What is a Content Farm?
A content farm is a website or company that creates vast amounts of content that is usually duplicated and low-quality, written specifically to fulfill algorithms and rank highly in SERPs.
Content is mostly regarded as low-quality and created only to attract a high volume of visits. The main goal of a content farm is to create online advertising revenue through attracting reader page views.
Content farms normally come in formats like FAQs, guides, tutorials etc. Currently, content farms are negatively viewed by search engines.
Characteristics of a Content Farm
Here's how to recognize a content farm:
- Content farms are generally short, about 300 to 500 words long, with most often, no citation.
- There are so many advertisements in a content farm.
- Information provided are mostly copied from other websites.
- There are links to other websites. This is the goal most of the time.
Why are Content Farms Harmful?
Content farms are bad for a whole range of reasons:
1. Poor Quality and Bad UX
Content farms are infamous for producing content that provides a poor UX (User Experience). This is because they use the black hat technique of keyword stuffing, which makes content difficult to read and unnatural.
When an end user experiences poor UX on a website, they aren’t likely to stick around, which means websites with text that is content farmed will have a high bounce rate and a low dwell time.
It's pretty obvious then that using a content farm to generate your content isn’t a long-term strategy.
2. Content is Unoriginal
Content farms also produce unoriginal content that is duplicated from other websites, or similarly partake in article spinning, which leads to articles that contain little value or insight into a topic.
3. Leads to Bad Backlinks
Using content farms can also contribute to the accumulation of bad backlinks.
What will Happen if you use Content Farms?
Using a content farm can land you in a lot of trouble. It will see you penalised by Google’s Panda algorithm.
The Panda algorithm update was created with content farms in mind, to help reduce the number of low-quality web pages on SERPs.
When a website is hit with the algorithm, it works on a domain level, and will see you plummet in the rankings.
Although some content farms have adapted and hire human reviewers to check the readability of their content, the Panda algorithm still weeds them out.
How to Avoid Content Farms?
Instead of using content farms, focus on using white hat techniques to optimise your website’s content.
1. Create High-Quality and Unique Content
Sure, this is more difficult than using automated, pre-written content, but it will ensure you don’t hear the plodding of panda feet coming your way.
Generate content for the user and make it interesting. Ensure it is accessible, error free and easy to read. Use short and punchy sentences and include CTA's as much as possible.
Also opt for longer form content. This means you will be able to go into more depth about a particular topic and Google looks fondly upon this, rewarding it with better rankings.
Don’t forget to regularly update your content too, to make sure it doesn’t get stale.
2. Encourage Engagement
Create content that people want to engage with. Link to the articles on your social media platforms and ask questions to your audience and answer them.
Use hashtags and include visual elements and videos to spice things up (don’t forget to optimise these images and videos and include image alt tags)
3. Find Your Niche and Cater to It
Identify your brand and your audience, and cater to them accordingly. Research is essential here. You need to provide content that is different to your competitors and provides value to your audience.
Effective keyword research is important and can help you identify long tail keywords can help you zone in on a specific audience.
Are there Tools to Help you Create Great Content?
Yes! There are tools to help you on your way to creating great content for your website.
How Can We Help?
Are you struggling to think of fresh, quality content to keep users interested in your site? Don’t resort to content farming.
Contact us and we’ll hook you up with an awesome team that will help you figure out a content strategy plan that should set you up for success.