Google: Are You Really Serious About Tackling Webspam? I Doubt It!

On 21 January 2011, Matt Cutts – head of Google’s Webspam team – announced on Google’s official blog about the search engine’s approach towards improving search quality by tackling search engine spam. That was actually in response to a chorus of critics against Google for indexing spammy content which has made the users’ search experience really sucky. It seems like the world’s biggest search engine has been slacking on the job and has done nothing much to fulfill its promise of serving quality content to users when they perform a search online.

I can clearly feel the passion behind Matt’s post as he reassured everyone that Google will never condone webspam. In fact, he pointed out that over the past decade or so, Google’s search quality is way better than it has ever been in terms of relevance, freshness and comprehensiveness. “Today, English-language spam in Google’s results is less than half what it was five years ago, and spam in most other languages is even lower than in English.”

Truly, a week later, Google made an algorithmic change to its SERPS and this time, its attention was said to have shifted towards tackling “content farms” which are sites with shallow or low quality content. Actually, Matt did give a hint in his post that Google was “evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content.”

So Is Google’s Latest Algorithmic Change Towards Webspam Working?

Apparently, they have missed out on at least one company called Demand Media. Most people who have read Matt’s post naturally assume that he was talking about websites like of Demand Media which launched an IPO recently valuing the company at $1.5 billion. Well, it is not that Demand Media is the only “content farm” (if that is how we understand it from Matt’s definition) in town but usually, when an article is written about “content farms”, Demand Media is popularly cited as it has basically become the notorious poster child for this phrase.

For the sake of the potential shareholders of Demand Media, I really hope Google – or specifically Matt – can shed us some light on whether content from and similar sites of Demand Media is considered to be of “poor quality”.

Well, you guys might not know … Demand Media has a huge team of SEO gurus and complex scientific algorithms designed to create content that will rank high in the search engines. Even more surprising, they pay a mere couple of bucks per article or video and these content actually shows up in the SERPS for medical results right next to WebMD and Mayo Clinic. A content library consisting of 3 million articles and around 200,000 videos as of 15 December 2010. A business “model that they think is scalable and readily transferrable to international markets”. All these just support a plain fact that Demand Media is going to keep cranking out content on an increasing scale. If Demand Media is not considered a content farm, then who is? The writers working for Demand Media certainly aren’t doctors or medical consultants who are capable of giving expert advice.

When asked to sum up Demand Media’s relationship with Google, CEO Richard Rosenblatt pointed out one point that struck me instantly: “We help them [Google] fill the gaps in their index, where they don’t have quality content”. Well, it seems that they are going way further than merely filling in the gaps … even to the point of saturation but who can blame them? If it works, then why not? The ball is really in Google’s court as far as how well they are going to let it continue to work.

Not convinced that the search engine has totally wiped out content farms, I did a little test on Google. I got my hands dirty and did a search for the search phrase “level 4 brain cancer”. And more results from Shouldn’t Google be showing results from a more medical-related authority website and ranking them higher than As you scroll down the page, you will see websites like Yahoo Answers or Associated Content. You get the idea. Google, are you really providing us with quality content? I doubt.

And what about Hmm, I visit this website quite often and I like the content on it. This website aggregates content from TechCrunch and many other blogs. So far, so good. I have nothing against as long as I get good material to read every day but why is this website still a partner of Google’s Adsense program and deriving revenue from it? Why is it still ranking high in the SERPS? Google, aren’t you against duplicate content? I seriously do not understand.

If Demand Media, SeekingAlpha and other similar websites – that are generally labeled as content farms – want to continue to reap the Google love and benefits, they really ought to step up on the quality. It really dampens the search experience, if all I see are results from websites providing spammy contents.

Google, have you heard enough? Matt, it is time to gather your Webspam team together for a good talk about it. High time.

As CEO of Affiliate Home Business, Jack Harold is an experienced Internet marketer and has helped thousands of his students to apply Internet marketing strategies to succeed online. If you will like to know how to make money online, you can grab a free copy of his exclusive “The Rags To Riches Blueprint” at his website, Affiliate Home Business.

182 thoughts on “Google: Are You Really Serious About Tackling Webspam? I Doubt It!”

  1. that’s a wonderful post from Jack that will answer a lot of newbies questions. I am glad that Google isn’t that scrict. Even though, Google’s Algorithm has changed recently.

    1. I think that Jack is barking under the wrong tree. There are zillions of a lot worse sites than the one he mentions here.

      This post is definitely not for the newbies so I don’t know what you mean by mentioning it.

      1. You are right mate. There are zillions of websites that are worse than Demand Media and the like. The bottomline is … are we still going to tolerate such low quality sites on the web? In my opinion, it is time that we bloggers start to find our voice and tell Google what kind of search engine we want!

