Coming straight to the point, the only intention of Farmer update is to devalue all content farms and poor quality content pages. Unfortunately, high authority sites like Ezinearticles and hub pages were considered among content farms even if there are real great pieces of information there.
Other targets of Farmer update were adsense websites making money with spun content (I could see some of the quality content sites with adsense are safe in search results).
Possible conclusions of Farmer update
1. Article directories are devalued from search results
When I tested this with a search query “copywriting company” in google.com from India, there was a link of Ezine article towards bottom (it means Farmer didn’t reach india yet but when I search by adding &gl=us ezinearticle link was gone. But hey, the ideamarketers.com article link got my attention.
Conclusion – Not all directories are devalued, you just need to sort out the winners and losers of Farmer update(wikihow, buzzle, ehow etc. are among the winners)
2. Few website owners noticed drop in rankings
Webmasters who employed methods like mass article submissions, low quality web 2.0 link wheel and blogs might have faced significant drops in their rankings. Reason is – all the pages/articles from Farmer-hit sites like hubpages, ezinearticles etc. have lost their value from search results; so they were no longer strong enough to backup the rankings your website had, leading to possible and expected drop.
3. Who are the targets? The content farms or the content on these farms
To clear the confusion I would say like this. Sites like hubpages had many wonderful articles that lost their search engine positions now. Google seems to compromise its promise to deliver quality results as such articles are removed from SERPs; it means Google may remove all the results just based upon the name/type of the website without regarding the content?
4. Who are possible winners?
Sites that publish the unique content by their own without letting others to submit their articles with “easily insertable” able links. This may enhance the value of some high quality blogs that publish the content regularly even though Google keeps a hard eye at contextual blogposts. It may be an SEO boon to web masters to resort to high quality and well maintained blogs when most good article directories are gone.
5. Possible ways to get links in current scenario
Looking at Google’s recent frequent, it seems to favor the real people giving real links naturally “after “ actually reading the content or analyzing the quality and relevance of the page
Other factor that may influence the rankings more than before is the traffic coming on the page. All the factors are recklessly pointing to social media networks like facebook, twitter, myspace, linkedin etc. that can make a page popular and invite the possible backlinks naturally.
These are just quick conclusions after a vague analysis from recent rankings we tracked for various clients. I can be back with more facts and logics later as Farmer goes wider with geo Google.
Feel free to share your thoughts, comments and conclusions.