The Google Farmer Algorithm
Over the past few days the Internet universe has been stunned by Google’s most recent algorithm change, commonly known as Google’s “Farmer Algorithm.” This name stems from the fact that this algorithm change seems to be aimed at content directories such as Demand Media, HubPages, and Squidoo to name a few. The purpose of this new algorithm is to to cut out the low-quality and spam articles from search results on Google’s search engine, while bringing only the best results for search engine users. You can find out more information about this algorithm and how it is affecting online article sites by going to Sistrix, where they have provided a chart listing sites that have taken a major hit from this new algorithm. You can find more information from the guys over at Search Engine Land to see how the algorithm has affected many sites across the Internet. And here is the word directly from Google’s official blog.
Google’s new algorithm has caused a drop in rank and traffic for such sites as HubPages, Mahalo, Suite101, Examiner, and article directories such as Ezinearticles. What this means for online writers using these sites is that the traffic to their articles has diminished, subsequently drying up their online income from these articles. One of the take-away lessons from this experience, as in past algorithm rollouts, is to not put all your eggs in one basket, in other words online writers need to develop diversified income streams. A diversified income stream helps to prevent taking such a major income hit when changes are made in the Internet universe.
After researching this issue and reading many comments in webmaster and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) forums, my opinion is that no matter what, if you write quality, original content you will win. I believe sites like HubPages will take a hit for a while, but the quality articles on these sites will still come to the top of searches done on the main search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. So, don’t give up writing for HubPages and the other sites, but find other opportunities to help you branch out and diversify your income streams.
Lesson learned, now what?
We’ve all learned from the mistake of depending too heavily on one site for our income, so how do we proceed from here? It’s time to take a look at other sites and methods to earn money online. Just as with article writing, it will take time to develop these income streams, but you will have learned how to adapt and become more versatile in your online work. The result will be a more diverse and balanced income stream than you had before. If one stream becomes slow or fails, you have others to fill the gap. You will also learn to be more creative, and how to survive when one income stream fails. This is good business practice and helps you to remain creative, while avoiding the rut of routine and having your eggs all in one basket.
What are our options?
Write for different sites. One way to diversify your income stream is to write for several different online sites. If you looked at the list of those sites who were most affected by the new algorithm, you see some very good writing sites were not included on that list. Places such as Xomba, Bright Hub, and Constant Content provide great opportunities for online writers.
Create your own blogs and websites. Create your own blogs and websites and monetize them with Google ads, the Amazon Affiliate program and an affiliate marketer such as Chitika. You can create blogs and websites around popular products, or create a portfolio for your writing, and more. Use your own blogs and websites as a way to display your writing ability and attract clients. Owning your own sites is the best, but if you can’t afford that, look at free blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress. These are great places to start to learn and gain experience. Once you’re confident enough and have the means, then you’re ready to start your own blog or website. There is no limit to how creative you can be with your own sites and blogs to earn money online.
Create your own products. Create your own products to sell from your own blog or website, or from sites such as Zazzle, CafePress, LuLu and microstock image sites. If you enjoy creating digital art and images, these sites offer wonderful opportunities to sell your work online. I have worked more on Zazzle, but am planning to branch out on to CafePress and microstock image sites in the future.
These are only a few ideas of alternatives to writing on the big sites such as HubPages, Suite101, and the others. I do believe these sites will survive the current algorithm fallout, but it will take time for the Internet to settle down and come to terms with the new reality after the Farmer Algorithm. As always, your focus should be on content that is high-quality and useful to readers. So, keep on writing, and try to diversify your online presence in order to avoid major income failure. Being versatile and adapting are the best ways to survive in the virtual world of online writing, and in real-life.
Good luck with your writing and diversification process!
Resources: Here are links to some of the online sites to start your own blogs and websites, and sites to help you create your own products and sell them.
*These are affiliate links, meaning I will receive some benefit from you signing up via this link. The benefit will be to earn a small percentage from any products you create and/or sell using Zazzle or Chitika. My percentage will not be taken from your earning, but will be paid by the company, in this case Zazzle or Chitika.