Monday, March 14, 2011

The issue of "Content Farms"

Recently Google took steps to remove articles from content farms like Associated Content from people's search results lists. This caused an uproar in the content farm and search engine optimization business, and a sigh of relief among many searchers.


Search results lists were increasingly clogged up with "articles" from content farms. These articles look like information sources, but they exist solely to get people to view an ad. They are written in a hurry by underpaid freelancers who often have no knowledge of the subjects they write about. Because the objective is to cram keywords in there, accuracy is optional.

But with the change in Google's search algorithm, those articles will no longer show up in your results lists, mixed in with the legitimate sites. Even so, there is still plenty of work left for the researcher to do to evaluate the reliability and quality of a web information source.

Here's a tutorial on how to evaluate information sources, from the library's Information Skills Tutorial - http://commons.esc.edu/informationskills/manage-results/evaluate-the-information/
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