Numbers Emerge from Google's Content Farm Update - EZA, HubPages Top Losses - eHow Wins!

by WealthWithin 33 replies
The data mining company Sistrix has published some data today on the Google's latest ranking update.

Contrary to the popular belief that this was 'war against Demand Media', their main site, eHow seems to have gained from the update!

EZineArticles, AssociatedContent, Suite101, HubPages and Buzzle seems to have had the highest hit in rankings.

The numbers are fascinating, and you can read more in-depth analysis here:
Number Crunchers: Who Lost In Google’s “Farmer” Algorithm Change?
How Demand Media Used PR Spin to Have Google Kill Their Competitors


So far it's hard to build a link between what's 'shallow' and what's quality content. What are your thoughts?
#search engine optimization #content #ehow #emerge #eza #farm #google #hubpages #losses #numbers #top #update #wins
  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    Originally Posted by WealthWithin View Post

    So far it's hard to build a link between what's 'shallow' and what's quality content. What are your thoughts?
    My guess is:

    Shallow
    = what no-one wants to read = a spammy website

    Quality = what loads of people want to read = the Daily Mail website (featuring articles such as: Kim Kardashian's bum looks big in this photo of her putting petrol in her car)

    Use of words like 'quality' and 'useful content' are misleading. Basically, if all your sites or articles consist of is rehashed pointless information alongside affiliate links to related products then you have a shallow site. Your site can be soul-destroyingly banal but if loads of people enjoy visiting it then Google will like it as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike McAleer
      Originally Posted by Kierkegaard View Post

      My guess is:

      Shallow
      = what no-one wants to read = a spammy website

      Quality = what loads of people want to read = the Daily Mail website (featuring articles such as: Kim Kardashian's bum looks big in this photo of her putting petrol in her car)

      Use of words like 'quality' and 'useful content' are misleading. Basically, if all your sites or articles consist of is rehashed pointless information alongside affiliate links to related products then you have a shallow site. Your site can be soul-destroyingly banal but if loads of people enjoy visiting it then Google will like it as well.
      Haha well I like the Kim K reference but yes it is hard to come to grips with the face that google has changed their algorithm but hey what can we do
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Originally Posted by FreshDomains View Post

        but hey what can we do
        Encourage our web audience that our sites are best viewed on a different search engine.
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  • Profile picture of the author dezchamps
    I don't understand how a robot can tell quality from shallow at all. Until the some editors became corrupt at DMOZ (or simply burnt out) - they had the best model for linking truly 'quality' sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
      Originally Posted by dezchamps View Post

      I don't understand how a robot can tell quality from shallow at all. Until the some editors became corrupt at DMOZ (or simply burnt out) - they had the best model for linking truly 'quality' sites.
      They can't

      That's the reason Google made the "wise" (sarcasm!) move to rather apply a global penalty on ALL content on ALL article-sites. They seem to be unable to accept that there is a likelihood that good content could ALSO be on "content farms".

      Needless to say, this *is* a slap in the face to those who DID and DO submit quality content, even to "bad" sites like ezine or articlesbase.

      Again..Google shows its incompetency. Obviously, it doesn't look at actual CONTENT but rather likes to apply labels and stigmatas.

      I said it a few times, in general i welcome the recent change, but its very, very silly and dumb to apply such a general penalty to a whole array of sites.

      An individual piece of content should NEVER be judged only on its location where its posted <--- SILLY
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    What is really striking to me most about this is that Buzzle got a nuclear missile right up the heine as well, even though they require custom unique content unpublished anywhere else.

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    All article directories are a way of website owners having control over their backlinks and Google does not like that. They want authority sites voluntarily and without prompting by the website owner to link to sites they consider quality.

    Perhaps in the past a link from an article on EZA was worth something to Google but not any more.

