Google recently announced a major change in their search engine algorithm dubbed the “Farmer” update. In short, Google is targeting content farms that host and hold massive amounts of articles and various content collection sites. These websites provide little to the searching individuals in way of content and relevancy. Think of massive dumpsters collecting crap and said crap is served up (based on search queries] as high quality content.
Google does not like this nor do we, the searching public. Google wants high quality content which is the main reason they currently own 70% [or better] of the U.S. search market. Recent stories have gained high publicity and could tarnish Google’s squeaky clean reputation for serving up only the very best results. What Google does not like…Google changes…and fast.
JC Penny was called out by the New York Times for building links [without relevant and corresponding content] and Google took action ASAP. JC Penny’s rankings have tanked. More companies are getting the SEO axe for paying for links and I fully suspect that many jobs will be lost, agency contracts broken, and more heads will roll. This could be the biggest change to the Google algorithm in its history.
Check out these recent stories [below] which led to the Enron-like [smartest guys in the room] crash of multiple online sites based on very bad SEO practices.
So what does this mean for you? Why should you care? And is there anything you need to do?
First of all, do not panic. If you have been working with a reputable SEO firm you should be okay. Google claims that the new changes will affect about 11.8% of the current search results. It could be much more by the time the full impact of these changes comes full circle. Second, you need to care because it is all about quality content or as I stated in 2006…content is king. Google simply got gamed by the SEO “experts”. Now, here is what you can do and need to do moving forward.
- Provide useful and unique website content for your visitors.
- Give your website visitors a reason[s] to come back to your site.
- Give your visitors a good reason to share your website with others via email and social media.
- Take over all of your social media profiles. Google and Bing have both suggested that social media “likes”, reviews, and fans may become a new metric for measuring websites and ranking websites. I believe this is the future of SEO. The Searchology SEO formula and methodology may look something like this; quality content [see 1 through 3] + likes + fans + reviews + universal search + links = killer search engine rank.
One thing has always been a constant. Don’t game Google or you will pay for it big time. Don’t buy links, don’t create subpar content, and always be creative with your content. The good news in all of this is companies and websites with good relevant content now have a golden opportunity to make positive changes which will impact their site ranking. As Google continues to lop off the heads of very big websites…they are going back to their roots of website content and said content ruling their SERPS.