        1. PPC Ian says:

          I totally agree! I honestly think eHow is a reasonably good website. From time to time, I’ve used eHow when I didn’t know how to do something. The information is practical and helpful. I think the reason Demand Media is still ranking well is they provide good content.

          1. @Ian, as I emphasized again and again, it seriously depends also on the content that you are searching for. There are really times when you will require professional consultancy.

          2. Abhik says:

            Both that sites use heavily moderated user generated content. Also, the quality of the contents are very high compared to the other websites. I guess it’s logical that they rank well in serp.

          3. Same here…especially since I’m an author on ehow!!! They’re pretty strict in terms of passing content and publishing. I personally think its quality…and not just because i write for them.

        2. There are a lot more people online than just us bloggers. We can’t tell Google to do squat.

          1. But we can’t do nothing either. Am I right pal?

          1. Jack,

            If ever what you seem to want comes to pass there will be a very empty web. Professional consultancy online for free? you must be kidding.

            Most information on the internet is there to give people a reasonably good idea about whatever subject. For detailed specific information you have to pay.

          2. I will never rest in peace brother.

        3. Or maybe, just maybe, other companies aside from Google has already listened to us.

          Take Blekko for an example, as pointed out by Pete Cashmore in his CNN article.

          Now I wonder, will content curators start to slap and take away the jobs of SEOers? Or even community managers?

          I answer could still be NO as these people need to work hand in hand in order to fully succeed but then again, I guess it’s a wake up call for poor practitioners of SEO or those who abuse it.

      2. Yes, but if the advice on these types of sites are not coming from experts that are qualified to speak about the subject then it might be confusing or similar for people who are searching for things as level 4 brain cancer.
        There will always be people who are newbies to Internet and will treat the information they read as the ultimate truth. Doing so can sometimes be verry dangerous. John wants the real medical sites to rank higher so that people can easily get sxpert advice from the real qualified experts.


        1. @Alexander, precisely the case when i though the Internet was god many years back. I trusted the information so much that they were like god’s sayings. The fact that anyone can post what they think are “facts” make the whole thing worse.

    2. d3so says:

      Google is more strict towards low traffic and low quality sites.

      1. @d3so, I guess it’s time for them to crack down on the big players so that everyone has a level playing ground. Don’t you all agree? Don’t you want your websites to be ranking higher on the SERPs?

        1. Abhik says:

          yes, we all want our own sites to rank. But, that doesn’t necessarily means that we bash big players and ask Google to take them down.

          1. Jack and Abhik,

            While Google is trying to provide the best experience for their users and doing a reasonably good job with some imperfections, they are not a democracy.

            They will do whatever the hell they please and they are not a charity either.

            Unless you noticed they are in it to make big money.

          2. @Abhik, why not when they are not doing it correctly?

        2. Well..they did crack down on JC Penny recently because of unethical link building practices…

          1. They cracked down on BMW a few years ago too, but they were back in the SERPS in a few day. That’s not likely to ever happen to people like us.

        3. You and I will never have a level playing ground with Google, it just never works like that. The BIG players can send tons more visitors and traffic and we can never compete.

          1. Hi mate, not a level playing ground with Google but with the BIG players I mean. Believe in God’s will.

    3. Abhik says:

      That’s true.
      Every n00b should know the good practice even before they jump into it.

      1. @Abhik, something that I will like everyone to take away here is that let’s try to contribute genuinely to the Internet society instead of gaming the search engines via methods like content farms and other sort of webspam.

        1. Abhik says:

          You can’t take those content firms or spams away..
          The copycats will always be there.

          1. @Abhik, previously they are there, that’s why we need to nail them down. We see crooks everywhere. Are you saying that we are just going to close one eye on them? Do you still need the police?

          2. Abhik says:

            Well, I at least can do (and, I am doing) my part by reporting those sites to Google.

            It’s Google’s duty, not yours or mine, to filter those out and they are doing it quite well.

          3. I think it’s more targeting auto blogs that are out there just scraping websites.

          4. Neon SRT4 says:

            Yes, Man. there are people, who always do copy right others work.

        2. Real content farms just don’t work.

          1. Hi mate, glad you know it. Real content farms will never work cos they are practically junk crap!

    4. Seriously, I can’t believe that Google has not done much to penalize websites like these. It will be a matter of time before Matt Cutts & team starts to put some attention on such content farms.

      1. Abhik says:

        Its better late than never 🙂

        1. @Abhik, I like that. Better late than never. So Google, please start to get your hands dirty on webspam!

      2. I think it’s pretty hard to distinguish…which is why they don’t do a giant ban hammer!

        1. There’s always a way around things. Matt Cutts and team just need to put on their thinking hats and work harder.

    5. When sites like have 1,490 Google and 325,000 Yahoo backlinks, there’s almost no way they won’t get great rankings even if they completely copy all their content, which they don’t. With those number of links you simply can’t lose.

