A friend saw my blog postings about content farms. She had read my content marketing book. She asked me what this all meant. The following is based on my email reply to her.
Google and and Bing’s strategy over the last five years is clear in their actions. Google and Bing want quality at the top of search results. To determine quality, they manually review webpages and assign a score. Based on hundreds of millions of reviews, they carried out two major algorithm changes (at Google, these are known at Panda and Penguin) and a major rewrite of the algorithm (codename Hummingbird) which wiped out millions of low-quality pages and elevated the ranking of high-quality sites.
Google and Bing give preference to pages that are written by verified authors with real credentials. That’s why Google+ requires a real name and why Youtube has moved to requiring a G+ login. Google and Bing are slowly getting rid of fake names, anonymous accounts, spammers, and, yes, and marketers who use fake accounts to pump up traffic or fake positive comments.
For Google and Bing, content farms are sites that display low-quality content, written by unqualified (and often, unknown) persons. See my recent blog posting about content farms: it has a list of 113 content sites (incl. eHow and Yahoo Answers) that are blocked by Bing and likely, Google. If marketers or companies use these to either buy 500-word articles or post their articles, they are wasting their time. If they churn out hundreds of low-quality articles, those will be flagged as junk and the entire site will lose ranking.
A webpage must have high-quality content, written by credentialed or licensed professionals who are at authoritative organizations. That’s CLEARLY stated in Google’s internal manuals.
All of the major search engines (Google, Yandex, Baidu, and Bing) use tens of thousands of humans to manually evaluate and rank webpages. They mark pages based on quality: high, good, okay, or low quality.
Want to learn more? Read my SEO eBook. Free PDF. Go to andreas.com/search-engine-marketing