I suppose I should first explain what the farmer and content mill update is, well, every now and then good old Google decides to update the way is assesses websites and decides when they should and shouldn’t appear in the results, one such change has recently happened. This was being called the farmer update as it was said to be predominantly effecting content farms (those sites which people misguidedly dump regurgitated articles on in the hope of a link to their site, or even a click through or two). However it is now also being called the content mill update, this is what I’m talking about here.

There are a few ways it is suspected that big G may decide your site is a content mill, so I have briefly summarised these below, although it is worth noting that this has hit the US already, but has not been rolled out across Europe and most importantly (to me that is) the UK.

You prefer quantity to quality

If your website is full of low quality content, and no I don’t believe this includes sites like mine where I type what I think regardless, I mean those where people spin articles or just stuff them full of keywords in an attempt to get them found in search engines.

You write for the Bots not your Readers

Here’s a wacky and novel idea, how about actually writing something with readers in mind, rather than just attempting to appear for a given search term, that may let them know that your site is doing what search engines prefer, they display content which the reader is looking for.

Letting bad writers post on your blog

I know many of us have done it before, it’s been a bit busy and we haven’t written anything for several days, or even a couple of weeks, someone sends a “guest post” so we put it up, against our better judgement, because it’s better than not adding anything at all for so long, I’ve done a couple on a site which one of my contacts owns http://www.eco-seo.com but I write quality content and get my signature link in there, so that’s fine. The problem is that much of the content I see is written so badly that although it does make sense and passes a grammar check, it’s really not worth reading and doesn’t really say much anyway, I think these are probably best left off from now on.

Whilst this is all well and good, what if Google gets it wrong, it’s likely that they do when something first changes, of course they will refine it over time, but initially there could be some sites who slip through the net and those who get penalised when they shouldn’t. I suspect (although there is no proof as yet) that some product pages over multiple sites have such similar content on them that they could easily be seen as being very similar and could incur the wrath of G.

There are a number of good things about the update too though! First, and probably the point of the whole exercise is that the kind of content which I’m discussing should all but disappear from the results, this is great for anyone with a genuine site or blog, because as anything get’s dropped we will all move up a place or two.

It also means that any of us who do know a bit about SEO and haven’t been using these techniques should have a little advantage over the content mill type sites. Now please don’t think I’m an expert on this type of thing, I know a bit and just happen to have a very good friend, and he is possibly what you might call an expert, this is where I get the ideas for my posts on the subject, I pick his brains then pour it all out here for everyone else to benefit from.

If you aren’t I would suggest consulting a good uk seo company before the update hits us to make sure your site is ok, if you can find someone local all the better, so for example I’m in Salisbury so would prefer an seo in wiltshire but that’s not really essential. Or if you operate in a particular industry try to find someone who specialises in tourism seo for example.