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  • 30+ Google Quality/Panda Update Resources for Content Farmers and SEO Practitioners


    After watching the SEO industry debating the Google Panda or Content Farmer update as it was initially dubbed for weeks and now that the update has hit the UK as well I decided to compile a list of the most important resources on it.

    This update seems to have hit far more SEO practicioners than average webmasters, that might be one of the reasons for the popularity of the topic.

    Google itself says that 12% of search results have been impacted initially while in a survey 40% of US SEO practicioners admitted they have lost traffic in the update aftermath.

    Content farmers have been hit but not all of them, the content farm that was the reason for the discussion on content farms got away unscathed. Demand Media’s eHow thrives even better than before. Why? It wasn’t really a content farms update.

    It was a quality update as Google itself refers to it. Thus all kinds of sites have been affected even legit sites not following the content farm business model at all. Some of them have been reinstated after a public outcry though so it seems to be a good idea to ask your PR department for help when your rankings plummeted.

    On the flip side it’s quite obvious what leads to rankings drops and what not do in order to stay on top in Google’s results in 2011.

    • Do not scrape or copy content from other websites.
    • Do not “spin” content using automated software that garbles it to the point where it’s understandable anymore.
    • Do not let ads dominate your site visually
    • Focus on quality content not quantity or sheer size.

    Additionally I have already written how not to appear like a content farm.

    OK, most of these aspects of this update have been covered already so I don’t have to repeat it. Instead check out these 30+ Google quality/panda update resources for content farmers and SEO practitioners.


    Make sure not to miss the links to the UK specific statistics at the bottom.


    Definition and overview



    Reasons for ranking losses



    Techniques to deal with the update



    Issues apparent after the update






    Statistics and analytics




    So you see, not only content farmers should care but those who defined the term weren’t affected as expected. So the Demand Media business model of content farming is far from gone. It just entered the next phase. More importantly

    • article directories
    • pseudo-search engines
    • thin content sites

    have been hit far more obviously.

    Have you been affected by the recent quality update? How? Did you lose or gain rankings and traffic? Tell us in the comment section!

    * Panda image by Scott Ableman.

    I help people with blogs, social media & search. I help you succeed on the Web. I've been online publishing for 15 years. I started back in 1997.

    18 Responses to “30+ Google Quality/Panda Update Resources for Content Farmers and SEO Practitioners”

    1. [...] put a list of 30 resources together for farmers or folks affected by the [...]

    2. No Guarantee’s In SEO | Digital Edwards says:

      [...] engine algorithms change all the time, the most recent #panda update is a great example which saw some huge businesses lose search [...]

    3. Colin Smith says:

      You say it was “a quality update as Google itself refers to it”, so “do not scrape or copy content from other websites”. Why then would article directories that publish fresh, original content be negatively targeted?

    4. Tad Chef says:

      Colin: Article directories have content that is both spread on several sites and is often considered “shallow”. Many of them are ad heavy and are not very usable. Quality raters don’t like them.

    5. Plato's Cave of SEO's | Stephan Miller says:

      [...] 30+ Google Quality/Panda Update Resources for Content Farmers and SEO Practitioners (seoptimise.com) [...]

    6. Katherine says:

      Content which was syndicated or (worse scraped)can now rank higher than the original content – that’s not a brilliant outcome.

    7. We did not see much of drop in the traffic, but we also depend on places and maps for leads as well. But thanks about the heads up on article scraping and syndication, we did not know that some article services practice this..

    8. Tad Chef says:

      Katherine: There is confirmation of this issue in this post by SEOmoz:
      Yes, indeed, it looks bad. Hopefully Google will fix it in the near future.

    9. 4 Essential Panda Terms to add to your SEO Dictionary | KeithBrown.com says:

      [...] Panda Update Resources for Content Farmers [...]

    10. I was working on a new website that just launched several months earlier and surprisingly had a lot of traffic. While exciting, that quickly changed with the algorithm changes. In all honesty, we hadn’t “earned” the traffic yet, but I just don’t know what we did wrong to be punished, since our content is legit.

    11. Thanks Tad.

      Do you think that the level of spend that sites put into SEM activities with Google has anything to do with the rises/falls in SEO traffic?

      The dubious part of me thinks it may very well do, yet is being somewhat over-powered by my love/respect for Google.


    12. Tad Chef says:

      Jason: That’s indeed sad. Can you tell us a bit more about the site that got hit by the update? Does it have unique content?

      Matt: The sheer time and effort spend on SEO does not guarantee the results, neither in the positive nor the negative sense. On the other hand I think there is a direct correlation between the time and effort spend on content strategy, creation and marketing and the positive results in Google. SEO work can impact a site both ways. Generally the more pillar content the better. (Low quality content provided by the dozen can have a negative impact as well though.) That’s why we have a big list almost weekly now.

    13. There is a significant panic all around webmasters and web optimization practitioners regarding Google Panda revise. Then again I think that Google update simply cleaned top rankings from Spam and web directories and also autoblogs. White hat search engine optimization and top quality content is not affected at all, I’m sure this really is precisely the contrary and great news for anyone who practise white hat search engine optimization.

    14. Stefan says:

      The Panda Update actually provided a lot of insight into how Google works – I was able to see some of my sites drop – and some of them gain rankings. Carefully analyzing the differences between those sites that won and those that lost gave me some good indicators as to what Google is doing.

      Tad, I read your post about ‘how to not appear like a content farm’ and you are right on with several of your points – especially with quality outgoing links. I have been saying this for years and with Panda Google seems to give more weight to this than they did before.
      However, I do not agree with the ‘reading level’ argument. Google wants to show ‘relevant’ pages – not pages of a certain reading level. A higher reading level does not mean that the page is ‘better’ or ‘more relevant’. It is more a relationship between keyword and page: If your search keyword has a high level – high reading level pages will be more relevant.

    15. Robert Oates says:

      Pandas come in all shapes and sizes.

      It’s a good thing really: clears out the spammers and makes way for credible, authoritative Web sites.

    16. The Best SEO Posts of All Time « technocreate.wordpress.com says:

      [...] http://white.net/noise/blog/2011/04/30-google-qualitypanda-update-resources-for-content-farmers-a… [...]

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