    There are a few quality articles on EZA et al but for every one, there are thousands of spammy useless ones too. Have a look through them, the quality is so low it's truly appalling. Article directories are responsible for a lot of the junk appearing in the search engines.
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    • Profile picture of the author inter123
      It is easy to understand why Ezine Articles went down the drain and it is fully deserved.

      But it is hard to understand why ehow was not effected. There are some stuff on ehow which is actually useful but that is the case with some other directories too. For instance suite101 is actutally not too bad and there are lots of useful content there but they were hammered.

      If other useful sites were effected, why not ehow. These reports by the likes of Sistrix, how accurate are they?
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      • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
        Originally Posted by inter123 View Post

        It is easy to understand why Ezine Articles went down the drain and it is fully deserved.
        Wrong.

        A bad, spun, rehashed, low-quality article would deserve a penalty, not a whole site or even worse, a whole list of dozens and dozens of sites.

        I always thought Google values and evaluates individual content. Obviously, they dont. Now they look at domains where an article is and give rankings based on that?

        "Hey, it's on ezine. So let's rank it down 30 positions".

        "Hey, its on ehow" <-- Let's rank it up 30 positions!"

        "Let's rank up amazon, wikipedia, about.com" another +30 positions, since they were not strong enough already in the past. (sarcasm!)

        There's quite some stuff wrong with that new change the longer i look at it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
        Originally Posted by inter123 View Post

        It is easy to understand why Ezine Articles went down the drain and it is fully deserved.

        But it is hard to understand why ehow was not effected. There are some stuff on ehow which is actually useful but that is the case with some other directories too. For instance suite101 is actutally not too bad and there are lots of useful content there but they were hammered.

        If other useful sites were effected, why not ehow. These reports by the likes of Sistrix, how accurate are they?
        Now that I think about it, it may be in what the content sites themselves are linking to.

        Notice how ehow does not allow for a bio box, or any outbound links from the author...whereas ezine (and others like it) does.

        Could that be a key?
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

          Now that I think about it, it may be in what the content sites themselves are linking to.

          Notice how ehow does not allow for a bio box, or any outbound links from the author...whereas ezine (and others like it) does.

          Could that be a key?
          Sounds like a definite possibility...

          Or it could be something else. Hardly scientific enough to draw conclusions from, but I started thinking about my own experiences with ehow.

          Most often, I end up on their site when they rank for a typed-in question, like 'how do I fix soup with too much onion?" I click to the page, read the answer, then click a few more similar pages to look for confirmation. If I find that confirmation, I go away and try it.

          Not sure what that means, but it's something to add to the pot while we figure this thing out.
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          • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
            Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

            Sounds like a definite possibility...

            Or it could be something else. Hardly scientific enough to draw conclusions from, but I started thinking about my own experiences with ehow.

            Most often, I end up on their site when they rank for a typed-in question, like 'how do I fix soup with too much onion?" I click to the page, read the answer, then click a few more similar pages to look for confirmation. If I find that confirmation, I go away and try it.

            Not sure what that means, but it's something to add to the pot while we figure this thing out.
            No, it's not scientific...but I'm going to do some more digging using other means...and see what comes up.

            Very interesting to see what my results come up with. More than likely, I'm not onto something....but then again, who knows unless I put it to the test?
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

          Now that I think about it, it may be in what the content sites themselves are linking to.

          Notice how ehow does not allow for a bio box, or any outbound links from the author...whereas ezine (and others like it) does.

          Could that be a key?
          Good observation. Theres no way a computer can yet determine good content for a human reader. the technology is not there yet. So to me it has to be something else google is looking at. top suspects -

          Bounce rates
          quality of links to and from the page
          what else tends to be on that page.
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

          Now that I think about it, it may be in what the content sites themselves are linking to.

          Notice how ehow does not allow for a bio box, or any outbound links from the author...whereas ezine (and others like it) does.

          Could that be a key?
          I'll tell you this, ehow is a master at internal linking!

          Most of the ehow pages in the SERPs stand on their own internal links.