      1. right…really hard to penalize big sites, sites with tons of incoming links, and those with quality links and content.

        1. Didn’t JCPenny gotten hit real hard recently? I shall wait for the next Google victim to fall and perish!

      2. Talking about SEO, there are various factors that determine the rankings of a website in the search engines, not only the backlinks itself. Site authority also plays a major part and this can be discounted if you are not an authority (so as to speak)

        1. jack can u tell more about site authority?how does it helps in SEO?

  2. The new changes in Google’s search algorithms already dropped the traffic of many websites around 40 – 60% because they were mixing duplicate content with new content.

    Why do you believe that writers are not the ideal content producers who deserve the first rankings at Google? Do you believe that doctors give objective lessons to their readers? Google is not promoting ‘products’ but content. This is the difference.

    Many writers give objective lessons to the ignorant public after making a research if they don’t possess the necessary knowledge in order to give explanations to all internet users.

    On the other hand, Google’s system is ‘a marketer’. Google doesn’t represent justice online.

    1. Hey Christina, if that’s really your name,

      You are much closer to the facts and understanding what’s going on than Jack, in my opinion.

      Google is doing all it can and it does make mistakes but not with allowing the site he’s picked on to rank well. As for the doctors writing articles it’s not happening. Jack is in the fantasy land on this. And what doctors do write is not making much sense to normal people.

      Jack doesn’t seem to understand that anybody can write on any subject from their point of view.

      Otherwise the media, reporters and editors would have to close shop.

      1. Hi mate, not that I am saying others cannot write on what they want but wouldn’t you want to hear some authoritative advice from some professionals? I like those coverage by media, reporters and editors which give a different perspective of things but I think we will like to hear more from the experts as well.

        1. Jack,

          The experts aren’t going to bother with giving the kind of information you want on the internet for free.

          I say get rid of spasm and copy and paste sites and let the rest be left up to the site visitors.

          1. That’s kinda passive aren’t we? We should not change to suit the environment; instead, the environment should change to suit the right mindset.

        2. True media sites have so much of a better chance of getting traffic and rankings from Google just because TONS of people link to these sites.

          1. That’s a sickening fact. True. But there are other SEO factors that come into play when we talk about search rankings.

      2. “You are much closer to the facts and understanding what’s going on than Jack, in my opinion.”


        1. I guess I am just talking about some ideal situation that will never get realised?

      3. Neon SRT4 says:

        Hmm, that’s nice reply man. Google is not a perfect thing to track spam.

    2. d3so says:

      I’ve noticed a decline in traffic but I’ve never duplicated content.

      1. @d3so, there’s alot of reasons why your traffic / rankings has declined. For all you know, it could be due to websites that are linking to you are less authoritative in the eyes of Google too as they might have duplicate content.

      2. Paul B says:

        Yeah that algorithm change has been a real bitch. Oh no hang on a minute, my traffic levels are still growing, strange that.

      3. what about your link practices…anything grey hat or black hat? DFB or xrumer??

        1. Not that I know of. What’s DFB and xrumer?

        2. I dont think hes using xRumer or any of these BH tools for ranking

          Its all natural or white hat

      4. There may be many, many reasons for a decline in traffic.

        1. I completely agree with you

    3. @Christina I believe it is high time that Google moves on to the next stage instead of being a mere directory of websites. Ask yourself, what do the users of search engine want? Legit content. Something that can help them. Public giving medical advice? I seriously doubt the authenticity of the advice.

      1. Jack,

        I fail to see why you keep harping on the medical advice and its authenticity.

        Do you seriously believe that even if only certified doctors would be allowed to publish on the internet that if they did it the resulting content would be something to live by?

        Even the medical profession doesn’t agree on everything and besides that they are constantly finding to have been wrong and reevaluating things.

        For that reason out of fear of being sued you’d find zero medical advice.

        1. You sound like we are guinea pigs even when we are in hospitals cos the docs will be trying their methods on us. If you do not know, there is a medical board that oversees the integrity of the entire medical professionalism. All doctors have to abide by that law.

  3. Hotdogman says:

    Demand Media and their ilk pay $15 per article. If you are a good researcher and writer, you can crank out a bunch of these articles per day and make a few dollars. But if I research and write an article on ANYTHING (other than maybe hot dogs), I am still not an “expert,” even though I write an article that gets ranked higher.

    Demand Media properties have taken over Google for many search terms, but they have no “true authority.” I am not going to read or believe an article about brain cancer on more than someone should read or believe an article about how to start a hot dog business on

    I ran a hot dog truck for 6 years. I have sites that tell people how to start their own hot dog business. It pisses me off when I see some half pirated article on the subject ranking high on Google search. I guarantee the schmuck who got paid 15 bucks to write that article didn’t run a hot dog business for 6 years- just because the writer paraphrased some stuff he found online and the Demand media machine gets behind it, that article ranks high.

