The Google Farmer Update – How To Not Only Survive The Latest Google Farmer Update But Flourish From It
Call it the google farmer update or call it a Google massacre but the recent algorithm change “affectionately” known as the Google Farmer update has been far reaching in the internet marketing world.
We’ve seen google slaps relating to Google Adwords campaigners and the reknowned GQS – Google Quality Score…. When that happened I was thrilled that I was by choice and through a lot of hard work a BUM marketer – a wonderful phrase created by Travis Sago’s wife.
My Ezinearticles.com account has over 1,000,000 article views and on a regular basis for years I’ve been submitting articles to them and driving traffic to multiple sites that way.
I gotta say some of my affiliate promotion sites are starting to feel the pinch. But I’m going to get through this and flourish even more on the other side – and I’m hoping to show you some strategies that I’ll be implementing and ones that I can recommend you look into to. I’m not an expert on Google or Google algorithm changes but I’m here to provide you some ideas in case you think all your hard work is going to waste.
What Is It And Why Did It Happen?
There are discussions all over the web about why it’s happened and what kind of sites it’s affecting.
- Content farms
- Duplicate Content/Scraper Sites
- Adsense Sites
The best I can do is provide you some information from authority sites on this topic and the research they’ve done Is Greed A Factor For Lost Rankings And Google Penalties? If you look further at the post at seomoz they go into detail about potential culprits with a comparison of Ehow and Ezinearticles.com Thoughts are sites with much more extreme and intrusive advertising ended up in the loser bucket.
I know for a fact if I’ve ever viewed an article on Ezinearticles.com the page was pretty much blasted with adsense blocks. Not only did that take away from the effectiveness of the article but gave the reader so many choices to click on any link other than that in the resource box. I’ve heard rumours about how much Ezinearticles.com made monthly with Adsense and if it’s true it’s a staggering figure.
Perhaps their own greed could have been a factor in them receiving this penalty. Let’s Look Back At The Squidoo Slap Of 2009 For A Moment In 2009 Squidoo came up with a list of topics that they were no longer going to allow.
“The biggest offenders in the spam world, and topics that aren’t okay on Squidoo, are:
–Pharmaceutical, drug, and diet aid reviews and diet pill sales. (Examples: Viagra, Hoodia Gordoni, Penis Enlargement pills, acai berry etc) Plus whatever the latest miracle cure drink happens to be, and affiliate/salesy lenses thereof.”
The Oversaturated Niches 2011
On 2 March 2011 Ezinearticles.com published a post on their blog titled “Oversaturated Niche Decisions” aka what do we do with all of these over-saturated niches?
The following niche areas are the point of this discussion:
- 1. Penis Enlargement
- 2. Get Your Ex Back
- 3. Acai Berry
- 4. Reverse Cell Phone Lookup
- 5. Credit Card Debt Relief
- 6. Male Enhancement Pill
- 7. TV for PC
“Truth be told, all of these markets are saturated. There are penalties that come with market saturation of articles:
1) They all have a higher potential as being flagged as spammy,
2) They undoubtedly contain a high volume of derivative content.
3) Because of their popularity, you can almost guarantee that many are spun (created with article spinning software).”
You can read more on the blog here.
It’s perhaps not coincidence that they contain similar topics that affected Squidoo 2 years ago. Jennifer, at Potpiegirl.com did an interesting test very recently about the number of pages that Ezinearticles, hubpages, squidoo, ehow and articlesbase had published on just those seven topics above.
Ezinearticles had an astonishing 10 percent of their pages on that topic alone (over 1.5 million in the ex back niche). You can see the test results here:
So that’s just a bit of background into the Google Farmer Update, sites it’s affected and niches that it’s affected.
What To Do If Your Site Has Been Affected By The Google Update?
Matt Cutts has gone into more detail than Google about when penalties are lifted. There are two types of penalties Google can give you Manual penalties and algorithm penalties You can watch the video here.
Google Farmer Update – Top 25 Losers (Most Affected By The Algorithm Change)
Now there are going to be some aftershocks probably for a while with this Google Farmer update so the data will be constantly updating but that’s how it appears today.
