Google changed their algorithm again, and this time it was a change that affected as much as 11,8% of all searches on Google. This is the change that is often referred to as the “farmer-change”, because it’s main target is to punish content farms and sites with no unique an low quality content. (Content farms = sites that scrapes the web and “copy” other sites content and publishes it as its own). Google engineers has named this update Panda.
The losers of the Google farmer algorithm change
So naturally, the content farms are now losing a lot of their traffic. Other sites that loses Google rankings are sites with RSS-generated content. Those are sites that just takes the RSS-feed from other sites and publishes a part of each article on their site. Often these types of sites are only made for giving relevant links to other sites (The site owners have added their RSS-feeds to the sites by purpose for getting links). Article directories are also losing rankings and traffic these days. In fact Ezine articles is one of the biggest losers. MFA sites are often sites with low quality content that also will see a drop in rankings. (MFA = made for adsense, made for ads, made for affiliate, sites that are made ONLY for sending people further to other pages and earn commissions). To sum this up, the losers are the sites with no unique content, and sites with low quality content. This far all good.
But who else loses traffic?
Google’s algorithm changes are not always so accurate that they only hit the targeted sites… I wonder how this will affect sites that have a lot of pages that are almost similar to each other? I think about product pages with just a small amount of unique content, online catalogs where the only difference between pages may be a heading and a phone number, and I also wonder how it will affect “map-sites” like this one that I have made: Musch resellers. (You chose a “reseller” from the map and comes to a page with a new map where the location of the reseller shows). These pages have been ranking quite good this far.
I think we both know the answer. The mentioned sites MAY be affected, but there is a way to use this as a opportunity to start ranking even better than before instead. And what is the savior? UNIQUE CONTENT! Yep, if we add unique content to all the “resellers” on the map (for example), we will survive Google’s farmer change, and in the same time, start ranking even better with the pages. The same goes for all the poorly made product pages where only a heading and a picture changes out there, you may become punished, but if you just add some unique content to every product page, you will not only survive the algorithm change, but also start ranking better.
So this is a change back towards OnPage Optimization?
well, not entirely, but the “unique content” part of onpage optimization is now more important than ever. And no one but me could be more happy! Finally, things you do on your OWN site starts to count again. Hopefully… I would like to get rid of the time consuming article submitting and link directory submitting soon.. This far the algo change has only hit the US market, and I have not seen any changes in any of our pages.
A list of the biggest ranking and traffic losers:
|#||Domain||Change in Visibility Index|
The company Sistrix did a lot of research and made this list of the biggest losers when the algorithm change was launched.
How to read the table:
The visibility index is an value calculated from traffic on keywords, ranking and click through rate on specific positions. After checking more than a million keywords they came out with this list with the top losers. As you see, there are mainly article pages and sites with low quality content, just as Google wanted.
Keep publishing good content and your sites will gain positions instead of loose. //Jonathanbj
This post is also available in Swedish on the Genero website: Googles algoritmuppdatering