How Does the Google Farmer Update Affect You?
Since the release of Google Panda and its predecessor, the Google Farmer update, certain websites experienced a significant drop in their rankings; however, with a few changes (mainly focused on social proof and content quality) these websites have slowly started improving. This revision has affected many sites especially content farm sites such as Ezine, EHow, Hubpages, and Articles Base.
Why Is Google Penalising Content Farms?
Content farms consist of badly written, “thin” content. Not all this content is of poor quality, but many articles are written for the sole purpose of creating backlinks and provide no real information or use to the reader. Google wants to provide its readers with as much valuable, authoritative content as possible, which is why the Google Farmer update was released. Google will now look for content that is of top quality and will not accept generic websites that churn out hundreds of sub-standard articles covering a multitude of unrelated topics.
What Does the Google Farmer Update Look for?
The Google Farmer update is now qualifying content based on a few different factors, so you should take note of these changes and implement them into your website content right away.
Adding some research material into your content is a great way for Google to see that you have gone to the trouble of finding relevant information that supports your article or blog post.
Google wants to add value, so writing your content more like a journalist, making sure that you have credible sources and accurate information, is of utmost importance. This is according to Google’s head of Search Quality, Matt Cuts. For instance, if you are talking about diabetes and how to treat it, you could mention statistics from the American Diabetes Association website and link to a page about their dietary recommendations. Or, as you will notice, the previous statement references Matt Cuts, who is a well-known authority working for Google, thereby adding quality to the information.
Gone are the days of writing a short 350-word piece. Google wants content that consists of a minimum of 500 words but prefers content in the region of 700 words. This has everything to do with high quality information. You can’t really go into detail about any topic in 300 words, so to gain the most out of them, articles and posts will need to exceed 500 words.
One of the most fundamental changes to the Google Farmer update is that social media has now been included and is vital to use in your website. Linking to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Digg provides your content with quality as it offers what is known as social proof. Basically, the more people that retweet, follow, like, or share your content, the more of an authority it becomes.
Outbound Links to Authority Sites
Linking to high quality authority sites is also important to improve your page rank and something that the Google Farmer update looks at carefully. You should try to link to sites like Wikipedia, or any organisational, news, or well-known website. Google also prefers these links to be used within the content as part of the article, instead of merely listed on the side or underneath the article.
You don’t want people to leave your custom design website, so it is best to include these links naturally towards the end of your article. Use the hyperlink feature on your blog or website software to create naturally occurring anchor text links, instead of listing the plain URL.
Adding videos to your content is something new that the Google Farmer update has brought to the fore. It is a well-known fact that people prefer to watch a video rather than read tons of content. Now, obviously there must be a lot of content too, as mentioned above, but a great video should be linked to this as well, that further explains your content or highlights something in it. YouTube is an obvious site to link to as they are part of Google and this will only serve to improve your ranking, but you can also change things up a bit by linking to videos on Metacafe and other video sites.
Aside from this, the Google Farmer update also indicates that you need to take care not to use too many ads in your site. By ensuring that your site is constantly active and of top quality, Google can see how informative and useful it is, and thereby improve its ranking.