Sistrix. 

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Comments 39 comments

gguy profile image

gguy 5 years ago from new jersey usa

Cassy,Interesting stuff It seems the downside of internet marketing is that it is easy to be affected by an outside decision. Good lession here, get the word out as many ways as possible, and "don't put all your eggs in one basket" as we say on this side of the pond!

rieom 5 years ago

Looks like we all have to wait until the dust settles. For me, I am not making an income from here yet but I like writing here and like the community and hope it does not change.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Gary, yes there are some twists that sadly are built into being a contributor to places like HubPages. We do need to get the word out, and I agree, it is not wise to put all one's apples in one basket. Although some baskets work slightly better than others. This change in the Google algorithm will help focus people's minds a bit.

Hy rieom, even if you are not making an income whether by deliberate intent or otherwise, the change in the Google algorithm still has an affect on search outcomes. While it won't affect income payments in your case, it will affect search results for hubs, under the criteria I mentioned in the hub above. Let's hope it isn't too much.

gguy profile image

gguy 5 years ago from new jersey usa

Cassy, I am making slow but sure tech progress, I signed up for facebook, so I'm getting there!!!

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

Great report and very helpful. I'll focus on writing from the heart and delivering information I know is original, and feel is helpful to Internet readers depending on reliable resources to improve their lives.

Fine tuning the Algorithms can only mean good things for quality and good content writers.

I feel there is a lot of weeding out to do and that goes for us here at hubpages. Hopefully the team here first and foremost gets better about content we publish. Honestly I feel there are thousands of hubs that should be banned as low or poor quality and content alone. If we could eliminate the those hubs, we'd be golden!

Great report and glad to hear from you, a reliable source on a vital topic! :) Katie

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Gary / gguy: well done on getting onto Facebook. Your customers of the future perhaps await...all 600 million of 'em, give or take a few million. LOL!

Hy katie, thanks for the comments. Yes, there will, I think, be a sort of weeding out of sorts for some people. And you are right. Original material and quality content will prevail and do well, and those writers will prosper, I hope.

I think people will be paying more attention than ever to the guidelines and advice at Hubpages and the help guides too. I have often learned things from the forums and from other hubbers too. Let's hope that good efforts go rewarded around here. Cheers Katie! :D

gguy profile image

gguy 5 years ago from new jersey usa

I just need 1 dollar from each 600 million and i'll be ok!!! LOL

twentyfive profile image

twentyfive 5 years ago

Great hub moi friend.This new G's algo has caused some panic in the forum and there are still interesting threads going on. I think everything will settle eventually. I hope Hubpages will climb back again as the cream of the crop. I'm still humbly writing hubs here. Seriously, no other website has given me dollars each month LOL Great hub! Cheers moi friend! :)

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Okay Gary, that should hopefully not take too long then. LOL! One dollar is a nice ambition!

Hy Fehl / 25! I read a few of the forum threads and yes, I can see how people are worried by Google and their algorithm downgrade. Some people are worrying that Hub Pages will be considered a content farm and that the sky will fall on their heads as a result. If people believe in their writing and in Hub Pages, then we will flourish. Yes, your hubs are great, Fehl. You will be okay. I sure hope so, you deserve to do well. I love getting paid too! LOL! Thanks for the comments, moi friend! :) Enjoy your day! XO

TattoGuy 5 years ago

Mine nosedived but didn't hit me as bad as the October change. One good thing is my Great Tattoos website has risen in traffic by 75% as has the earnings.

These things don't worry me, they balance out after a few months but you have to have other options than just Hubpages. I may have something that will interest you, email me so I can mail you back xoxo

acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

Great information Cheeky Girl as always and I was also intrigued reading everyone's response. Thanks for enlightening me again.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Art! Thanks for the interesting comments. I have emailed nine hubbers who said their views are somewhat down from previous weeks and months. There is a definite slide of some sort. It might right itself, frankly your website doing well doesn't surprise me. I am getting better income from my website and other blogs than I am on hubs, despite referral and adsense income here. Heh!

