Google Farmer Update – Is There a Cause for Alarm?

Recently, Google made some changes to its search algorithm, and these changes are now collectively known as the “farmer update” by those in the industry. This update gained its nickname since it seems to have been a case of Google targeting a lot of the popular content farms that have sprung up over the past few years. These content farms often have hundreds of thousands of pages with large amounts of low-quality information, but because they have accumulated so many links, they do very well in the search engine results. This algorithm change has dropped the ranking of hundreds of thousands of these types of pages, and a lot of people are wondering if there is cause for alarm since this update is changing the game a bit for Internet marketers.

If you are in the online industry, chances are that you have used article directories like or for linking power, or just to promote your websites or products. You may have even used a web 2.0 site like to push your wares, or as part of a strategic linking structure to help improve the rankings of your money pages. With the new Google algorithm update, pages from all three of these websites have fallen very far in the Google search rankings, which means you’ll be getting much less organic traffic than you were before.

For people who have used article marketing, or some other similar methods that rely on organic traffic to drive sales leads, this is a very critical time. This new algorithm update has put a damper on article marketing in a major way, and unless SEO’s and internet marketers adapt to the changing environment, they will soon be looking for a different form of employment. While some people may be out of a job as a result of the Google farmer update, the situation isn’t so dire for everyone.

For us SEO’s, this is the nature of the game. If you find something that works too well, and it becomes a popular method for making money, then Google will make an adjustment to change the virtual landscape so that the method is no longer as profitable. Some internet marketers will lose a lot of profit with this change in the algorithm, but others will adjust. The most savvy webmasters will rise to the occasion and work to figure out how they can take advantage of the new environment. With these adjustments, they will make even more money in spite of the algorithm changes.

We know that higher quality content and original research will rank higher in the search engines, it’s up to us and other resourceful guys out there on the internet to figure out how to take advantage of the situattion. Certain types of websites will become the new favorites in the search engines, instead of seeing pages from article directories dominate the rankings for a majority of major keywords. Instead of sulking about the farmer update, you should try to figure out what types of pages are going to be more favorable in this new search environment, and make money from your findings.

Remember one thing: no matter what the changes are, eventually some new type of site will rise to the top, and Google may decide to make an algorithm change against those sites as well. Then SEO’s will be back to the same old game, trying to figure out how to make it to the top of the rankings again.

Zac is a link building specialist and a seasoned SEO professional. He manages a team of link builders and actively promotes some of Australia's biggest brands. Zac is an active blogger and also maintains Dejan SEO's news and updates section.

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