Google Farmer Update

This has been a real busy week in the field of SEO with a second major e-commerce website being slapped by Google for using questionable backlinks and then Google’s second algorithm update this month with release of the Farmer Update on Thursday.

Until recently Overstock had been ranking near the top of Google’s results for many common searches such as vacuum cleaners and laptop computers but after Google responded to a competitors complaint many of Overstock’s top rankings starting taking a nose dive.

It was discovered that Overstock had run a program with students who had access to .edu or .gov domains to offer them discounts for many of their products in return for backlinks.

And then on Thursday night, many other websites also got slapped down with the Google Farmer Update, which focuses on Content Farms.

Google writes on their Webmaster Blog that this update impacted 11.8% of their queries and that the update targets low quality sites, such as sites that copy content from other websites or sites that are generally not very useful. In turn, sites that have high quality content have been rewarded.

Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land dubbed Google’s new update the “Farmer Update” from a post written on Webmasters World and adds from an interview he had with Matt Cutts that this algorithm change did not utilize the new Google browser extension that you can use to report spam. However Matt Cutts related that the top 50 sites that were most reported as spam by the users of the tool that 84% of them were impacted by this recent update.

So how did your websites weather the “Farmer Update?”

Hopefully you’ve have been following some of the SEO tips that we have been offering here by developing unique and useful content for your audience and also any of the backlinks that you have been creating for your properties have also been on quality websites.

If you have you should had been rewarded and perhaps even moved up a notch or two.

However if you were using duplicate content on your websites or if you’ve been using some of those automated programs to build backlinks you may have been slapped down.

Case in point, one frantic telephone call we received this weekend from a prospective student who had been outsourcing his link building to a firm for over a year.

Previous to the Farmer Update his medical clinic had ranked in the top positions in Google for a number of his top money terms, however he started noticing that his organic listings starting to take a nose-dive earlier in the week and by week’s end he went from the 1st page of Google to the 100th page.

His main website had lots of great unique content, so that wasn’t the problem.

However when we pulled up his backlinks links in Yahoo’s site explorer we saw that the firm that he was using had posted his links to content farms, the type of websites that Google was targeting in the Farmer Update.

Do you want to take advantage of Google’s new update and get your website to the top?

If so consider joining us this Wednesday afternoon for a free webinar with Arnie Kueen from Vertical Measures who will be discussing 8 Steps for Content Marketing so you can rise to the top with useful content that Google and your users will love.

Certified Master SEO Instructor by the Search Engine Academy and CEO and founder of SEO Training SW.
Roy Reyer
Roy Reyer
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27th February 2011 1 Comment

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