Were all Article Directories negatively affected by Google’s Farmer Update on February 24th, 2011? No.
Although we are only looking at 2 days worth of statistics at this point, it looks like The Phantom Writers has done well with the Farmer Update.
Our traffic is running at 10% over the daily average, and by day of the week, we are generally running 16% up on traffic.
We have looked at the keywords for which we have historically had good rankings in Google — those for the main part of the website and those keywords that direct searchers to articles in our directory. We are up, up, up!!!
On keywords that we track, one search phrase that we had been holding on page 8 of the search results, we are now on page 6. Outside of this one keyword, the search phrases we track have moved from the middle and bottom of page one to the top of page one, almost unanimously in slots 1-3. There are exceptions of course like famous waterfalls, where we were ranking at #9 today.
I strongly suspect that Quality Content is the Prodigal Son that has come home to Google.
Am I suggesting that Google has built an algorithm that can identify quality content? Certainly not. I don’t think that is something Google will ever be able to do by looking at just the content.
Instead, I think that Google has figured out how to better measure “social validation” of the quality of content.
When an authority website chooses an article for publication, a human editor is involved in that process. That is social validation of the quality of the content.
When people choose to link to an article manually, that again is a social validation of the quality of the content.
In social media, there are certain people who are “thought leaders”. These are the folks who have more followers than people they follow. And when they “tweet”, others “retweet” what they have shared. When thought leaders tweet, Google pays attention. And more so, when people who pay attention to the thought leaders repeat what they post, there is real social validation in that data, and Google pays attention.
Badly spun and poorly written articles will never have real social validation of their value. To a certain extent, people can rig some social validation of a particular article, but others do not repeat the Share. That is a nice signal concerning rigged results.
Real articles that offer real value to readers cannot help but receive the social validation that they need to prove their value to Google.
Yes it is still early in the game, but my initial gut instinct about the Google Farmer Update is that it is powered by Social Validation of content that offers value to its readers.
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