US site owners are still struggling with the impact of Google’s ‘Farmer’ update, the update that cracked down on bad content and content-farming sites. At a recent search industry conference, Google’s Matt Cutts gave a bit more insight into the update’s effect.
Google doesn’t often get into the nitty gritty of SEO, leaving details to be guessed by a site’s search engine optimisation company. Speaking at SMX West, a recent search engine marketing expo, Cutts was surprisingly forthcoming with advice on how to cope with the update, getting into the specifics of how deeply affected sites might be. His suggestions on possible repercussions and fixes for the Google update included:
*Bad content can affect the whole site: Some site owners were puzzled that their rankings dropped for all pages. Cutts explained that the update had raised the bar for content across a site, meaning that enough low-quality content could bring a whole site down. This has always been the case to some extent, but is a lot stricter now.
*Content needs to be relevant: Another point Cutts made was that pages with too much advertising tended to suffer after the update. Sites with advertising are advised to check that their content is high-quality, and to ensure that the ratio of content to advertising is weighed in the content’s favour.
*Low-quality sites will be crawled less frequently: It’s been an SEO standby that frequent content updates attract crawling. Cutts noted that the reverse is now also true: sites deemed as low-quality will get fewer crawls.
If your site has a presence in the US version of Google, you may have noticed a few changes in your rankings. It’s important to touch base with your SEO company to re-tune your website optimisation plan. You can talk to our experts at SEO Consult about SEO approaches both for the UK and internationally.