Search engines have “won a major victory” in their battle against so-called content farms. So says the current issue of New Scientist magazine, in an article that’s also available online.
New Scientist asked University of Glasgow computer scientist Richard McCreadie to study 50 search queries that are “known to be a target of content farmers.” One example query given is “how to train for a marathon.” McCreadie studied those queries in both March and August, and the magazine says “the results show that Google and Microsoft have won a major victory” against content farms.
The results are striking. In the case of the marathon query, sites that contained lists of generic tips, such as “invest in a good pair of running shoes”, were present in the top 10 in March but had disappeared by August, while high-quality sources, such as Runner’s World magazine, now appear near the top. Similar trends were found throughout the 50 queries.
The article doesn’t offer much more in the way of details, unfortunately.
Although the study looked at both major search engines, it’s Google that’s been waging the content farm battle much more actively than Bing. That dates back to the initial launch of the Panda update on February 24th of this year. Read the stories below for more background.