Fighting back against content farms

A while ago I wrote The Issue of Content Farms and talked about how Google was trying to change their search algorithm to screen out low-quality, advertiser-bait content. Well, Google tries, but it’s a losing battle. Sites like Ask.com and Mahalo still clutter up your results list with their mostly plagiarized, always useless “articles.”

Here’s what you can do about it.

First of all, you need to be at a computer where you can choose what browser you use and adjust its settings. Use Google Chrome as your browser. Chrome is a browser that allows you to log into it using your Google account.  When you’re logged into Chrome, you can share your browser settings and preferences among all the different computers that you use.

So now you’re logged into Google Chrome and you’re searching in the Google search engine. You find an article that’s clearly from a content farm. It’s fluffy and the author stuffed it so full of SEO keywords that it doesn’t even make sense. You can make sure you never see anything from this web site again as long as you’re logged into Chrome. Just go to Google’s Managed Blocked Sites and paste the URL of the offending web page in there. Then click the Block Site button.

The URL of the Mahalo.com page about cats is http://www.mahalo.com/cats/. If you paste that into the Block Site box, Google will block all pages from Mahalo. But the URL of the About.com page about horses is http://horses.about.com. They put the topic in front, and that makes it a little harder. If you want to block all About.com pages, just delete the first part and paste about.com into the Block Site box.

If you want to give yourself a head start on blocking useless fluff content, here is a list of content farms.

If you ever want to unblock a site, just go back to Google’s Managed Blocked Sites. There will be a list of sites you’ve blocked. Next to each site will be an Unblock link – all you have to do is click it.

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