How Google is planning to stop content farms

Each day, hundreds of thousands of people are writing articles and creating video materials for peanuts. Users are writing articles so that the companies they are working for can rank higher in Google's search positions. However, Google is planning to stop these content farms, so the question is this: is Google going to be successful ?

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Christian Munoz-Donoso has to create 10 videos in only 2 hours. Armed with three video cameras, this young man starts to drive towards lake Hungtinton, Massachusetts, with the purpose of creating a nice video story about canoeing.Once he arrives there, he meets with the instructor and with the three athletes he previously contacted and after turning on the camera and starts creating his videos.

In only a few hours he completed his job for Demand Media and he is waiting to receive his 200 dollars. Although he is no Martin Scorsese, the Wired magazine thought he did a pretty good job, and most of all, cheap.

Thousands of others video creators and writers from the US produce more than 4000 videos and articles which Demand Media is publishing each they on their websites. The company's ambitions ( Demand Media is known as the biggest content farm in the world ) are so big that they seam to be unreal: their employees have to think about all possible questions a user might search for and generated responses so that Google can display them in their search pages.

A content farm is a company that employes a big number of freelancer writers to generate a high number of articles, especially created to enhance their position in search engines. The main target is to generate advertising revenue by attracting readers. Farms are based on an algorithm who analyzes the most frequent questions made by the users. They produce "matching" content and they are making money from the ads that appear on these pages. In most cases, content farms ignore important news, or articles that are related to a very competitive niche. In return, they are filling in the void made by online newspapers or magazines.

These tasks are completed by writers or video producers, and they produce a lot of material about a lot of different topics. Currently the most popular internet searches are related to: money, movies, show, schools, family, students, or business. Also, people want to know a lot of information about diseases and retirement options and specialized websites may not satisfy them fully.

Furthermore, content farms can end up, in time, to own a large number of articles that increases their market value a lot. For example, Demand media publishes around 1 million articles each month. Demand Media, who was founded 5 years ago, was recently evaluated at 1,57 billion dollars. Another website, Associated Content, was purchased in May, 2010, by Yahoo for 90 million dollars.

To reach their goals, Demand Media uses more than 13,000 freelance writers. Those that are writing these articles are paid with $3,5 on average. They receive much less than a professional editor might receive. According to analysts, the Demand Media writers are mostly stay at home moms that are looking for additional income.

At Demand Media, Munoz-Donoso, for example, receives less money compared to the value of his work. " I am aware that I am underpaid, but what can i do ? Work is work and Demand Media always pays on time" he says, claiming that the Internet is the future. " Since I have started to work here I have created more than 40,000 videos" he says.

Demand Media is also one of the biggest videos providers on YouTube, adding more content than CBS, Associated Press, Al Jazeera, Universal Music Group or College Humor. " I think they are the Henry Ford of online videos" Jordan Hoffner said, Content Director at YouTube. Media companies like The Atlanta Journal Constitution, AOL and USA Today hired Demand Media or copied their innovations.

The content farm situation is being debated for a long time now. A few months ago it was said that Demand Media does not feel the requirements to be cataloged as a content farm. According to some analysts, a content farm is a website that takes information from another websites, while Demand Media has an army of freelancer writers who creates original and unique content.

At the end of February, 2011, Google announced that they are making adjustments to their search algorithm to offer better positions to quality websites websites with unique and original content. This was an attempt to reduce content farms manipulation. With this change, which was unnoticed by some users, Google said that they are going to improve their search results. Although they have not provided many details about this change, Google said that the change is going to have a 11,8% impact in search results.

"This improvement is made to bring down websites with bad quality content websites that produce little information to users, websites with content copied from other websites or websites that are not useful. In the same time, websites with quality content are going to be positioned higher" Google said.

If Google is going to manage to end content farms or to significantly reduce the influence they have in search results, then they are going to make an important step in gaining the users trust.

Demand Media said that they are not affected by this latest Google change. " Its impossible to speculate as to how this change or other changes made by Google are going to have an impact on an online business. Until now, we we're not affected at all" Larry Fitzgibbons said, Demand Media Vice President".

Indeed, Google said that the changes are not going to be visible right away, considering the fact that the algorithm is not fully operational world wide yet. However, since the Google announcement, Demand Media has started to improve their content quality on the eHow portal, which is their most important website of the company.

Another content farm,, searched for ways to improve their news quality and they have also published the methods they are going to use, and it's not easy at all. Examiner, who has a network of 68,000 people, produces around 3,000 articles each day. It's more than The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, CNN or MSNBC combined.


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Posted in Cleaning Services Post Date 10/18/2019






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