Google Panda and Content Farms

Google logoWeb content was the main buzz in the SEO world in 2011, mostly due to changes in the Google algorithm updates known as ‘Panda.’

When these changes began on February 24, 2011, many website owners woke up to find their Google search engine rankings had
nose-dived and their traffic from Google had ceased. Loss in traffic means loss in income.

Panda was originally known as the “Farmer” algorithm change because significant Google ranking changes occurred in so-called ‘content-farm’ sites. Famous URL’s such as Suite 101, eHow, DemandMedia, EzineArticles, Squidoo, HubPages, and Yahoo’s AssociatedContent were hit hard by Panda.

Google’s Panda evaluates the quality of the content found on all pages of a website. Because content farms are notorious free-for -alls which attract many amateur writers, those sites were hit the hardest.

Google engineer Amit Singhal posted this advice on the Google blog:

“One other specific piece of guidance we’ve offered is that low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages into more useful pages, or moving low quality pages to a different domain could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content.”

Content farms scrambled to react to their changes in search engine ranking throughout 2011, as Google made more than a dozen adjustments to Panda.

The notorious site,, has made no recovery in Google rankings and traffic as 2012 begins. Suite101, EzineArticles and DemandMedia are still on a downward spiral since the first Panda rollout. has recovered about half of the traffic it lost when Panda began.

AssociatedContent, acquired by Yahoo in mid-2010 for over $100 million, has taken the drastic measure of taking down the website and launching a revamp as The new site was launched on December 1, 2011, by uploading content from the original site, minus 75,000 pages of culled content. The URL change was made with this announcement from Yahoo: “Only content that meets our revised submission guidelines will be accepted moving forward.” reacted to Panda by putting its authors on individual subdomains. This suggestion was actually recommended to the company by a Google employee. The subdomain concept puts the onus of poor quality content on the individual author. According to Alexa traffic graphs, HubPages has only recovered about a third of its pre-Panda traffic with this tactic.

Google sought to increase the quality of its search results by implementing Panda. And there are websites that have benefited from Google Panda. The mega article site Wikipedia, for instance, has experienced a marked increase in traffic.

As 2012 begins, Google Panda is still on the radar of website owners and internet marketers in the daily quest for high rankings on Google search engine results.

Writer Fox is a Web Content Writer, providing Web copywriting information, services, and SEO help for writers and for webmasters. Writer Fox writes content to engage, secure trust, convince and push to the desired action. Read more about Google Panda and steps to take.

About the author


Writer Fox

Writer Fox is an accomplished SEO content writer and author of "What is SEO?", a free online SEO Tutorial for writers and webmasters.


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