According to New Scientist magazine, search engines Google, Yahoo!, Bing et. al., have isolated and punished content farms and websites who use their services.
According to the article which available online at the magazine's website, New Scientist asked University of Glasgow computer scientist Richard McCreadie to study 50 search queries that are “known to be a target of content farmers. One example query given is "how to train for a marathon." McCreadie studied those queries in both March and August, and the magazine says “the results show that Google and Microsoft have won a major victory against content farms.
For years, website owners and developers have plugged into content generation sites and engines which fed website boilerplate tailored and themed content. The goal was to trick the Ã‚ search engines into thinking content was being regularly updated and relevant to users and providing the websites strong page rankings and Google placement boosts.
According to the article, "the results are striking. In the case of the marathon query, sites that contained lists of generic tips, such as “invest in a good pair of running shoes, were present in the top 10 in March but had disappeared by August, while high-quality sources, such as Runner's World magazine, now appear near the top. Similar trends were found throughout the 50 queries."
This apparent crackdown gives hope to website developers and owners committed to providing valuable and original content for users but were being snowed under by much of the garbage flowing from the content generation farms.