          I put ehow on the same level as wikipedia (If not higher) when it comes to building internal links.
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          • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
            Originally Posted by yukon View Post

            I'll tell you this, ehow is a master at internal linking!

            Most of the ehow pages in the SERPs stand on their own internal links.

            I put ehow on the same level as wikipedia (If not higher) when it comes to building internal llinks.
            Is eternal linking that effective?
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            • Profile picture of the author yukon
              Originally Posted by gearmonkey View Post

              Is eternal linking that effective?
              Good internal linking can take you from a single page ranking on page one in Google SERP, to multiple listings on page one in Google SERP for the same exact keyword.

              The multiple listings is based on internal linking & keywords.

              Example, I have 4 internal pages (blog post) with the Page Titles below:

              1) Really fast red cars are not safe

              2) Red cars are always faster

              3) 2012 red cars that will own the highway

              4) Insurance rates for red cars go sky high

              If I link all of the above 4 internal pages together (with anchor-text), & I get a single one of those 4 pages to rank in the SERPs (doesn't matter how I do it), I should start seeing multiple listings because all the pages have 100% targeted internal links that include the keywords red cars.

              My point is I only need to rank a single page, & in return I'll get multiple listings with way less work than it would take to build external backlinks to each individual page. Instead I build a small amount of authority external links (sometimes a single authority external backlink on less competitive keywords), get a single page to rank in the SERPs, the internal links will take care of the rest. In this example the other 3 internal pages will follow the 4th page in the SERPs that I get to rank.

              Now, scale that up to 100 internal pages all related by a single keyword phrase (red cars) & you'll own the SERPs for your keyword.

              Don't get me wrong, external backlinks are important, with good site structure (internal links) you can cut the amount of external backlinks needed by a huge percentage.
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              • Profile picture of the author MrWonton
                Originally Posted by yukon View Post

                Good internal linking can take you from a single page ranking on page one in Google SERP, to multiple listings on page one in Google SERP for the same exact keyword.

                The multiple listings is based on internal linking & keywords.

                Example, I have 4 internal pages (blog post) with the Page Titles below:

                1) Really fast red cars are not safe

                2) Red cars are always faster

                3) 2012 red cars that will own the highway

                4) Insurance rates for red cars go sky high

                If I link all of the above 4 internal pages together (with anchor-text), & I get a single one of those 4 pages to rank in the SERPs (doesn't matter how I do it), I should start seeing multiple listings because all the pages have 100% targeted internal links that include the keywords red cars.

                My point is I only need to rank a single page, & in return I'll get multiple listings with way less work than it would take to build external backlinks to each individual page. Instead I build a small amount of authority external links (sometimes a single authority external backlink on less competitive keywords), get a single page to rank in the SERPs, the internal links will take care of the rest. In this example the other 3 internal pages will follow the 4th page in the SERPs that I get to rank.

                Now, scale that up to 100 internal pages all related by a single keyword phrase (red cars) & you'll own the SERPs for your keyword.

                Don't get me wrong, external backlinks are important, with good site structure (internal links) you can cut the amount of external backlinks needed by a huge percentage.
                Would the related posts plugin for WP be a simplified way of achieving something similar?
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                • Profile picture of the author yukon
                  Originally Posted by MrWonton View Post

                  Would the related posts plugin for WP be a simplified way of achieving something similar?
                  If your talking about this plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-23-related-posts-plugin/

                  Then I would say, yes it should work.

                  The link above looks like the internal related pages are linked because they all share the same WP-Tags. So as long as you do the work upfront (wp-tag) & make sure your keyword is the same for the each internal page the plugin looks to me like it would work. All it's doing is displaying 10 pages that share the same WP-Tag.

                  The way I would set that up is, If my keyword is red cars, I would make the WP-Tag the exact same (red cars). Now, anytime I want to build on this keyword make sure red cars is in the new blog post page title, & include the red cars WP-Tag for that post, repeat on any new related (red cars) blog post in the future...

