Google algorithm 'Farmer Update' sorts out the chaff from the hay with regards to website content quality.
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Google Algorithm Update

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The new Farmer, or Panda Google algorithm update recently meant a lot of sites were re-rated - either up or down.

In summary, the Farmer update was not only harsh on content farm-like websites (thus, "Farmer Update"), but in fact targeted sites which are quite simply low in quality generally.

Websites which contained shallow content (not enough content or copy to be of any real use), badly written content, and unoriginal content - ie, stuff copied from other websites - were (or will be) affected.

Google Algorithm Update It is very important to note that even if only part of your website contains low quality content, that can be enough to affect your WHOLE website.The way to remedy this is to remove all pages which are low in quality - it's a numbers game really.

One website which, as far as I can see, has benefited from the Farmer Update, is

The owner of Newsmaker, Leila Henderson, made the decision years ago that all content being posted on Newsmaker would be quality controlled by human interaction. This decision is now paying off in spades. Leila says:
"I am totally in favour of giving companies and organisations an opportunity to tell their stories, but I am totally against 'content farms' that try to manipulate search engines. It's one thing adding key words to a story to enhance results and quite another to cobble together keywords and clutter people's brain space with poorly constructed sentences where the word 'outsourcing' or 'data entry' appears 10 times in 2 paragraphs."
Since the Panda Update came into effect, NewsMaker traffic has increased by over 23%. I attribute this (at least in part) to Google recognising NewsMaker as a site which cares about the quality of its content.

"We moderate all press releases that come in to make sure they're of a standard that meets the demands of Australian journalists. And of course we also try to make sure they don't contain any defamatory or offensive material - although we don't stand in judgment and try to be nonpartisan," Leila says. "In short, it's the press releases NewsMaker rejects that makes the rest the best."
As Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told Fortune magazine recently, there are only two ways to get good, quality content. To paraphrase Jimmy:

One way is that you are already a good writer so you write it yourself or you pay a professional PR person or a journalist to write it for you.

The second way is to have a product, service or communication that gets other people excited - and they write it for you, free of charge.

You can tell a mile off if a person is truly excited and interested about what they're saying - it's part of the positive fallout of social media that it is very, very difficult to pretend to be someone you're not for any length of time.
"I don't think it's optimal for society in any way that when you do a search, you just get content from people who don't care," Jimmy says.
Newsmaker CEO, Leila Henderson responds:
"Jimmy Wales' story strengthens our resolve not to publish press releases that are written by anonymous people to sell anonymous 'dirty little services' - no, not even for money!"
I know Leila personally and I know how good her service is, with new and even more effective press release services on the horizon. Yes, of course a press release published in NewsMaker is good for SEO - but it is also able to be read and understood by people, not like some of the rubbish you see on many content farms, written by people with little or no writing skills - or dictionaries for that matter!

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