    Google seems to not want their search “compromised” by content farms, yet the fiscal clout of Demand Media keeps them from doing anything about it. This whole thing smacks of corporate favoritism to me. The Demand Media folks say they “fill gaps” where there is no quality content? As Winney the Pooh once said, “Tigga Please.” Betcha we see Google acquire Demand Media soon.

    As for the aggregaters who rank high, they are the Google search equivalent of whores. If anyone else pulled that crap, their Google account would be shut down and they’d be out of luck. I guess if you are going to be a whore, it’s best to be a high priced whore so Google will let you get jiggy with their search.

    I’d like to see the Google slap on these mega content farms that only have size and funding going for them. Google likes slapping the little guy. If they are the real 800 pound gorilla, they should make EVERYONE play by the same rules.

    1. @Hotdogman, finally someone speaks my language and understands me like my girlfriend does … hahhahahah .. sounds abit gay though. Just like you, I am just going to sit back and relax and let the Google man slap the hell out of these mega content farms too. So what if they have the budget and manpower to control the webspace? Google will show them who is in control then.

      1. One thing we all have to remember is that Google makes the rules, plain and simple.

        1. Can’t we request for a change in rules? Again, we should not live our lives passively. We fight for justice!

          1. Of course our voices can be heard. We just need to shout a little louder in order for Google to hear us, and in order for us to do that is to shout collectively. Just like the rumors of Facebook will be replaced by another Social Networking giant (at least not anytime soon), Google just need to be threatened a bit and lose some until they wake up and realize hey something’s going on that badly needs their attention. I just hope the lost wouldn’t be too much until they realize though. And with Larry Page stepping down to take over some of the most vital operations of the company, I’m sure we’ll be heard. I just hope sooner than later.

    2. Clay Burt says:

      This comment alone was worth me reading the article, which was good anyway…
      But “Tigga Please” is my buzzword of the week now 🙂

      1. Hahhaha, that buzzword is real funny. Thanks for adding some humour into this guest post and glad that you have liked my post!

    3. WOW…this was a article on in itself…lol…I think they will slap down on the big boys in stages. Since they don’t want to cause too much of a fuss in the headlines, they’ll probably do it a little at a time.

      1. I seriously hope that the justice will come soon. I don’t mind that in stages.

        1. what kinf of justice you are talking about my friend.

          Give 10 bucks and you will get 1000 words.

    4. Yea, I really dislike They have lots of crap articles and then they load their pages with way too much advertising. I don’t get that one.

      1. Precisely again. Now there are more people agreeing with me?

  4. Dino Vedo says:

    So your saying ehow is spammy? How so? I think the information is pretty good most of the time.

    Maybe a scientific webmd site doesnt have anything about level 4 brain cancer or whatever it was that you said…

    I think Google is doing its job pretty well 🙂

    1. ziinga says:

      Hi Dino,

      You got my vote. I even put up another comment here to appreciate your comment.

      1. I believe the webspace can be better. That’s what I hope. Google will grant my wish, one day…

        1. Jack,

          Wouldn’t it be better and more energy efficient to just do the best in producing content yourself and stop trying to reform Google?

          1. Actually, reforming Google just takes a small voice from each and everyone of you. It can be a feedback on Google’s blog, a complaint on Google’s feedback area or just a flag to raise for those websites in the search results. That simple.

    2. d3so says:

      Google is doing substantially better than other search engines. Bing is being heavily promoted but they don’t even compare to google.

      1. @d3so, of course of course. I have never denied the fact that Matt Cutts and his team has already done alot to improve the quality of our search experience. But can things improve for the better? I certainly believe so. If things don’t improve, civilization don’t progress.

      2. I think Bing is plainly OVERRATED and heavily promoted by even programmers whom I wish and thought would shed some light but really, I don’t think it’s as good as they claim it to be. However, I like the fact that they threaten Google a bit (just a bit) and with competitors on the side, hopefully we’ll see substantial improvements.

    3. PPC Ian says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I think eHow is a good website. Just because they have ton of content doesn’t mean it’s low quality. It just means it’s a large scale operation. Similar sites like WiseGeek and About dot com are also very good content sites done on a large scale, in my opinion.

      1. @Ian, again it boils down to what type of content you should be looking for. How to repair a bicycle – Cures for ligament tears – professional help.

        1. PPC Ian says:

          I agree with that. When it comes to simple how to answers, eHow is great. However, you are right. When you need something more substantial, a professional opinion is always better.
          All the best,

    4. @Dino, thanks for the comments. Well, it’s quite a subjective here. If I want to learn how to make cupcakes, well would be a nice place to search for the receipe and such. But if you want to learn more about treating your ACL tears, would you rather seek a professional opinion?