Sites that are likely to be affecting you right now include:
- 1. ezinearticles.com
- 2. hubpages.com
- 3. buzzle.com
- 4. associatedcontent.com
- 5. articlesbase.com
I’ve had one subscriber write to me and say that not only has her articlesbase account been suspended but ALL her articles have been deleted. Once your article are deleted there’s not much I think you can do about it. I’ve had another ezinearticles author write to me to say she had an inactive ezinearticles account which she hadn’t added an article to in a while – with thousands of articles in it – and the account has been closed and ALL articles have been deleted. Thousands of articles that were earning them over a $1000 every week.
Here’s a tip – I would recommend if you have an ezinearticles.com account that has even one article in the 7 niche saturated topics that you haven’t done much with in months that you submit a top quality article NOT on any of those niches that is super informative and top quality so that you can get your account active
again asap. You can see EZA’s discussion on the search engine algorithm here.
I Personally Had My Ezinearticles.com Account Suspended In March As Well….
As soon as the update happened I had trouble getting articles approved there. They weren’t on any of these topics – they were actually related to camping – but no matter what I did, added, changed they kept getting put into problem status.
And then the next day – account suspended. This wasn’t long after they increased their article word count minimum from 250 words to 400 words. The Good News – I Got It Reinstated
What To Do If Your Ezinearticles.com Account Gets Suspended
Okay, the first thing to do is DON’T get angry at EZA staff. Much like with a breakup :O) accept the suspension and write to them ever so humbly apologizing for anything you’ve done wrong to warrant the suspension and that you’ll do whatever is required to get the account reinstated. If you can provide a genuine reason why any recent problem articles weren’t up to scratch do so. I also told them that I saw their blog post with seven oversaturated niches and I assured them that I wouldn’t write on those topics.
But don’t get angry and acknowledge that they work hard and they’re busy people – because they are and they are probably underpaid too. Now I got a reply back saying that I had to delete any articles that I felt didn’t meet their standard and then reply to them. I have over 2000 articles there so I thought I’m not deleting 500 articles or something, I deleted the articles I’d submitted in the past 2 weeks and reiterated the promise I made in the earlier message.
I’ve been reinstated to Basic Plus and have been invited to reapply for Platinum status (Yes I was a platinum and paying author) after I submit my first 10 articles. Many marketers are happy with this recent Google Farmer update but I know there are marketers, and I’m one of them, who have spent years devoting their time to article marketing. And we haven’t written trash articles. We’ve worked hard and been totally committed to our bum marketing efforts.
We’ve helped some article directory owners make millions through our words. Unfortunately some forces beyond our control have now forced us to take massive action. So let’s do it!
What Can You Do Now If Your Niches Are Considered To Be Unsavory
the following niche topics are now considered unsavory topics for Squidoo, Ezinearticles and potentially a lot of sites hosting author’s content on these topics:
1. Penis Enlargement
2. Get Your Ex Back
3. Acai Berry
4. Reverse Cell Phone Lookup
5. Credit Card Debt Relief
6. Male Enhancement Pill
7. TV for PC
If you have written a lot of articles on any of these topics you may have noticed since the algorithm change:
- 1. That your articles on these topics are no longer ranking
- 2. That your articles on these topics have been deleted
- 3. That your article accounts have been deleted
- 4. That your traffic to your “money” pages has dropped significantly – so much so that it’s now greatly affecting your monthly passive income.
So what are your options now?
Before I touch on this, here’s some food for thought. In 2009 Google slapped Squidoo for oversaturation of these topics. In 2011 Google has slapped article directories for oversaturation of these topics. Take this as fair warning – expect that in the years to come that if you promote these topics with only one marketing method that Google will come along again and slap video sharing sites, social bookmarking sites, facebook or what have you for having too much content on these topics.
What’s the saying…..fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Be very very wary! The bottom line is if you want to stay as safe as possible then put the content on your site and not on someone else’s site.
You could publish 3 articles a day on any of these topics quite easily on your blog. Blog posts can be shorter, in fact you have total control of the word length and the content. Make it quality, make it keyword rich, and make the competition count for the keywords low so you have the highest chance of ranking for them.
