Last week, Google updated its ranking algorithm in what’s been dubbed the “Farmer Update” because it targeted sites with low-quality content, like content farms which are often manipulated for SEO purposes. According to Google, the update affects about 12% of search queries.
Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land posted a report of the top winners and losers in the aftermath of the Farmer Update.
Google’s algorithm update comes on the heels of criticism from The New York Times regarding the relevance and quality of Google search engine results, and recent penalties for high profile sites like J.C. Penny, Overstock and Forbes, all of which were related to the use of link building tactics Google said violated its webmaster guidelines.
If you publish content online, the Farmer Update should be a wakeup call. Sure, Google’s said it before, but this time it was with a little more attitude. Google’s sick of crappy content (or getting criticized), and it’s going to punish you if it catches you gaming the system. So, it’s more important than ever that as a writer, online publisher or website owner, you understand how to make Google happy.