                  If you name the WP-Tag the exact keyword your targeting, it will make it easier in the future to know which WP-Tag you should use for future blog post. You simply pick the WP-Tag (keyword) your building the new page for.

                  [edit]
                  I havn't tested this plugin/link, I only read the description on WP. From the description (wp-tags) I don't see why it wouldn't work.
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                  • Profile picture of the author MrWonton
                    Originally Posted by yukon View Post

                    If your talking about this plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-23-related-posts-plugin/

                    Then I would say, yes it should work.

                    The link above looks like the internal related pages are linked because they all share the same WP-Tags. So as long as you do the work upfront (wp-tag) & make sure your keyword is the same for the each internal page the plugin looks to me like it would work. All it's doing is displaying 10 pages that share the same WP-Tag.

                    The way I would set that up is, If my keyword is red cars, I would make the WP-Tag the exact same (red cars). Now, anytime I want to build on this keyword make sure red cars is in the new blog post page title, & include the red cars WP-Tag for that post, repeat on any new related (red cars) blog post in the future...

                    If you name the WP-Tag the exact keyword your targeting, it will make it easier in the future to know which WP-Tag you should use for future blog post. You simply pick the WP-Tag (keyword) your building the new page for.

                    [edit]
                    I havn't tested this plugin/link, I only read the description on WP. From the description (wp-tags) I don't see why it wouldn't work.
                    I was using another plugin (YARPP - Yet Another Related Posts Plugin), but I think the one you have posted is better, as it is based around the tags that you set.

                    I have just installed and set it up, and it seems to work nicely!
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                    • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
                      Originally Posted by MrWonton View Post

                      I was using another plugin (YARPP - Yet Another Related Posts Plugin), but I think the one you have posted is better, as it is based around the tags that you set.

                      I have just installed and set it up, and it seems to work nicely!
                      I use a free wordpress plugin called LinkWithin

                      Not sure if there is any link value because it looks like it redirects through linkwithin to the thumbnail you clicked on. anyone know if linkwithin has any SEO value?
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          • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
            Originally Posted by yukon View Post

            I'll tell you this, ehow is a master at internal linking!

            Most of the ehow pages in the SERPs stand on their own internal links.

            I put ehow on the same level as wikipedia (If not higher) when it comes to building internal links.
            That could be another part of this too.

            But some article directories do allow you to link to other articles while eza and others completely forbids such practices.

            Out of all the winners....I think only Yahoo answers allows author links (though it's not a bio box)...curious.

            No bio boxes allowed or google drops the hammer...interesting.

            It could also be percentage of unique content too.

            Either way, I think there might be a strategy or two to get around this. It may be time to switch gears on what we do with our articles.

            Time for me to run an experiment on this.....if it works, I'll post my findings in the War Room. God knows I got plenty of time these days.

            Anybody know where I can grab a rank checker to see what my articles are ranking at? I want to see pre and post changes as I reposition stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author SuzanneH
    Associatedcontent.com has their site "quantified" over at quantcast.com. (That is, they have Quantcast's code on their site to track visitors.) It'll be interesting to see if/how the numbers drop:

    associatedcontent.com - Quantcast Audience Profile

    Suzanne
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    • Profile picture of the author MrWonton
      Originally Posted by SuzanneH View Post

      Associatedcontent.com has their site "quantified" over at quantcast.com. (That is, they have Quantcast's code on their site to track visitors.) It'll be interesting to see if/how the numbers drop:

      associatedcontent.com - Quantcast Audience Profile

      Suzanne
      It already looks like its at its lowest point for the last year
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  • Profile picture of the author donhx
    Originally Posted by WealthWithin View Post

    The data mining company Sistrix has published some data today on the Google's latest ranking update.

    Contrary to the popular belief that this was 'war against Demand Media', their main site, eHow seems to have gained from the update!

