Google has made several updates on their search algorithm this year in order to combat spam-like contents from search results and they also released a Chrome extension, called Personal Blocklist, which is essentially crowdsources detection of websites that look like spam.
Two of the updates we know so far were dubbed as \”Scrapper Update\” and \”Farmer Update\” and these updates overlap with 84% of the top 50 websites blocked by users using Google\’s Personal Blocklist which means that the websites affected were also perceived to have low-quality or spammy content.
There are many blogs out there that are automated to find popular search terms and crawl the internet for articles and Q&A kind of websites to produce \”content\”. While this is a shady business, it could be used for legitimate purpose as well if you are syndicating content from other websites.
The Scrapper Update is primarily affecting the sites with low levels of original content. Most of which are pulling content from other sources legitimately or by aggregating content automatically by means of RSS which is a common blackhat SEO practice.
On the other hand, the Farmer Update targets sites with shallow or low quality content. Google wouldn\’t confirm if it is actually targeting content farms but by definition, Google is waging war against content farms.
There are several reports that studied the effects of the recent Google algorithm updates. You can read one here. Many have thought that eHow will lose ground on many keywords but according to several websites, eHow actually gained visibility. What is surprising to see is that ezinearticles.com, squidoo.com and hubpages.com, which are considered by many as white hat method of generating and promoting content, have lost the most visibility.
Because of this, some websites, including your blog, which are depending on promoting content through articles and lenses may also drop several places in Google\’s search results due to domino effect. If you are wondering if your website might be affected, I found thisto be useful in monitoring the effects of Google\’s updates. If you are running a blog, and if you you are heavily depending on the mentioned websites to gain visibility, it\’s time to reconsider other methods such as Youtube and Facebook, which gained considerable amount of visibility from the latest Google update.