What to Do about the Content Farms Google Slap

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What to do about the Content Farms Google slap? A lot has been made about the dramatic drop in traffic at a number of content aggregator sites – the best of which I would have to say was probably done by friend and mentor Jennifer at Potpiegirl.com. Here’s my two cents on the topic.

Newsflash: Google Finds Some Results Irrelevant and Acts to Crush Bad Sites

Seriously… should this be news to anyone? Google is facing dramatically increased competition from the new “winner” in the internet space, Facebook. Truth is in terms of pageviews and pageviews per user the two are about equal. Where Facebook is really cleaning up however, is user time on site and bounce rate. What are these terms about? Well, bounce rate is the percent of viewers that check out the first page they see and then jump to another domain (a.k.a. people look at one page of Google.com and jump to something else around 26% of the time). Facebook’s bounce rate is somewhere between 17-17.5%, meaning viewers who come to Facebook.com tend to stay there past the first page. This results in a much greater time on site (Facebook around 30 minutes per day per visitor, whereas Google has about 15 minutes per day).

It’s pretty clear from those figures that although Google has a great brand name and is the number one ranked traffic site, Facebook offers users a more valuable experience. Still not convinced? Consider the pageviews chart below from Alexa.com, the web statistics information company. Notice how the wave pattern of traffic for each site is virtually a mirror image of the other?

Notice How Facebook's Pageviews Rise Where Google's Fall

In statistics parlance, that would be what we’d call “near-perfect” inverse correlation of the daily change in pageviews. What does this tell us? It tells us that many times when users are not using Google they are choosing to use Facebook. Why does this matter? Look AGAIN at the chart. The smaller increments on the chart indicate days of the week… specifically MONDAYS. Notice where the defined peaks are for the Facebook traffic. The peaks are juuuust before the Monday increments along the bottom of the chart, meaning the bulk of Facebook traffic pageviews are occurring on WEEKENDS.

What Should You Make of This?

What this tells ME is that *SOME* M-F 9-5 working people with regular jobs either aren’t allowed or are afraid to use facebook during work hours. When they have the freedom to choose what platform they like to use, they choose Facebook.

What Does This Have to Do with the Content Farm Google Slap?

This has A LOT to do with the Google slap on content farms. Notice the conclusion drawn in the last paragraph: SOME people with Monday to Friday 9-5 jobs CHOOSE to use Facebook when they have the choice. Remeber the cola wars all those years ago? Consumers with DOLLARS (a.k.a. JOBS!) CHOOSE Facebook over Google when they have the choice – and the numbers and charts speak for themselves.

What to do about the Content Farms Google Slap?

First do what Google is doing: recognize that spammed content is irrelevant and stop producing it.
Second learn and master social web marketing.

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