    EZineArticles, AssociatedContent, Suite101, HubPages and Buzzle seems to have had the highest hit in rankings.

    The numbers are fascinating, and you can read more in-depth analysis here:
    Number Crunchers: Who Lost In Google’s “Farmer” Algorithm Change?
    How Demand Media Used PR Spin to Have Google Kill Their Competitors


    So far it's hard to build a link between what's 'shallow' and what's quality content. What are your thoughts?

    People here are going to be making broad, speculative comments about this, giving their opinion about whether certain sites deserve to take a hit, but all that tends to muddy the water. The real issue is how the changes affect traffic to sites which have relied on article marketing.

    I would like to see some actual numbers from IM people, in terms of before/after traffic numbers or before/after dollar sales.

    All the anecdotal stories or opinions won't help us understand what's happening. Hard numbers will. These Sistrix numbers are a good start, but we need to see more actual numbers from IM people.
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    • Profile picture of the author inter123
      It is not just relevant to Article Marketers. These results give clues as to what kind of sites are acceptable to Google and what is not. On that basis people can plan future models to take.


      Originally Posted by donhx View Post

      The real issue is how the changes affect traffic to sites which have relied on article marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
    Originally Posted by Kierkegaard View Post

    Article directories are responsible for a lot of the junk appearing in the search engines.
    Nonsense. The ones who write and submit the junk content are.
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  • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
    eHow isn't a content farm. Article Directories sole purpose is for random webmasters to 'syndicate' the content. Why would Google want the same article republished 12,000 on various websites? One unique article (like eHow) should be suffice.

    Now Suite101, to me, seems like a site that shouldn't have been hit. I view their content as good as eHow and it's not an article directory, is it?

    My guess is Google wants content farms to go away. Whats the point of 100s, if not thousands of the same article to be republished over-and-over again?
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    • Profile picture of the author inter123
      It was not just article directories that were hit. There are sites on par or better then ehow that were effected badly by the algo change. For instance:

      DIY Home Improvement Information | DoItYourself.com

      Was effected and the content on their is not too bad at all (or in my opinion). There is something about ehow that makes it a bit special or the exception to the rule.

      Originally Posted by gearmonkey View Post

      eHow isn't a content farm. Article Directories sole purpose is for random webmasters to 'syndicate' the content. Why would Google want the same article republished 12,000 on various websites? One unique article (like eHow) should be suffice.

      Now Suite101, to me, seems like a site that shouldn't have been hit. I view their content as good as eHow and it's not an article directory, is it?

      My guess is Google wants content farms to go away. Whats the point of 100s, if not thousands of the same article to be republished over-and-over again?
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  • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
    Brilliant. Perhaps some type of internal link wheel would be effective? I've started a campaign for a keyword that is great for my niche. I've backlink'd the hell out of one of the pages (over 13,500 external backlinks to the page) but another page on my blog with very few backlinks is out ranking it by a large margin. I'm scratching my head on this.

    So I decided to write multiple stories on the subject and hope something sticks. I figure the more google sees my blog with published content on the subject, they'll see that I am an expert and my blog should be #1 for the keyword.

    And to be fair, I am an expert in the field and I'm not writing shabby content to fool SERPs. My content is helpful to the readers.

    Thanks so much for your input. And I apologize to the OP for hijacking this thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rita012
    I wonder if it has to do with content that can be shared.

    ezine articles and associated content have the unique content, but other people use that content.

    ehow is not something that others can use.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rita012
      With regards to internal linking and related posts plugin, take a look at ezinearticles. They are very good at internal linking as well. Yet...
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  • Profile picture of the author Adsensible
    Can someone help me understand this?

    Are the article directories (like EZE) affected? Or are sites that these directories link to negatively affected (The site in the bio-box)?

    In other words, should I even bother with writing articles and posting them on directories for the backlinks to my site?
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