By now most of you have heard about Google’s big crackdown on content farms and poorly done content from some fairly big sites out there like eHow, etc. Well I have a news flash for you. Despite lists like this cropping up, the changes have done nothing to actually change anything. The fact of the matter is that the Google content farm algorithm isn’t as draconian as initially thought. The idea was to provide blogs and other worthwhile Web sites a shot at improved placement. You know, ranking based on something besides gaming Google. What a concept, right?
Flash forward to now; I did some checking with a variety of the hardest hit Web sites from the list above and discovered something shocking — nothing. Seriously, most of the content on the sites above is still ranking great. Go ahead and grab something from EzineArticles or WiseGeek and see if its ranking seems low to you. Even the crappiest of articles are still ranking nicely. Worse, Google and the rest of the media are so busy celebrating this “success” that no one with a brain has apparently bothered to do any actual checking.
I did no less than a 30 page check and found the following. eHow and WiseGeek both are ranking very well despite being on the Google hit list. On the flip side, EzineArticles was hit pretty hard as it found itself showing up in lower first page positions or even on the second page. Yes, this is Google’s big smackdown. Awesome job, Google. Way to show those content farms that you mean business.
Quality of content is king?
I am first to admit that WiseGeek is generally very good with its content. I say this as it’s usually solving a problem or explaining something in a sane manner that will make sense to most people. I have no content beef there. With other sites, it tends to run hot and cold. It really depends on the subject, it seems. I will say that eHow content remains incomplete and it generally doesn’t provide enough info to really accomplish anything of value. Remember, it is a Web site on how to do stuff, whereas WiseGeek is merely explaining what it is. There is a difference there.
The one site I wasn’t able to get around to testing much was Expert Exchange. It always killed me as it would rank for common search terms despite the user not being able to see the solution without forking over a payment! How the hell does that make sense? For my money, all I want to see is a bigger advantage handed to the bloggers and less emphasis on the content generation sites. The fact that EzineArticles and its ilk still rank for anything is interesting. I get that there is some content on there that is helpful, well written, and worth checking out. But so much of it isn’t.
What has you experience been? Have you noticed any worthwhile changes in the new Google algorithm adjustment? I ask as I have noticed very little change, and I want to make sure I didn’t miss something along the way here. I’m interested in hearing what your experience happens to be with all of this.