    5. Hotdogman says:

      @ Dino
      I’m saying eHow and those types of sites are being presented as “authority” sites when in reality the information they present is written by a writer who gathers information for an article like a high school student does for a research paper. The guy who writes the “how to start a hot dog business” article is not necessarily an authority-he’s just a decent writer. If I had a staff of thousands and a billion dollar budget, I could play in that league, but I don’t. All I have is my area of expertise and my expertise is diluted by content farms.

      I know I sound like I am ranting/whining, but I just wish Google would level the playing field. Do you think Google will disable Adsense to the eHow “How to Make Money on the Internet” page? Doubt it, but they went after you- “the little guy.”

      1. I’m all the way with you pal. Looks like I have a strong advocator of “NO SPAM. NO CONTENT FARMS”. Heard that Google?

    6. Google does a pretty good job overall, but then there are the few examples of people getting really screwed.

      1. Okay, I think in this article, I rant too much. Really need to be grateful that we have Google around.

    7. Well i think google is still on top because people behind google know what they are doing.

  5. daffy says:

    i strongly agree with your post. quality content is very important. it keeps their business going. they should not take it for granted.

    1. Hi,

      You’re right but must be related to your site. It doesn’t make sense if you write about making money online and put it up to your health site.

      1. Another good comment. That is posting non-related stuff on a different niche in order to build backlinks to another website.

    2. @daffy, like like like your comments. It is our duty to whistle-blow and put wrong things right. I hope for justice in the near future. Google, do your job please!

  6. Jordy says:

    I’m with you when you are right! I’ve been plummeted by eHow in my niche. It’s pathetic that Google allows them to have so much real estate on the front page. I’m in the kitchen cabinet niche and I just did a search for one of the phrases I was trying to target and eHow had already made about ten thousand posts (a bit of an exaggeration).

    Excellent post here!

    1. Abhik says:

      eHow contents are actually user contributions. So, you have to compete with thousands of users to out number their posts.

      1. @Abhik, user contributions. Users like you and me providing medical advice. Are we even qualified in the first place? Food for thought mate!

        1. Abhik says:

          I don’t think people like me and you who don’t have knowledge in medical field can write such articles..
          But, what about medical practitioners? I know a few MBBS doctors who also blogs.
          (My elder bro is one of them)

          1. Yes, of course he can. But remember, everything that he says need to follow the rules and regulations of the international medical board. All your actions and behaviour are strictly monitor cos you represent the body. That’s authority!

    2. @Jordy, join me in demanding justice from demand media! shout with me … Google Google All The Way! I seriously have enough of seeing ehows everywhere. It just defeats the purpose of performing any research when all I see is articles from the same site.

      1. PPC Ian says:

        I think you are going to become the top commentator on John Chow based on the number of comments you have made on this post alone! 🙂

  7. Who’s the write ?

    Anyways, very nice post and keep writing like this

    Good Luck

    1. This post is not making much sense so I wonder what you like about it. It is well written but the content is without merit.

      1. I think I have pretty much explained myself above. Nonetheless, thanks for appreciating my writing and I shall continue to contribute to this blog in future!

    2. Hi mate, Jack Harold here and I’ll like to thank you for your kinds comments. Do keep a lookout for my future posts.

      1. My pleasure bro

        Keep up the good work

        Good luck

      2. Neon SRT4 says:

        Jack harold, please remember me as well, i am an regular reader of you.

  8. Dustin says:

    Google has not launched the algorithm change yet that will affect content farms. This was stated that this update is still yet to come. The most recent update was for low quality, scraper site content.

    I think everyone will need hold judgement on content farms until all the updates are live.

    1. @Dustin, I certainly hope that Judgement Day will come soon. Thanks for the link to that read. And hope you like my article!

  9. Nice post, but we are all looking to rank in Google, and the engine is starting to get gamed a bit more, but I still love google and use it for all my searches. Within the top 5 results I generally always find what i am after 🙂

    1. @Colin, okay perhaps I was a bit harsh on Google. Google, I am sorry … you have done a great job thus far but there are still areas where you can improve. I believe Matt and team will do a much better job in future!

  10. ziinga says:

    Hi Jack,

    You need to do more test for this kind of post you’re putting. I agree with Dino on this. How could, demand media or even seeking alpha are crappy sites? Unless you can come up with more findings, I doubt it?

    1. Jack is really out in the left field on this subject.

      I fail to see why he picked a site that people read as lot and not a really spammy sites that steal content.

      1. Abhik says:

        Not heard about the others, but eHow is defiantly NOT a content firm.
        Well, he need to know what exactly a content firm is.