It seems if you own the site or domain wholesale, you benefit more financially. So it's not a wise thing to put all of one's apples in just one basket. But as you say, nothing to be alarmed about. There are always other options, Art.

Thanks, Art! I will email you tonight! Cheers! XOXOX

Hy acaetnna, thanks for your comments here. I am planning another hub on this subject and I will delve even further into this area, will be publishing it on Tuesday. Astra Nomik is helping with it. I will be putting more bold facts on the table. You will all find it Very Interesting Indeed. Cheers! :)

crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Interesting article,thanks for sharing.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello crytolite, thanks for the comments! :)

Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 5 years ago from Texas

I for one will be glad when the dust settles and hopefully Google will see that HP has some great writers here. Personally, I do a lot of 'googling' throughout the day and for the last week or so, I've been disappointed by what Google has produced in the first 5 positions of their first page.

In some cases it's seems as though the useful content and those that are only SEO savvy have flip-flopped. One of my searches gave me a website that had nothing but the keywords on it, and flipped back and forth from page to page within the site. No content at all and it was holding the number 1 position. Had a couple of #1 positions for other searches to just clock not even load. Oh well, thanks for keeping us informed CG. :)

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Money Glitch, lots of great Hubbers deserve better than this, I think. There is a lot to getting to the top of the search results! Because there is lots of people trying to improve their SEO, there will be be a big hunt on for material and info on pimping those web pages and blogs and hubs too.

If you saw yourself slide off the top spot, was it your hubs or other non-hub pages? Hub Pages are getting hardly any clicks. Try more ways of linking your pages. I am happy to help with my hubs here! Have a great day! Cheers! :)

Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 5 years ago from Texas

Thanks CG, I will keep that in mind when I dust off my old website and get it up and running again. Cheers!

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Cheers, Money Glitch. Yes, dust off that website and give it a polish and freshen up, it will bring you good income. People who own their own domains now are king, and Queen too! LOL! :)

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I a little bit confuse about content farms. I hope I still give the best by presenting good content. Thans for writing this. Rated up!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Prasetio, the content farms are places like Hub Pages such as Squidoo and Article submission sites where writers submit articles much like the way Hubers do on Hub Pages. Except some content farms get negatively affected by the change in the algorithm, while other websites are apparently not affected by the change.

Most people thought the bias was accidental until Bing and Google admitted to using "White lists", lists of "chosen" web sites that are not affected by the downgrading algorithm change. Hub Pages was not on the list of "Chosen" web sites. In my opinion, that is unfair for all Hub Page writers.

But you are right to continue writing good hubs and you should be okay. Thanks for the rate up. Cheers! :)

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

The Google algorithm change is called "Panda", by the way. That's the name it was give. Funny because Pandas are cute and cuddly. Should have called it Basil Fawlty or something! LOL!

cybrspce 5 years ago

On SEO MOZ, they have a data update that suggests that google is favoring sites that utilize facebook shares, likes and twitter tweets. Then there was some mention about on page presentation, article length and nofollow links helping a site rank in the search engines, because they usually come from an authority or quality site.

Here is the rest of the information:

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy cybrspce, glad you mentioned that information. I am a registered user of SeoMOZ and their free toolbar is very cool to use. They have a great analysis of the Panda changes and how it works. Google loves Quality high ranking sites and good One-way links too, and I agree with you here.

I think every hubber on Hub Pages should be a member of SeoMOZ, they could learn a lot. I even wrote an article about them on my website one time. Thanks for the great tips here. Cheers!

celebritie profile image

celebritie 5 years ago

Cheeky girl you are so smart, I could really learn some stuff from you. Thanks

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello again, celebritie - wow, I am still learning myself! We have to if we want to stay ahead in this strange game of ratings and "traffic" monopoly. There are plenty of hubbers who can help with this stuff besides me. I am happy to help! Cheers! :D

Aris Budianto profile image

Aris Budianto 5 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

Hi,Cheeky Girl,real great stuff, excellent hub, My articles have copied by several site and I have reported to Google by telling them "I held copyright of my articles" (I mean I have right of my articles and they asked me the copyright and registration numbers, what you suggest I should tell them,thanks and voted up

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Aris - If someone stole your content, then contact the site your articles originally appeared on an d tell them, they will advise you. Register with Copyscape, and register your work. I do that, have been doing for a long time. That is duplicated content and can damage your adsense account relationship with Google or result in account termination.

