This article is about Content Farms, how they work and why they’re destroying the Internet. See also what can be done against this threat.
These days CEO Richard Rosenblatt is trying something actually impossible, and he could really bring home the bacon.
But who ist Richard Rosenblatt?
Richard Rosenblatt is CEO of a huge Content Farm: Content Media – Opps, sorry – Demand Media. Their Initial Public Offer (IPO) on 27th, of January 2011 made the company worth $1.87 billion.
OK, what is Demand Media aka Content Farm all about then?
That’s for sure is pretty easy to answer. This is a type of company, which slowly renders Google search results useless. In other words, such kind of companies are killing the internet. We are thrown back in times (before 1998), where using search engines, like Altavista.com or Yahoo.com didn’t make any sense anymore, because webspam was the only thing we came up with. These were the times where you had your internet index in your head again(few known sites), and the rest was surfing the internet at its prestine nature – the way we’ve been using the internet before a search engine was developed or common – hitting interlinked hypertext.
And what is so unbelievable about Richard Rosenblatt? Let me put it like this: He’s trying to divide his company Demand Media from the term Content Farm. The curiosity is given by the fact, the term was initially invented to describe this kind of companies and its outlet.
You – as the everyday Google user have already noticed it. If not – if you haven’t already been aware of it with your full undivided consciousness, than you’ll certainly be, if I tell you, that is the time you spend with Google trying to refine your search queries without finding anything meaningfull but tons of crap. Yes – that’s Content Farm definition at its best 😉
Content Farms and their spin-offs, like Demand Media, eHow, Topix, Examinar…(the list is very long, unfortunately) produce crap at an exorbitant rate. Many thousands craptent articles are produced in a single day which all aim only at one target: Page hists, ergo money through ads. It really doesn’t matter, whether the content makes any sense or not, it’s only designed to match a specific search engine pattern (search engine optimization, SEO).
It’s also common to publish just the question without any answer. for example like this:
“How to edit 3D footage? – If you know the awswer type below.”
or how is this one:
“In order to edit 3D footage, you need an application which can handle a) the 3D content, and b) is able to cut it.”
Because you’ve already learned how to circumvent this crap, you’ll likely rephrase your search, or add a few more search terms to it, like “-answer +application +review“. But you’ll keep getting crap:
“What’s the best application to edit 3D footage? If you know application or reviews, help other users and post your experience in the text field below.”
And the harder you try to refine you search, the more crap you keep getting, because one million versions of craptent were generated to match and intercept your query.
OK, so if the problem is know, what can be done about it, and when this will be happen?
First of all – this has allegedly already happened on 21th of January 2011 (if I understood Matt Cutts here correctly).
Did we noticed anything? No – not really, but he already told us we won’t.
This was a pretty targeted launch: slightly over 2% of queries change in some way, but less than half a percent of search results change enough that someone might really notice. The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content.
Yes – that doesn’t actually make sence, but as Matt Cutts has a demigod status and is the master of the anti-spam-devision at Google we won’t doubt about the actions have been taken, won’t we?
But todays situation is even worse compaired to the times before Google in 1998. Why?
Let me start this way:
- What you can successfully fight on the internet is webspam. You can handle Link Farms which are trying to gain page rank by heavyly cross-linking onto their own sites. Google filters them quite well – I think.
- You can fight scrapers, sites which only copy or translate the original content. The war on this sites isn’t as easy as it is on Link Farms, since the copied content likely has a certain value or/and quality. As of 21. of January 2011 Google officially declared war on them – and a few success stories (stackoverflow.com) can be presented at least.
- But how do you recognize extreme amounts of craptent (low to none quality content) produced by Content Farms each and single day? Well – you could blacklist them. But it’s a step far to obvious and the craptent sites anticipated this already, since they’re often also very big domain name reseller – so they can easyly circumvent filters. Google declared war on them too, allegedly.
“I love Google, but…” is a sentence you can read a lot these days – because a lot of people aren’t satisfied with Google and their search result quality anymore. Google states, the expectation are much too high and we (the consumer) measury at a very high level. Google say the search result is better than ever before and all possible has and will be done to guarantee and improve search result quality. Yeah – marketing buzz – what else should they say?
Sorry, I love Google, but … I hate Contnet Farms and I beg you Google, give me back my Internet. Not only the customer is the looser, also me, as a very small blogger do not have a fraction of a chance against this undemanded media diarrhea.
It’s like slowly making our minds dull, and this on a global scale.
Please stop it, please!
Simple Anti-Content-Farm Addon for Google: Tidy Search
Content Farms excluded by blekko.com by default  :