        1. PPC Ian says:

          I agree with both of you. eHow is not a content farm. I have used the site many times with great results. I’m glad Google ranks it.

          1. @Ian, were there times when you wanted to search for something on Google and you needed to find a lot of different unique resources to form a good conclusion, but only to find that ehow is scoring results from Page 1 to Page 3 of the search results? I do not know how sad that is .. the search engines being gamed.

        2. @Abhik, it is content farm, not content firm. Just to correct your mistake here.

          1. Abhik says:

            My bad.. Thanks for correcting that out.

        3. Well the point he wanted to get across is that the writers on these sites might not be qualified to give expert advice on these matters. If they write an article with errors it might end really bad for people who believes it’s the truth. Some people are not as critic to Internet as you should be and that’s why we need experts to give the advice and rank high in google.


          1. Alexander, I think you talk and think at the same wavelength as I am. Found another great voice in this guest post. How far can we trust content on the web?

      2. Mate, if you do not know, the articles on eHow are posted like people like you and me. Certainly if I want to know how to repair my bicycle or how to teach my cat to sit or piss, ehow would be a nice resource site. But there are also times when you need more than that. I think probably those situations have not occurred to you guys before and therefore, you have formed those conclusions.

    2. @ziinga, alright … i’ll monitor the situation and let you guys know if there are further updates.

  11. I find that this post is poor in quality. Who cares what google Tackling Webspam? Everybody is trying to rank on the first page in Google because that what’s make your site visible and known.

    Without Google, you might as well forget about making it big online. They own the world.

    1. Hi mate, true that they control our websites’ rankings. That is why I want justice to be done for our websites when we are constantly defeated by webspam content farm like ehow. Who says you need to write zillions of articles to get well ranked in search engines? Matt Cutts says that? Are you doing that? Beware if Google catches your tail pal.

    2. Sorry pal that I was a bit direct there. But I just hope that you all can heed a word of advice from me. Stay away from content farms. Say no to content farms. And Google, please help to make this world a better place to Search.

  12. Abhik says:

    Well, I followed up that post twice in my blog.
    IMO, it will be huge help for us who writes their own content.

    1. @Abhik, I seriously hope that it’s quality content that is done with extensive research.

    2. Original content is always good to have but SEO is very very important as all

      You should work on it as well

      1. Yep, I have never given up on SEO too.

    3. I really hope so, I always write my own content, I also tries to keep every post above 1000 words. I just hope that there will be an easier way to tackle the problem of people stealing content without permission.


      1. I am seriously not sure. I too put a lot of effort in writing good content, only to find that they are eventually stolen by some crappy sites. Really disappointing.

      2. Well its not about how many words there are in your article. Even a 500 words article is also as good as a 1000 words if its of good quality.

        And you can’t really do anything about people stealing your content.. No one has control over it

  13. I will like to invite you guys to share this on all social platforms that you may have. Let’s invite more discussion and comments on this. Invite your fellow friends here. Share this post around even if it feels that it is somewhat controversial.

    I personally feel that it is a rather interesting topic to discuss with and I appreciate ALL your opinions thus far. True or false; fact or fiction; right or wrong. Let’s leave it to Google to decide.

    1. Well no one can do anything about it

      The bottom line is GOOGLE is the only one to decide what to do about which site.

  14. I think up to this point, I will like to tell you guys a short story of mine. You see …

    Exactly eight years ago, my friend’s mother contracted Leukemia and she was only in the first stage of cancer. My friend asked me for help and the next thing we thought of was Google. We did a search online to find cures, if any, for her illness. We were all hopeful that she would be able to recover and boy was she a lovely person to me with.

    And guess what we saw after we hit the ENTER key? Right at the very top, five articles from some authoritative website (I shall not mention the name here in case it incur the warth of fellow bloggers here) that described “ways to cure Leukemia”, “how to cure Leukemia” and “secrets to healing Leukemia”.

    We thought that we struck gold.

    We started trying out those methods immediately and we thought all went well. Her situation took for the worse five months later when the doctor diagnosed that her cancer had progressed to the final stage. The doctor scolded my friend: “Why had you delayed your mother’s treatment? If you have brought her to the hospital much earlier instead of trying out those so-called secrets, you could have saved your mother’s life.”

    We cried. It was all too late. Too late …

    It really pains me to bring up this story but I have to highlight to you guys that how can we trust all content on this web?

    Think about it.

    1. Neon SRT4 says:

      Oh, is it. We cannot trust all content on the web.

    2. Jonathan says:


      Are you kidding?. One thing is searching “How to block ads on Firefox” and one much more different is reading a set-by-step guide on HOW TO CURE CANCER?. Are you serious?. If I break my leg playing soccer I wont go to google searching for “How to repair broken legs” I’d just go to the hospital……even more when the case is related to CANCER. Now I know why some of these sites actually work. As long as there are SUPER DUMB people that try to find cure for serious diceases instead of heading straight to the doctor. GIVE ME A BREAK.

