With the recent Goolge’s algorithm update (which was quickly called “Farmer’s Update”, as it seriously affects the so-called “content farms”) and Blekko’s removal of twenty famous websites from its results, it seems that fighting spam is the hottest issue in the search engine market.
Indeed, when we face certain enemy, it is very advisable to know about him as much as you can. So, what is this “spam”? The answer is clear – something annoying and useless. The first occurrence of spam is said to happen in the 19th century, when many honorable English gentlemen received an urgent telegram with an advertising content.
When we are talking about search results, however, spam is not easily defined. Usually, it means irrelevant pages that happen to have a keyword in them. But this has been handled a while ago. The search algorithms are far more advanced than 10 years ago, when one could fill the page with meaningless phrases and get a high SE ranking.
The problem has switched to using a good-written content (grammatically that is), which provides little useful information. It keeps repeating the same things again and again, so while looking “normal article” for the bot/spider, for the human being it is simply a waste of time. That’s what “content farm” means – a website that has constantly generated and frequently updated content, which has little value in it. That’s what Blekko and Google are fighting. The problem is that technically it is very hard to distinguish between “useful” and “useless” content – even for a human, let alone an indexing bot…