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Google recently updated its algorithm and the result has seen Google take some heavy criticism. Labeled the ‘Farmer Update’, the update is reported to target content farms that are full of poor quality content. In the lead up to this update, much was said about Design Media, in particular it’s content site eHow. Reports to date suggest that eHow probably benefited more than it lost following the update.

At the same time, there are many sites crying poor because they copped a hit in search results. These are sites that are businesses and who have good reputations within the online community, certainly not ‘content farms’. The problem is, their sites have internal flaws which, to Google’s algorithm, look like content farms.

The problem with the algorithm change is a simple one. Just because you’re a content farm that doesn’t mean your content is poor. On the whole, eHow’s content is probably average to poor – but there are some very good articles mixed in with the good ones. And the same could be said for millions of ordinary websites, especially mom and dad style blogs.

For many website owners, especially those whose site is their business and their livelihood, the only way forward is to engage a professional to undertake an audit of their SEO strategies. Businesses tend to get caught up in these updates, often unintentionally, but the end results could cost them that business.

If you run an online business, particularly one that has hundreds or even thousands of pages, engage an independent SEO professional who can undertake that audit. Your website may be fine – but in ninety percent of cases, an SEO audit does pick up on errors. Who knows? Fix those little errors and you may climb even higher in the search rankings.

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