      1. I was a kid back then. You can’t really expect a kid to know everything, do you? Don’t you do foolish things when you were one? Sometimes we just laugh at our kiddy mistakes back then but for my friend’s case, that mistake was too painful.

  15. Top post Jack, though to some degree on my own level of thinking I have seen eHow pop up on several searches that I have made online which until you mentioned didn’t bother me to say the least. But to a degree I do favour the fact that yes more authoritive sites should get top priority before what you call “spammy content sites”.

    Totally off subject if I was concerned about level 4 brain cancer, Google would be the least that I would be consulting to, you type in headache into the search engines it tells you you’re going to die!

    1. haha yeh I know. If you search on things like that on google you will end up thinking you got cancer or something really bad even if it’s only a bad cold. You should always be critical to what you read online and I doubt that anyone would search for “level 4 brain cancer” if they really wanted to know the details of it.

      Though, there will always be those who does not know how Internet really works and they might believe what they read.


      1. As we grow up, we learn a lot. That’s when we differentiate the right from the wrong. But more people are using the WWW at younger age nowadays. That’s why it can be quite dangerous for these people to pick out the wrong knowledge.

    2. That’s real funny, Fabrizio. Your comments really brighten up my day in the midst of so many discussions.

  16. fas says:

    The amount of search engine data that goes through does not help in accuracy for google.

    1. @fas, that’s why I am calling for more efforts on Google’s part to improve the system.

  17. Google should understand this thing specially when its a matter of medical science that they should give more weight to the approved medical websites.

    No doubt ehow have great contents but however for medical related thing my vote will be in favour of respected and approved health or medical websites.

    1. ZK,

      The people who already have some medical knowledge will seek it in the places that will be adequate for them.

      On the other hand for people with next to no knowledge they wouldn’t understand the medical lingo anyway. That’s why sites with superficial knowledge are more suitable for them.

    2. Thanks alot pal for agreeing with what I have said above.

  18. I agree with the people that said it will be a big help to those of us that write original content. The content scrapers & autoblogs are going to have to watch out now. I’ve even noticed some people saying that they saw a difference in the rankings of their autoblogs.

    Honestly, I never understand why some people don’t just create their own content. To me, being a content scraper/having an autoblog just says that 1) You’re lazy and/or 2)You think you that you can make a quick buck this way. With original content, you can at least say it’s your own creation. Not sure why anyone wouldn’t want that honor.

    1. They are an absolute disgrace to the community. Praise the original content writers! And thanks for visiting this guest post!

  19. I just read a similar article else where, using the same screenshot actually…lol…will be interesting to see if that actually works.

    1. Are you sure? I did the screenshot on my own. I will take your challenge. Post the link to the image here.

  20. You write a lot!

    I’m not saying that ehow writers are the ideal ones, but perhaps better than many websites without content, but with many products.

    If Google wants to give information to the public, websites with fresh informative content that have a general aspect seem to be better than websites with their specific products, where you cannot find general information.

    1. Alright, you are right in that sense. It (ehow) is better than nothing (product sites).

      1. PPC Ian says:

        I agree. eHow is a great site for simple information and backfill when an expert opinion is not available.

  21. At least I wont be facing penalties on my sites. I almost always write 1000+ words and always unique content. I don’t really like people who thinks that copying others orticles will get them anywhere. I have always wondered how article databases are doing when it comes to duplicate content issues…


    1. Well, ezinearticles will scan through for duplicate content while others don’t. That’s why ezinearticles still rank much better than other directories.

      1. PPC Ian says:

        Ezinearticles is awesome! I’m a big fan. You are right, they only allow original non-duplicate content which is great.

        1. Neon SRT4 says:

          I really have a doubt with ezine articles. How can they accept non duplicate content, i mean how do they find, if a content is duplicate or original?

          1. Everything can be achieved, pal. They just need to take snippets of your article and perform a search on google and see which other websites are using the exact same sentences. There can be one of their algorithms.

        2. Me too. Ezinearticles prevent people from just copying & pasting other people’s content directly.

  22. Ezinearticles has a duplicate content detector, however they do accept spun articles when the author knows how to spin them. There are many authors who simply repeat the same information in different words.

    I write original articles for EA since 2007. Many times they consider one of my articles as a duplicated copy because I’m not an article spinner. Sometimes I repeat in my articles a few phrases in order to give basic explanations to my readers. I have then to send a message to EA’s authors and tell them that they should read my new article so that they may verify that it’s a new one, even though it has a phrase already written in a previous article.