Google will think you re-copied your own content on other sites. That is their first response, as this often proves to be the case, sadly. But I know folks who had content copied and reported it and dupes were torn down...

Contact attorneys if there is big or significant earnings is theft after all...

Aris Budianto profile image

Aris Budianto 5 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

Thank you, Cheeky Girl, very helpful, I have registered my site today and I have told Google about this and will give them the registration number as soon as my new article published, that can prove that the site have stolen my articles because I studied that they always publish the article a day after mine. I do believe Google is wise or I fight for something that is going to lose, I don't know. keep the faith (Bon Jovi)God bless you and me.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Aris, thanks for commenting back. It sounds like you are fighting to keep your original content in good faith with Google. I hope you prevail. There's a guy in Hub Pages who has a software tool. His name is Edweirdo! Check his profile here:

He is a cool guy and I trust him! Check him out! If you tell Google you are being targeted they will understand...they can tell from the IP addresses of the senders or copiers and can often take steps if that person has a Google account also.

Thanks for the nice update. Cheers! :)

Aris Budianto profile image

Aris Budianto 5 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

Thanks Cheeky Girl, you are my guardian angle, I hope Google still love the right one.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello Aris. Here's hoping Google see through the mire of confusion that comes with unnecessary duplicate information.

I have also used the forums to alert Hub writers to copyright infringements as I do a lot of content searches with other hubbers to find dupers who are nicking content from friend's pages, or elsewhere. You'll find many hubbers keep tabs on what is happening and staying up to date in the forum area.

Especially worrying is when someone promotes a hub that looks amazing and about an amazing topic only to find that the occasional hub writer is sneaking the text from somewhere else. Language can be a giveaway. That can draw attention of Hub Pages bosses.

Hub Pages prefers original content to copied content.

Aris Budianto profile image

Aris Budianto 5 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

Absolutely right, I have been warned by Hubpages once when published one of my articles(from my other site, similarly, not exactly the same) and I changed immediately. Hubpages is cool, have clear rules, warning at once than other site give warning after 2-3 days the article posted without we know where were the mistakes placed. That's why Hubpages has so many members, Hubpages is the first sharing site I have joined in, I am going to give the best for Hubpages like other Hubbers and like you do. If I have time I would love to join the forums, but I am too busy, I am a business man. I hope the new Hubbers will do the same, stay away from duplicated contents, it won't worked, finally everybody will know, Am I right Cheeky Girl? Thanks a lot and have a nice day.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Aris, there is software that can tell if content has been copied and the days of copying other people's content are numbered. No one wants their Google Adsense account terminated. Copying content is not worth it. It's better too not reproduce the same information in another location, that is one of the reasons why (and how) Hubs was downgraded by Google in the first place. And writers are mad as hell over it.

You would be right to ensure all content is written by you and only one version of it exists. Have it published in one place, and your earnings will be rewarded. Provide appropriate back links to articles via social media. That will get more traffic.

People cannot game the system and copy any more. Too many writers are victims of the Google Panda Update to ever tolerate copied content on a site they inhabit. I don't blame them.

Aris Budianto profile image

Aris Budianto 5 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

What about, the sharing site and promoting our blog? I am also its member and using it to promote my blog. So there are two same contents. Are they allowed?

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello Aris: even if the website says it is okay to duplicate content, it makes no difference, as Google do not allow it. And Hub Pages don't allow it. I do not use that YouSayToo site.

