As an SEO director at a large privately owned marketing…
If you are in the SEO business or work with a search engine optimization consultant, you’ve heard about the recent Google algorithm shift known as the Panda Algorithm update, Farmer update, or Content Farm update.
The big break on the story is in an interview between Cutts and Singhal of Google with Wired Magazine.
Here are the major take-aways as of now.
Little has been said about link farms. The main issue seems to be your content, as apposed to your back links. Scraper websites are those that automate content by republishing that which is already on other websites. Content farms generate content with little value in order to capture search traffic. Take a look at the info graphic about how the Demand Media content farm works [Image Source].
This is not a new issue. Apparently, Google’s technology on how they filter, analyze and make decisions on duplicate content has changed. As far as white-hat SEO, the rules are still the same. The penalties just got a bit more serious.
Some of my SEO client sites, despite warnings about duplicate content still don’t realize they have significant duplicate content. A new SEO business client who owns hundreds of domains was pointing different domains to the same webserver, serving the exact same website – same IP address and everything. Only the website domain credited as the originator will sustain rankings.
In other situations, the same text copy is used on several pages of a sister company websites under different brands. It used to be that the duplicate pages from these re-branded websites would not rank. Now the entire site is losing overall rankings.
This kind of thing means they are due for copy writing frenzy. Find the offending pages – those that use the same copy from other sites and rewrite them as unique.
You can post your new page of copy on a live test bed site and check how similar it is to the other page using this tool.
[Update: March 31, 2011]
My update to this article, along with in depth background on the history of the biggest search engine algorithm changes was posted today on the Medium Blue blog. I provide search engine optimization research and development for Medium Blue Search Engine Marketing.