Monday, 25 July 2011

Farmer Update | Algo Update Research

Is it just me or are you getting a bit tired of hearing about Google's algo changes? It's getting a bit old isn't it? Time to stop complaining about something you can't change and start re-framing the problem. Let's look at this in a new light and let's figure out what we can do to get some status back at Ezines or HubPages or Squidoo or GoArticles or eHow or wherever it is that you prefer to publish your articles.


Let's put this to rest. I like to break things down and dissect things here at Mwah ha ha Money so let's make sure we really have a handle on this. We've spent the better part of this month "getting To Know Google and this two part post is all about learning from our mistakes - what forced Google to implement it's Algorithm changes, how to avoid getting slapped and how to super-charge your articles in the process.

This is what I've done and what we're going to be covering in today's post:
  • I've done a little research into the REASON for Google's Farmer Update and I wanted to share my results with you
  • We'll go through what the results mean 
  • Learn how YOU can super charge your articles at your content farm of choice.

There's approx 3 billion webpages at our disposal. Rumor has it we're running out of IP addresses. Affiliates of old spammed the hell out some keywords with their slapped up "mini-site's" consisting of banners, affiliate links, a squeeze page and about 5 pages of content - often that which was poorly spun PLR articles or duplicate content.

After the latest algorithm change in Feb '11 approx 12% of webpages (11.8% to be precise) were affected - many were de-indexed, many lost their high page rank, many were sandboxed. It was known as the almighty Google Slap.

12% of 3 billion webpages...anyone got a calculator? That's 250 million wepages, the vast majority of whom were affiliates that were slapped by the changes.


What made Google slap those pages and not others? Why were some affiliates sandboxed while other affiliates saw an increase in visitors and a better page rank?

What made those affiliates different?

I'm a numbers sought of gal - I never really thrived in the back of my maths class but I do love my statistics so I've crunched a few numbers (painstakingly...ingrates).

According to Ezine Articles blog, these are the most overly flooded keywords found on the site - you'll probably recognize a lot of them from Squidoo's own list of SquiDon't's (banned topics at

1. Penis Enlargement
2. Get Your Ex Back
3. Acai Berry
4. Reverse Cell Phone Lookup
5. Credit Card Debt Relief
6. Male Enhancement Pill
7. TV for PC

So let's look at what I've spent the evening doing,,,

Firstly, I've taken some keywords that I know are highly competitive and are often associated with spam or are amongst the most popular topics on banned topic lists around the content farms.

These words are:
  • weight loss
  • get your ex back
  • acai berry
  • penis (as in penis enlargement, penis enhancement and erectile dysfunction pages also include this keyword)
  • male enhancement
  • credit card debt relief
First things first, find out just how big a few of our favourite content sites really are. I do this by using Google's search bar and typing in

then checking the number of results. Then I used the advanced search feature and asked Google how many pages from each content site it has added to it's index in the past month. Pretty impressive stuff, my fellow affiliates - how many of those are yours?

Ss how big are they?
  •  8,860,000 total       369 000/mth
  •         2,190,000 total        350 000/mth
  •        1,600,000 total        726 000/mth
  •             3,540,000 total    15,400,000/mth

Here's where it gets a little tricky, I've taken these keywords and I've asked Google to tell me how many webpages are in Google's index that contain these keywords.

And then...

Just to make it a little bit more confusing, I've asked Google, how many NEW webpages have been added to it's index in the past month.

8,860,000 total     369 000/mth

Weight loss                   628 000 total      18 200/mth
Get your ex back         357 000 total          286/mth
Acai berry                     45 700  total            67/mth
Penis                             109 000 total           424/mth
Male enhancement       44 900 total           201/mth
credit card debt relief   67 400 total           162/mth

SQUIDOO                   2,190,000 total     350 000/mth 
Weight loss                    51 700 total         9960/mth
Get your ex back          27 300 total         9280/mth
Acai Berry                        2 630 total           41/mth
Penis                                 1 840 total           45/mth
Male enhancement            538 total           18/mth
Credit card debt relief -    1470 total           39/mth

HUBPAGES                 1,600,000 total      726 000/mth

Weight loss                    59 700 total       20 600/mth
Get your ex back          13 500 total           901/mth
Acai berry                        3 450 total            90/mth
Penis                                 4 410 total          128/mth
Male enhancement            832 total           46/mth
Credit card debt relief     1 720 total           73/mth

EHOW   *                      **32,540,000 total 15,400,000/mth
Weight loss                    803 000 total     127 000/mth
Get your ex back             4 550 total          412/mth
Acai berry                         1 770 total          112/mth
Penis                                  3 010 total          113/mth
Male enhancement             666 total           20/mth
Credit card debt relief       3 560 total        477/mth

* Google is giving me inaccurate numbers tonight for - according to my search tonight, I have 3 million webpages in ehow or 15 million new pages which have been added in the past month. Good one Google! I will amend ASAP. Does anyone want to leave me a message and tell me what they get?

** This number is based on webpages indexed by Google in the last YEAR and not all time. I will amend ASAP.

Okay, some of these keywords make up a HUGE portion of the webpages on that site. Let's take a look at HubPages (sentimental reasons, I published my first article there!)

Out of the 726 000 new webpages from HubPages that Google indexed last month, nearly 3% of them related to weight loss. Doesn't sound like much when you say it like that but that's over 20 000 pages.

Just how many of those are affiliates marketers we can only guess but what do you think? About 500? Maybe 1000 of them are real people talking about their own weight loss of lack there of? The rest are often spammy,  salepagey articles that aren't worth the time of day for the average person looking to lose a few pounds.

These affiliates spammed these keywords onto Google's radar and forced them to do a MAJOR clean-up-athon. We HAVE to give Google NEW content and stop spamming the life out of these old keywords on our favourite content sites.

If you're promoting a keyword that has more affiliates than searches each month then you're heading for trouble.

Google prides itself on great user experience - we've spoken about it in detail this month - and we need to find a balance between giving Google what it needs AND pleasing our readers. The very core beliefs on which Google has built it's empire don't really change all that much.  It all boils down to giving the best possible results for peoples searches.

Knowing how to give people (and by extension Google) what they are looking for  - original, quality, valuable information - is a crucial key to the puzzle. The rest is SEO, backlinks (remember the illustration about being the new kid at school?) and using long tailed keywords.

So the question remains...

What can YOU do to make sure that you don't
suffer from the next clean-up-athon?

Because I can guarantee, there will be others.

That's what we're going to talk about in our next post. we're going to talk about how you can safeguard your articles AND make them rank better, pull in more traffic and hopefully convert a higher rate of that traffic.

Stay tuned =)

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