by Jeremy Dearringer
I was almost ready to leave the office today when I noticed a tweet on my iPhone by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land. He mentioned content farms, tweeting “the more publicity particular content farms get, the more likely they risk being targets in a Google “update” that wipes them out”.
I had an idea, but at first glance I wasn’t 100% sure exactly what he meant by “content farms”. My first thought was automated programs that generate content as opposed to real humans creating content. The tweet just wasn’t enough to answer my question, so I turned to Google. I could have just asked Danny, but I didn’t want to look like a fool. I found a couple blog posts discussing the topic, most notably Content Farms: Why Media, Blogs and Google Should be Worried.
After my research I can confidently say that a content farm is any website generating vast amounts of low quality content with the intent to drive search traffic that drives ad revenue. This could be auto generated content or human generated content.
By this definition I think far more businesses might be engaging in this activity than we realize. There’s this craze to create blog content for search without taking the time to deliver true value to readers. Sure most of these articles about content farms are talking about the big offenders that get millions of monthly visitors from search engines, but those blogging for nothing more than to create keyword rich content to drive search fit the same bill in my opinion. I guess I’d rather have a poorly written blog post or answer be served in my search results than nothing at all.
What do you think?