Topics 1 and 6 – Penis Enlargement/Male Enhancement Pill
The penis enlargement and male enhancement industry has always been questionable and frowned upon by many. If you want to continue promoting these kind of products it looks like articles won’t be the way to do it so what are your choices?
- • Look at video marketing
- • Look at press release marketing
- • Look at media buying and banner advertising
- • Look at the Google Content network
- • Look at forum marketing
- • Look at releasing free reports on the topic
- • Look at pay per click advertising opportunities other than Google.
Your best bet – add the majority of your content on your own site.
Topic 2 – Get Your Ex Back
This is a hot evergreen niche. Due to the desperateness of people wanting to get their ex back the ex back niche has become one of the most saturated niches around. So as it’s so saturated in the article arena what are your options?
In this niche I believe the best way to make money consistently with it is by building a list. You can do this by creating a squeeze page and offering a free report, or a quiz, free coaching or even lessons via video.
You must focus on building a relationship with these people so that they trust you – but – be prepared for them to ask you questions about their current situation and whether there’s hope for their relationship.
Your next option is video marketing. Now I would actually recommend that you turn quality articles into videos – you can use article video robot as I’ve recommended previously for this purpose. Make sure that you include images that are relevant to the ex back niche and when you can try to record the audio yourself. Don’t create spammy or low information quality videos.
The more informative you are I believe the better you will do. Another option is banner advertising on related or relevant sites – dating sites, relationship sites, dating forums etc. You could promote a quiz, private coaching, or video lessons. In my research I have found it difficult at times to find forums that will allow you to leave a signature file. That’s why I would perhaps recommend advertising on the forum itself rather than in a signature file. Another very effective option to consider is guest blogging. Dating and relationship sites are always looking for fresh unique content. By offering to write to them on relationships and getting back together you can build your trust and credibility.
Another alternative is paying for google content ads. Press releases are another method. If you create a Google alert for the word breakup you could find out when celebrities break up and release press releases about it, put your own spin, and promote your site in the PR. Your best bet – add the majority of your content on your own site.
Topic 3 – Acai Berry
The Acai berry market has had a bad rep for a few years now, if nothing because of the free trials people signed up for with forced continuity payments being the end result – and people having to cancel their credit cards to stop payments going through.
I know this because I was one of these victims and it was a HUGE pain. Regarding the Acai berry, I would only promote a quality Acai product with a good reputation in the marketplace that is fair to its customers. There are many places that you can promote weight loss products from buying advertising on weight loss forums, to video marketing, to press releases, to facebook, to twitter, ehow, scribd, you name it.
Everyone wants to lose weight any time of year – though there can be more demand throughout various seasons in the year. Once again, look for guest blogging opportunities on sites that get high traffic. If you want to check the amount of traffic a site gets look at Alexa for their traffic details, demographics etc. Your best bet – add the majority of your content on your own site.
Topic 4 – Reverse Cell Phone Lookup
People who are looking for reverse cell phone lookups want information and they want information fast. Videos are one way of getting traffic to your site. Press releases are another. Consider gmail advertising – whenever someone has in their email “someone keeps calling me but I don’t know who it is” your ad could be appearing right in front of their eyes.
Your best bet – add the majority of your content on your own site.
Topic 5 – Credit Card Debt Relief
The debt niche is a very desperate niche and people will do practically anything to avoid serious financial trouble. Dive into Yahoo Answers and provide quality answers to questions people are asking in their desperate state.
Consider gmail advertising with certain phrases people type into their emails. Press release marketing is another method. Your best bet – add the majority of your content on your own site.
Topic 7 – TV For PC
This is a saturated niche. Let’s think of why people are interested in the tv for pc for them. Because they love tv shows, they love movies, they love dvds etc. Instead of promoting TV for pc programs themselves think about a different angle – promote popular shows on tv, popular episodes on tv, popular movies on tv this week, etc.
You could create articles or reviews about particular episodes of a show you like watching and then in the bio box refer them to the tv for pc program you want to promote.
