Saturday, March 05, 2011

Google’s “Farmer” Search Engine Update Killing Quality WebSites

By Mark J. Donovan

Last week Google updated its search engine algorithm to the detriment of many popular and successful websites including lost 25-30% of its traffic virtually overnight, while other folks like, and have lost over 50% of their traffic. Hundreds of other quality websites have lost much more. The news was so negative that the Wall Street Journal wrote two articles on this subject earlier this week.

Google’s latest Search Engine Optimization (SEO) update is referred to in the industry as the “Farmer” SEO update. Google has communicated that the main purpose of this update was to clean up the high number of giant content farm mills out on the internet that scrape, copy and put out hundreds and thousands of low value content webpages each day. I commend them for wanting to do this. Unfortunately, however, some of the same websites that use these tactics survived this SEO update, while other quality and long established websites got the shaft. See Google’s webmaster forum to see the hundreds of webmasters that have been filing complaints and pleading for reconsideration over the past few days.

Companies are now laying off employees and online businesses are going bust all due to one company, Google. The true winners in this shuffle of the deck chairs appear to be the big companies such as Sears, Google Shopping division, Amazon, Ikea, HGTV, Britannica, Facebook, MarthStewart, etc. Unfortunately these sites, with the exception of Facebook, are exclusively about selling you products rather than providing you with free information and answers that save you time and money such as Don't expect Google Shopping, Amazon or Ikea to respond to your email questions unless you have a credit card in hand.

Even more amazing is that some of the websites that are notorious for puttting out low value content survived this Google Cyclone, such as What really galls me is the fact that has almost a 1000 useless back-links to (rel=nofollow links) as a referenced source for their watered down content on a sujbect that I wrote about. To that I say, thanks for nothing and Google!

I urge Google to wake up and realize what they have done. Its a travesty to both the consumers and hard working people who have spent years trying to provide quality help to people.

I hold out a glimmer of hope that Google will do the right thing and reconsider what it has done. As a matter of fact, I have some evidence that suggests that this may already be happening. I have been using Google Adsense since 2005, and low and behold two days ago when I log into my blogger account I get a Google Pop up saying this blogsite looks pretty popular and that maybe I should consider using Adsense. Its ironic on two levels. First this blogsite and have been using Google Adsense for years, and second this is the first time EVER that they have sent me anything about signing up for Google Adsense.

Maybe even Google is feeling the hit in their wallet for their latest actions. They appear so desperate they can't even take the time to figure out what publishers are using Adsense on their own blogging service before sending out a spam advertisement.

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