• http://managinggreatness.com Gil Reich

    Hey Matt,

    I don’t agree with your take on Matt Cutts’ post.

    Yes, he does say that they’re going to do a better job regarding “content farms.” But he also takes on two of the critics’ main claims by asserting:
    1) People should stop confusing spam and scraper sites on the one hand with large-scale content sites on the other
    2) Google does not give better rankings to sites that show Google ads.

    Sites like eHow (and Answers.com, where I work) get a ton of Google traffic because they often have the best result for a particular search. In my (admittedly biased) opinion, much of Google’s success is because they’ve been much better than their competitors at responding to long-tail queries with relevant content. If they sometimes display content that you don’t think is high enough quality, don’t click that link. Removing eHow would make Google worse, not better.

    My thoughts on the subject are expanded here:
    http://managinggreatness.com/2011/01/22/matt-cutts-on-search-and-spam/

    Thanx

  • Matt McGee

    Thx Gil. I didn’t really share “my take” in this article — was just reporting on what Matt C. said regarding content farms in his blog post. My opinion doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things, but I’ve found some great info on eHow pages and some useless drivel.

  • http://www.sandiegoseoguru.com SEOGURU_@twitter

    Wow, Google isn’t wasting any time with anti Spam. Do you think they will eventually just clone the best that Blekko has to offer?

  • LindaC

    I understand the frustration regarding low quality on content farms like Demand Media sites. That said, article repositories, doc sharing sites and “answers” sites are no better, and are probably worse as far as content quality goes. Writers can’t submit “spun” and regurgitated content to Demand Medias — they can and do at article sites.

    It will be interesting to see whether Google targets recognized names like Demand Media (easier, by far) or whether they try to assess quality of the content (more difficult, for certain). Demand Media is probably written better (even when it’s fluff) than 90% of the “spun” junk in the article directories.

  • http://managinggreatness.com Gil Reich

    Good point, Danny, about Rosenblatt’s mistake. He needs to stick to that first point, that they provide relevant content that fills gaps “in Google” (that is, in the internet). They need to avoid any suggestion that Google ranks them well because of AdSense.

    Your definition of content farm is reasonable, but please remember that every long-tail evergreen content site, from Wikipedia to Stack Overflow, gets most of their traffic from Google. Stack Overflow definitely meets your definition of content farm (free is as cheap as you get). If content farm just means “a site that efficiently provides content that users demand” then that’s fine. If it’s a pejorative term for specific types of site with lots of crap then the definition should focus on the crap part. That is, is Demand Media a Content Farm because their model is evil, or because they should pay another few dollars per article and insist on maintaining an acceptable level of quality for all their articles?