Friday, January 28, 2011

Should Demand Media's SEO'd content be demoted in search results?

Dear Google: First and foremost, my letter to you is not personal. I am a big fan of yours and always have been. You have the best search engine in the World, better than Bing. You have the best web email service. Your Google Docs product is amazing. Don't even get me started on Google Earth or Google Maps, just unbelievable products. Your analytics product is excellent. Everybody loves Android. All you do is create and create and still give it all away for free. Your Adwords business model is even shared with other businesses so they too can make lots of money.

Obviously, you are a great company and despite what some believe, you are not evil. You are great for America and an asset to the World, in my opinion.

However, when you stated the other day that you are taking steps to make sure web pages from content farms don't show up prominently in your search results it follows that you Google believe that content farmers and web spammers are bad for the Web, or at least your search engine. You said it was feedback from your users that convinced you to go after these bad content makers. So Google, if they are bad (evil?) or simply not good for the Internet then why Google are they still your partners?

It begs the question, if you are serious about making articles from content farms show up less in your top search results why don't you just do it already?

Here's what I suggest:

Step 1: Define what a content farm is. By the way, please also define what web spam is. I mean very specifically so that everyone knows what is and isn't web spam. I think I understand what you are referring to, but I am not sure. I guess examples of sites that fit the various definitions of content farms, web spam and 'mostly duplicate content' ... would be helpful. I would then suggest that you threaten them ... again. That way the bad guys who are scared of you might just leave our Internet for a different one. Or, maybe they will change their behavior and start creating content that is not so bad. Right.... (sarcastic tone intended).

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