What would be the consequences if every 'Content Farm' (Squidoo, Hubpages, Yahoo Voices etc.) removed all Ads from their articles and de-indexed all articles.
Sure we'd lose millions of views - but perhaps people wouldn't find any quality and start using Bing, Yahoo etc.
Do Content Farms earn Google enough money to make it matter when they all disappeared?
It may not have much of a dent . Google Adsense makes up for about 10-12 % of Google's revenue and the revenue sharing sites like HP and squidoo contribute to this 10-12% revenue .
Sample this .
Google gets close to 100 billion searches daily by about 600 million people generating about 7 billion page views daily .
Google runs ads on almost all these pages . These are Search Engine ads and not the Adsense ads.
Usually the online news site get the high traffic and most of these site display Adsense ads . The online news site that had most traffic was Mail Online , 50 million per month. In one month Google will have about 300 billion searches and 210 billion page views .
Interesting question. I suspect there is a way of getting a very rough idea, but I hate drilling into financial data, and I probably don't understand it very well.
So first of all, can we find out how much revenue Google is making from Adsense for content? Of course they report their quarterly revenues, but I'm not sure if they give a breakdown, but I suspect that data is somewhere out there. In terms of all revenue: "Google Inc. reported consolidated revenues of $14.42 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2012".
Then there is the question of how much do HubPages, Squidoo etc. make from Adsense? You can get a rough estimate by looking at traffic in terms of HubPages. For example in January this site had 64 million views.
Now I don't know what the average CPM of the site is, lets say $4 per 1000 views (a conservative estimate from my estimates). The problem is that HP earns from other advertisers, not just Adsense. It would be more useful to look at CPMs of people who only use Adsense, or maybe not. But we are talking about a very rough figure.
So the site (HP and us) earned $260k in January (unless I made some kind of maths booboo).
So then there is the question of Google's share. It's generally reported to be 30%-40%. I've seen some guy reporting that Google has finally said that it gives publishers 68% of the loot. I'm actually going to go with 40% cause it makes the maths easier, so if HP site earned $260k in January than Google would have made $130k.
The problems with the calculations is that the CPM is uncertain, and that HP doesn't just earn from Adsense (although I think every hub has ads from google on it).
Squidoo actually makes the calculations easier because you know the tier breakdowns. So in January 2000 people got paid $34 (I think I'm doing this from memory), 8k people got $7 etc. We know that lensmasters get 50% of the adshare, so you can figure out quite accurately how much Squidoo made from ads in January. The problem again is that I think they use other advertisers.
I suspect the answer is no. Think how many sites you visit on a daily basis that have adsense. Then multiply that by all the different ads you saw, each of which represents a different company purchasing Google advertising. Plus, Google provides many other services, some to high-paying clients. Content Farms are only or or two krill in the vast numbers of shrimpies and plankton consumed by the great blue whale of Google each day.
On the other hand, nobody can agree on what a "content farm" is, while many people complain about them. Those complainers initially guessed that the Panda update was targeted against content farms, as they defined them, but Google said flatly no, it wasn't. Instead, Google said it was specifically targeting certain kinds of content, wherever it was found (see that link for details). This wasn't just doublespeak, as many so-called content farms experienced little or no change after each of the 24-odd Panda updates that have been released so far.
Many more non "farm" sites have been affected. So what I've seen so far bears out the fact that Google doesn't care who's producing the content or where it's hosted; it's simply judging based on the overall content on the site and the specific content on each page.
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