Interesting read. They're coming down hard on pages with repeated spammy wording, hacked sites and pages with copied content.
The most interesting thing was now that they believe they've cleaned up individual pages pretty well, they're turning their attention to "content farms," which I take to mean HubPages.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this.
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/ … -spam.html
Yes, I did read Mat Cutts today.
It will be interesting to watch. I think of content farms being sites such as Snipsly, SheToldme, RedGage and the other places people go to just post backlinks. These will go first I think. And I might be concerned about links from those places to my pages. This has been lurking in my mind for awhile.
In my logic, Squidoo and HubPages are not in the same ballgame. Then there's About.com which I think is a similiar model.
(BTW lrohner, I've been meaning to pm you, check out the Performance Marketing Association website about Connecticut Internet Tax Laws that might pop back - if you haven't already.)http://www.performancemarketingassociation.com/
Yeah, there's some interesting commentary on possible change here, too: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-20029140-265.html
It mentions the possibility of adding some sort of crowdsourcing element, which could be interesting. I can't tell you how many times using any search engine I've wished for the ability to click a button and tell Google/Yahoo/etc "No, this is not at all what I was looking for when I typed in that search query" or "Yes, this is exactly what I was looking for!"
On the other hand, I'm not sure how they could prevent someone hiring 1000 Filipinos over on oDesk to game the system for a penny a click, so...
Google is not really atalking about crowdsourcing, it is in effect tlaking about making current features more accessible. Right now you can take a long route to label a site as spam, but unless you want to take out 5 minutes of your day, rather than just exit a page, you are not going to do it. Google has also shown a lot of past awaerness in preventing agressive tactics to get other users removed from the rankings/adsense. I don't see why this would be any different.
As to the crackdown on content farms, if you read the description of that it really sounds nothing like Hubpages.
I am guessing that the real crackdown will be on sites that host spun content, translated content, or just jumbled keyword content.
I guess we will not really know what is going to happen though, until Google pulls the plug.
Gosh, I can't wait until they get rid of some of the total garbage that's out there. I think you and Nelle are right -- they're looking (at least for now) at the really big offenders. Hopefully that means we'll be sending out a lot less DMCAs in the future.
@Nelle -- Thanks for the info and the link. Just joined their CT group and will be doing my part -- in spades.
About.com's model is pretty similar to the Demand Studios/Suite 101/WiseGeek model. Moot point really because the sites both of us mentioned are, indeed, content farms.
@KerryG - Great article. Thanks for sharing.
thanks for sharing. I don't think from reading that HP would be considered a content farm. Plus it's still within the top 50 websites according to Quantcast. I think content farms would include sites that copy content from around the web, like those that we've had to file DMCA's against.
I have always looked at HubPages as a content farm. While there is no "official" definition of it, TechCrunch defines them as sites that seek to maximize content production output while minimizing production costs to acquire as much organic search traffic as possible with the main intent of converting that traffic into revenue, generally from advertising.
Even sites like AOL (with their new Seed.com feeding content), some of the Yahoo sites (now that they've purchased Associated Content) and others are, indeed, "content farms." The biggest difference is that here at HubPages, we own the content instead of HP. Other than that, there's very little difference.
I'm waiting to hear some sort of official response from eHow/Demand Media, Associated Content, etc. I wonder if Google considers HubPages to be a content farm. I suspect so, but I hope I'm wrong.
Let's see SheToldMe exists only to provide backlinks to other sites. Snipsly is a bit different because you can write content independent of any other site, if you choose to. Does the link devalue it?
Is it only a content farm is the content is nonsensical or copied?
I'm not that up on many of the others.
And what about the sites that we can submit RSS feeds to that then create pages using them as content. In fact I've seen a bunch of my HP feeds on sites I've never submitted to. Are these content farms?
I really can't say what's going to happen next.
Just to clarify
"Google is considering a number of options to deal with the rise of content farms, Cutts said. First off, it plans to change its famous search recipe to ding sites that are clear content "scrapers," or those that copy content wholesale from other sites and repost it under their own domain, credit or not."
Here it makes it pretty obvious that Google is looking to attatch penalties to sites that are scraping content rather than sites attracting unique content.
This is great in my opinion, it means that sites that are stealing content WILL be penalized not only in Google Adsense, but in Google search results as well.
To me this means that the sites similar to eZine articles (but generally much lower in quality) will definitely have to change their business model to survive. My estimation is that most of them will convert to ome kind of revenue sharing option to make up for no longer offering content distribution.
@Nelle - Agreed and would love to know the answer. Only time will tell.
@Oli - Agreed as well. Love your optimism and makes me wish even more that HP would not allow dupe content.
Very good article.
@lrohner - I didn't think that HP allowed duplicate content?
This has been one of my primary concerns. In fact, I did post a thread about the reason why hubbers should 'hub hop' and do so more often. Here is the link to that thread,
In this particular thread, I did post a link from a Google forum in which a Google Employee was addressing a query from someone associated with Snipsly about them having taken a hit in traffic. Again, the problem was low-quality/spam content.
I've stressed in the past about HubPages trying to get on top of spam/low-quality content. I am not sure how much "hub hopping" helps in addressing that?
If possible, having some active moderators who can tackle the spam/copied hubs/low-quality hubs situation would help greatly in staying on top of this problem and keeping HubPages a top-notch quality website, and be in the good books of Google.
I don't think we can "live in denial" any longer. It seems clear to me that Matt Cutts sees sites like HubPages as content farms, and Google has taken another step to reduce their influence:
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/ … -from.html
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