Other methods are paid advertising on sites like google that show trailers of movies and excerpts of tv shows. Check out flippa.com. There are often some kind of movie sites on there that are getting traffic, in fact they can get huge streams of traffic. Buy a quality one that you can afford and you can promote the tv for pc program or whatever you like on there as you wish.
Your best bet – add the majority of your content on your own site.
Time will ultimately tell but article marketing or bum marketing may no longer be an option for these niches.
But as I’ve discussed above, there are still options out there for promoting these sites. You just may have to think outside the square a little at angles you haven’t thought of or focuses on before. Ultimately, your best bet is by adding content to YOUR site rather than anyone else’s…and growing your virtual real estate.
What To Do With Your Content Published Elsewhere
I know that you’ve worked very hard and you’ve spent countless hours adding your content to other sites. I started out as a bum marketer myself and I’ve done that for years also.
With the latest Google update people are nervous. Articles accounts are getting closed, deleted, suspended.
Articles are getting deleted without warning. And I gotta say that’s REALLY harsh. At least let someone know that you’re about to delete 500 articles so that they have a chance at saving some to their pc in case they’re old articles they don’t have on their hard drive anymore….
Now just because you’ve already published this article on another site doesn’t mean you can never use it again (if you have it either saved on your pc or you can download it from the account where it’s published online). Here’s 15 ways that you can reuse the same article again – to your benefit
- 1. Create a slideshow presentation
- 2. Create a video article
- 3. Create a podcast and publish it on itunes
- 4. Bundle it with a few of your articles – or even plr ones – and turn it into a free viral report
- 5. Create a newsletter and add it to your autoresponder messages
- 6. Use it as a blog post and submit the blog post to the top social bookmarking sites
- 7. Submit the same article to other article sites
- 8. Add the article as part of a training module in a paid or free membership site
- 9. Use it for content at Yahoo Answers
- 10. Translate it into other languages and publish it elsewhere
- 11. Use it for submitting blog comments online
- 12. Rework it to a guest post on a high traffic blog
- 13. Create viral quizzes from it
- 14. Turn it into a video series
- 15. Submit it to scribd.com
It’s still your content and hopefully it had value in the first place when you published because if it did it can still have value elsewhere. Alternatively, you may decide for whatever reason you want to delete all the articles where they’re published online. Either way, try to save them all to your pc before you do so that you can use them to your advantage again and again and again.
How To Survive The Google Farmer Update And Turn It To Your Advantage
This is perhaps one of the exciting things about being an internet marketer – internet marketing is a living and breathing thing. It can change at the drop of the hat – many times because of the ever powerful Google. It can hurt your brain because you have to THINK so much when another Google massacre occurs.
There are a number of ways that you can benefit from this latest google update for a number of reasons.
Many marketers may decide it’s too hard and give up and what was before competitive niches may become less competitive. Spam marketers will have trouble implementing unsavory techniques nowadays which paves the way for quality marketers online.
Crappy blogs and websites in the long run won’t stand a chance – also paving the way for better quality sites. Article marketers who produced low quality content will struggle now to create quality articles that get approved. Ezinarticles.com among other article directories will be very strict from now on with their article topics and approvals. Remember one thing from this – article directory owners are HURTING financially and they’re not happy.
Imagine if they’ve had a drop in even 50 percent of traffic that’s a lot of pain – but imagine the data that we saw earlier—that will be costing people not just tens of thousands of dollars a month but some perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.
Those owners will do EVERYTHING THEY HAVE TO to get their earnings back, mark my words….and hey DON’T CARE whose toes they tread on along the way. That means my toes, your toes, anybody’s toes. So for this reason I recommend that you consider some other opportunities that you haven’t perhaps thought of before.
Because if Google considers them with more favor now, their content may increase in the search engines, their visitor counts will increase, and the potential to make money from these websites will increase too – in a variety of ways. Data currently shows that there are some sites that are actually benefiting from this algorithm change.
