Google Content Farm Crackdown

How Google is Affecting Content Farms

Regardless of whether you think the Google Content Farm Crackdown has helped or hindered the World Wide Web, you will want to know how your web content will be affected. I performed a small amount of research on my own that will help you determine whether the changes will impact your web content. produced their findings in an article titled, “Google Farmer Update Quest for Quality”. They found that a popular content farm called has experienced a roughly 77% reduction in Google keywords that they originally ranked for after the algorithm update was launched.

So I set out to browse to find out exactly why they have seen such a decrease in search engine visibility. I polled five articles at random and came to a striking conclusion. Of those five articles, three of them were found elsewhere on the web.

For example, in the picture below is an article found at I copied the first paragraph in Google then clicked the search button.

wisegeek gets slammed by google farmer update Google Content Farm Crackdown

In the next picture, I highlighted the duplicate content of the same article found on other websites.

picture of Google search results performed on a article
Duplicate Content Found at WiseGeek


It is worth noting that the date is not always the underpinning factor of who created the content first. With that said, it is hard to judge who is guilty of duplicating content and only with a record of the actual dated articles can you come to that determination.

Nevertheless duplicate content was found excessively when targeting this niche. has the same question answered on over 30 pages with different keywords targeting people with different styles and brands of cameras. After doing more research and if the date has anything to do with it—the answer was first found at on Nov 9, 2009.

That would make the winner for original content in this instance and ensures they will not be affected by the Google content farm crackdown. All the other examples are simply to make money off the original article by attaching adsense to each one of them and placing them on various content farms across the World Wide Web.

It has been said that Google is attacking websites that are “Antidemand-Media” but Sistrix disagrees and has found no evidence of it. A picture is forming rather quickly here though. This same article was copied, pasted, and leeched in dozens—actually in more than 50 instances—with Google adsense attached to every article. One could easily conclude that Google was “Antidemand-Media” but I agree with Sistrix that this is not the case. I think the bigger picture is more about duplicate content period.

We have to remember the purpose of the Google Farmer update was to stop duplicate content from showing within the search engine result pages. The Google Farmer Update is improving search quality. I have a good guess on how Google determines what original good content is and what duplicate content is considered to be. Simply put, they could easily program their algorithm to do a simple search of their own index by checking for duplicate content every time they index a new webpage. If the webpage appears somewhere else on the World Wide Web then it will greatly affect how it is placed within the SERPs.

Check for Duplicate Content

How do you check for duplicate content? All you do is copy a portion of any article, and paste it into a search engine. If other websites have published the same article, the majority of the search will be in bold lettering as seen in the above picture.

It is important to note that if you quote someone from another website then you should use the appropriate block quote tags. I even go as far as to cite my sources within the quote so the search engine knows that the quotation is not original content. World Wide Web Consortium shows you how to format a block quote citation properly when quoting your sources.

Here is a visual reference on how to cite someone else properly on the Web…

avoiding duplicate content
W3C Block Quote Citation Standards

Later in this series, we will look at other websites that have claimed the Google Content Farm crackdown has negatively affected them. Plus, we will look at the top 10 Google Farmer tips to help you avoid fallout over the update. We will prove that this update is more about improving search results than it is about hurting unsuspecting people trying to make money online with their own original content.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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