Strong opinions, weakly held

Google acknowledges content farms are a problem

Google has announced they’re going to more aggressively take on content farmers:

As ‘pure webspam’ has decreased over time, attention has shifted instead to ‘content farms,’ which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. In 2010, we launched two major algorithmic changes focused on low-quality sites. Nonetheless, we hear the feedback from the web loud and clear: people are asking for even stronger action on content farms and sites that consist primarily of spammy or low-quality content.

It’s good to be reminded that content farming is a reaction to search engines getting better at filtering out pure spam.


  1. they need to go talk with some of the researchers looking at academic cheating. a huge amount of the problem out there are sites that rip and re-post someone elses content. given that google has timestamps for indexed content, it ought not be too unfathomable to find derived content and de-prioritize any ranking that derived content would generate.

  2. It’s interesting that the effectiveness of Google’s algorithms caused the quality of spam itself to increase.

  3. They need a pretty heavy-handed “relegate” function that takes links to the 2nd page of results. I was searching for something fairly important the other day (“toddler vomiting”) and half of the first page of results were useless content farms. It should not be hard to exclude them. Google does not exist to serve the sites indexed but rather the users searching.

  4. “Google acknowledges that gravity pulls us downward”…

  5. It will be interesting to see how Demand Media fights back…if they can. http://bit.ly/fKMVQj

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