Google Farmer Update – The Winners
According to seomoz.org there are some sites that have really benefited from the Google Algorithm change:
- 1. Popeater.com
- 2. dhgate.com
- 3. instructables.com
- 4. sears.com
- 5. softpedia.com
- 6. dailymotion.com
- 7. scribd.com
- 8. britannica.com
- 9. techbargains.com
- 10. epinions.com
- 11. etsy.com
- 12. photobucket.com
- 13. techrepublic.com
- 14. consumerreports.org
- 15. metacafe.com
- 16. ehow.com
- 17. linkedin.com
- 18. hgtv.com
- 19. bedbathandbeyond.com
- 20. marthastewart.com
- 21. babycenter.com
- 22. radioshack.com
- 23. ikea.com
- 24. pcworld.com
- 25. snopes.com
- 26. buy.com
- 27. loc.gov
- 28. sparknotes.com
- 29. blogspot.com
- 30. youtube.com
- 31. indiatimes.com
- 32. facebook.com
- 33. hotels.com
- 34. medscape.com
Google Farmer Update – Lessons Learned
Lesson 1 – gosh, well it seems that google just rules the marketing world doesn’t it. How one corporation has been able to gain so much control over so many facets about marketing and the internet fullstop is scary – feels a bit like Big Brother to me – and I’m talking George Orwell and not the big brother tv
Lesson 2 – is it a wise decision to have just one account at an article directory? Food for thought- if one niche suddenly gets targeted as unsavory do all your other articles have to suffer? Do all your other pen names have to suffer? Maybe it’s wise if possible to not have multiple pseudonyms and article niches in the one account at any directory.
Lesson 3 – Don’t ever just focus on one Opportunity of driving traffic to your sites. Use a range of web 2.0 sites – hubs, lens, articles, videos, it really needs to be cross contamination for your overall protection.
Lesson 4 – TRUST no one. A site that thinks you’re the best thing since sliced bread one day can not only close your account but DELETE ALL OF YOUR ARTICLES ranking in google with probably just one click of the button.
Lesson 5 – If you have a large range of websites then make sure they target a range of niches
Lesson 6 – Never rely on a single income source ie Adsense, Google Adwords, free traffic. Google can come around and change everything with a click of the button
Lesson 7 – Make sure any reviews you publish on your blog are 100 percent unique.
Lesson 8 – Rather than submitting your quality content to other sites submit it to your own sites and drive traffic back to the content there
The Future of Blogging and the Google Panda Slap
There are many programs you can buy written by people who have made thousands of dollars from blogging, encouraging you to start blogging to make money fast. Some have become millionaires, others have never made a penny in their lives from blogging, they simply set out the ways to do it, and then make their money from you, by selling their programs.
I was wondering how the Google Panda algorithm change would affect those folks who are making a living from blogging as I am one of them.
The Google slap, set out to clean up the huge amount of useless sites on the internet that provide neither good information nor quality articles, is part of Google’s effort to try to put back the web to what it started out as – the information highway.
When you start out with a plan to make money online, it’s like joining a game. Google sets the rules and Google enforces the rules – they are the referee. If you go on the field with the intention of doing bad things behind the ref’s back, you will eventually get caught and be penalized.
Many of the people who could see a quick way around building tedious back links started blogs, which effectively became link farms. They simply did not care about the quality of the links they got, or the quality of comments. The commenter got somewhere to place a quick link and the blog master got traffic, and the result was a poor quality blog.
If on the other hand, you set up a blog with the sole intention of getting quality and helpful contributions, disallowed comments under a certain amount of words and looked at them carefully for content and usefulness, you are probably very happy today. Your blog may have moved up in the SERPS.
As a blog owner you should always mediate or check the content of a poster’s comments, and if your blog site is about a specific subject, do not allow posts from people with links to irrelevant sites. You will get slapped. Set a minimum amount of words for these relevant blog posts,consequently the longer people
stay to read them and the more helpful information they contain, the more Google will be nice to you.
Anyone who owns a legitimate blog or website knows that back links are hard to come by, and it takes a lot of work to get good, relevant links with high PR standing. Google has now started weeding out these sites and dropping them way down in the rankings, which is where they should be.
The lazy back link builder will just have to do like the rest of us, struggle and work harder, as the extra effort will pay off in the end.