    In other words, their system is ridiculous… It only detects repetitions if you use the same words you have used in a previous article in the same order. However, article spinners never make this mistake. They use synonyms, they change their words’ order in a sentence, etc. Thus, many of the top authors at EA simply repeat the same content by using different words. EA’s editors don’t care about that. They are marketers, and they help marketers make money through article writing without caring about the repetitions that are tiring for the public. If Google doesn’t find out that most articles of a certain author are mere repetitions in different terms, EA authors pretend that they don’t see that this author is simply saying the same things again and again. They even tell you that if you have nothing new to write about in your articles, you should write again the same things in a different way.

    However, EA has many nice features. EA’s team helps most articles get top rankings. They recently added a great new tool which gives us title suggestions. These titles were found by EA’s team after research. This is a great advantage. Instead of trying to discover by ourselves the right keywords for a title, the right order, etc. EA’s team gives us titles based on the words typed in the search engines by internet users.

  23. @Christina, there are of course pros and cons to each article directory. Ezinearticles has by far surpassed my expectations. At least, they make the effort to prevent the use of duplicate content. At least, they show that they are willing to tackle webspam. Of course, as you said, there are still areas for improvement.

  24. Mr.Ven says:

    Its a nice experimentation that say, how “gap filling” is done ! I believe this certainly happens when there are no valuable information available on Internet. If there are real stuffs which speaks about “level 4 cancer” definitely that would have shown in the top….

    SERP’s are results from huge lines of code, definitely it will have bugs ! Every software is buggy when caught through a corner scenario 🙂 and no exception for Google too….

    Thanks !

    1. @Mr.Ven, with millions of websites on the WWW, there must be at least one or two that have an authoritative voice. It is just the problem of Google failing to show the more authoritative one at the top of the search results. Don’t you agree?

      1. Mr.Ven says:

        I definitely agree Jack. The problem here is the end user who is really looking for information may end up in believing wrong/low quality information !

        Just now tried to search the same keyword “level 4 brain cancer” on Yahoo & Bing, almost the same results. At least Bing is not showing eHow in top result.

        Thanks for your reply !

  25. 7k7k says:

    At least, they make the effort to prevent the use of duplicate content. At least, they show that they are willing to tackle webspam. Of course, as you said, there are still areas for improvement.

  26. DPNY says:

    As long as these bloated content farms keep lining googles pockets, google will continue to promote them in their results pages. The content on these sites like eHow ranges from bad to worse and yet we are forced to navigate our way around their spam every time we do a search. I’m just glad someone is addressing the issue because google certainly isn’t. Thanks John.

  27. Lea Sadler says:

    One thing you seem to be missing is what defines “quality content.”
    I suspect that Google considers quality content to be new, original, or authoritative content–but not necessarily all of these at the same time. If Google were to start deciding for readers what constitutes “accurate” information, that would be seriously frightening–because it would be quite an iron fist on readers’ access to new and different ideas–including personal experiences people may have had. Often, the “establishment” on a given topic can be dead wrong. And don’t forget–sometimes people are SEARCHING FOR ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION–NOT what is “commonly accepted.”

    The bottom line: Google is doing the right thing by not judging quality content based on their analysis of what people SHOULD know–rather, they search for variety in the content to which they give better ranking. In your example about cancer–not everyone wants to read the Doctors’ sales pitch.

  28. Allen Walker says:

    Well, as long as you have great content on your site, things like this don’t really affect you. 🙂

    Though for searchers, that may be another thing…

    1. No Allen. I beg to disagree. Having a great content may take a while to get noticed or take profits just because these poor sites are dominating! That means it may take some time for you to get to the search results or the first top 10 just because there are loads of crap already ranking higher than you actually deserve.

      Though sooner or later Google will realize your content is way better, these crappy/poor yet highly syndicated sites have long been making money and made the most of their ranking just because No One really cared and no one really thought it could be that detrimental.

  29. Don’t get me wrong JC but I think you should consider changing/tweaking something in your guest blogging system like instead of your link on the “Guest Blogger” , why not change it to the guest blogger’s actual name and link to his blog? That way, we would know more about the guest blogger (one of the many convincing reasons why people do it anyway in the first place) and it would be easier for newcomers/visitors to distinguish your posts from that of GB’s.

    1. Neon SRT4 says:

      Yes, You are Right. That is the Best way to recognize a blogger.

  30. Kyle Logue says:

    I’m just glad Google is trying… Maybe one day we can have a spam free internet. I doubt it though.

    ~Kyle Logue
    Make Money Blogging

  31. Steve says:

    I am not 100% sure what is considered a content farm and what is considered quality content and I doubt any one site is all quality or all crap. I get value out of sites like eHow.

  32. I am not 100% sure, what google is doing now a days. I still see lot of spam everywhere.

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