Monday, 7 March 2011

Google, Content Farms and Repositories

In recent news, Google has altered its ranking algorithms to favour sites with original material rather than so-called content farms that simply redistribute material found on other sites. Although users report satisfaction with improved results, this action has caused quite a furore with some genuine sites losing significant business as well.

I have been worried about how this would affect repositories, after all we technically fit into the definition of content farms: sites that exist to redistribute material that is published elsewhere. Bearing in mind that Google delivers the vast majority of our visitors to us, if the changes were to impact on our rankings, we might suffer quite badly. Now that there's been a couple of weeks for the changes to migrate around the planet, our usage stats point to business as usual.

First of all, downloads over the last quarter - no dramatic tailoffs in the last week.

And a comparison with last year (apologies the different vertical scale) shows year-on-year stability.

So good news there: our repositories haven't been classed as valueless redistribution agents. That would have been a bit of a blow to our morale!

1 comment:

  1. I wondered if stats might go up, and Google had said "At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports..." (

    Oh well, this time we're neither winners nor losers.