an Important Lesson about Traffic Diversity
Important: DO NOT skim this thread!! If you do, you are bound to miss some important pieces of information.
On Jan 21st, Matt Cutts of Google announced a new round of high profile algorithm changes around the next bend. He announced changes to Google's Search Algorithms to combat search engine spam and changes that were coming soon.
Of course, those who reported this news tended to only focus on one small part of the overall announcement where Cutts said Google was "evaluating": " 'Content Farms,' which are sites with spammy, shallow or low-quality content."
Earlier today, I reported the items left out of most news stories, in a post in the SEO Forum.
Surprisingly, on Friday Jan 28th, Cutts announced that the Content Farm Algorithm had been made live the previous day -- one week after announcing that Google would be evaluating what could be done about Content Farms.
He stated that these changes would only affect 2% of all Google search queries, but fewer than 0.5% of changes would be obvious to Google's users.
On the same day, in a story at Search Engine Roundtable, Barry Schwartz reported on the fallout from this latest Google Algorithm change: "Confirmed: Google's Content Farm Algorithm Live! Sites Are Dropping!"
Authority websites that have always done things by the "book" for years, are dropping like flies!! LOL
Schwartz reported that "Webmasters who have had stable rankings in Google and stable traffic from Google for years" are reporting 40-60% drops in traffic.
Those most painfully affected by Google's Content Farm Algorithm Change are webmasters who are suggesting that they "have unique and useful content on their site!"
To understand how this has come to pass, one must understand how Google defines "Content Farms". Simply put, "Content Farms" are websites that create content.
In his Jan 21st announcement, Matt Cutts said, "We hear the feedback from the web loud and clear: people are asking for even stronger action on content farms".
Of course, anyone who follows my posts here at the Warrior Forum should not be surprised. In Dec 2010, I reported a rumor about the anticipated launch of Google's new "Unique Content Penalty". Others in that thread were also able to confirm an anticipated Jan 2011 roll-out of this new Google penalty.
So, it would seem that the rumor I reported in December had some legs to it after all... The Unique Content Penalty, also known as the Original Content Penalty, seems to have been implemented along with the Content Farm Algorithm Change.
It seems that Google really is targeting Content Farms -- those websites that create "Unique and Original Content"!!!
Remember how Matt Cutts said that the Content Farm Algorithm Change would only affect 2% of all Google search queries?
When you stop to realize that 98% of all online content is unoriginal, rehashed content, then the 2% number takes on a whole new meaning, doesn't it?
There is a very large lesson in this story, for all of those folks who have always relied on Google for their traffic!!
Matt Cutts and Google have made a statement this month that they are tired of those Internet Marketers who try to manipulate Google's search engine results to get better rankings!!
While Cutts and company may have not come right out and said it, in effect, Google has shown us in a very bold way that Internet Marketers should seek traffic from more sources than just Google...
So long as we try to play to the whims of Google, at any time it suits them to do so, Google will change their search algorithms and deal webmasters a 40%-60% drop in traffic... Even if the webmaster has done his best to follow Google's webmaster guidelines...
The Lesson to be learned from this past month? Diversify your traffic sources...
What is your opinion about these new developments?