You need to ask someone who does use it to explain that. The same content is not allowed and cannot be used on any other site, not where Google Adsense is used, as they will not allow it and the person could be flagged for duplicate content and have their Google account terminated.

You need to read Hub Pages terms and conditions and Google Terms and Conditions to see exactly what terms would be breached by duplicating same content on other pages. No content is allowed to be duplicated anywhere on the web under any circumstances.

Google made this change because when people did Google searches on Google, the complaint was made that Google displayed both many versions of the same information, or Duplicate Information in the search results. This was changed by Google and duplicates are now banned.

This system is being used on the entire internet. There is more information available on hub pages links.

Here's what Hub Pages says about DUPLICATE CONTENT:

" Question: My Hub has been moderated for duplicate content; what does that mean?

Your Hub's content has been detected as published previously on another site. Duplicate content is not allowed on HubPages. Your Hub may also be moderated for duplicate content in cases where we determine there is substantial similarity to another work. This includes close paraphrasing, among other forms of misappropriation."

Also check this link:

Also check many articles about how to avoid copied content such as this...

I hope this helps, Aris. The Forums are full of information about how to avoid Duplicate content.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Hi Cheeky Girl, I stumbled upon this hub of yours - pinned in Professional BS Writers by Cathy - and noticed it was written when Google algorithm showed its face for the first time.

I would like to ask you to consider a follow-up article on this one. What happened in the meantime. HubPages did everything possible to prevent negative affects.

Another thing I cannot understand - oh, there are so many in CyberSpace I don't understand - is why does Google have such a monopoly. For some reason my computer uses Yahoo's search engine, which I find excellent, so why is Yahoo not a strong opposition for Google who seems to play god on the Internet.

I guess I need an intensive course in Business Practice on the Internet.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 4 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Martie! Thanks to Cathy for pinning this in Pinterest! Yeah, I wrote this back after the first Panda update! We are past Panda update 3 already! LOL! Yes I am writing a follow to this as there are some new things coming down the track with Google's Panda. Hub Pages did a great job of alleviating the issues caused by the downgrade from Google.

It did cause some writers to flock elsewhere. Google has a monopoly as they probably deliver the best search results on their search engine. But they increasingly want things done their way. And their way is what often affects people.

Google basically reinvented Search in such a way that they could monetize it, Martie. Yahoo did not. Many folks are having to learn the hard way, and I believe Hub Pages is doing its best to make things better for all!

Cheers Martie! :)

CarNoobz profile image

CarNoobz 3 years ago from USA

I think it's interesting how prophetic this hub turned out to be. I'm glad I got into all this AFTER Panda and Penguin, but still, I'm sure my stuff will get hit hard some day. Even totally legit guys aren't safe. Kinda sucks.

That's why I'm getting more aggressive about building traffic streams apart from Google. Reliance on G is too risky. I'll take what love I can get from them, but ultimately we gotta have more diversity in terms of traffic sources (and monetization too, come to think of it).

Voted up

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 3 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hey CarNoobz! Well, I wrote this hub a while back, and I have been off working on my own projects, and making hay so to speak. No person should put all their apples in one online basket, it's ridiculous, and unsafe. There are lots pf ways to earn online if that's what folks really want to do.

Use social media more. Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter will rake in followers faster than hub Pages will, and there are more besides that. I don't like pouring cold water on the great efforts that Hub Pages makes to improve things here. But attitudes have hardened from an interest user point and many are spreading their wings and exploring beyond hub frontiers.

Selling goods from different sources, affiliates, selling domains, web hosting and selling, ad sales, promotions, niche items tied to your area of specialty (in your case cares, for example...) even Clickbank has some good things to make income from, even though there's a ton of crap on it... LOL. Selling Wordpress Themes, Blogger Themes, just pushing other stuff and earning a cut from them, it does work.

Or try writing ebooks, and sell them online. Or write freelance. It doesn't take major skills. You just got to be fast in turning them around. I made over $1200 last month selling other people's software, so it can be done! Thanks for the vote! Keep on truckin'!

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