Complete Guide for Farmer Update Impact Analysis in Google Analytics

Recently, Google updated the search algorithm (Farmer Update) to reduce spams in search results. The new algorithm is rolled out in Google US and it has impacted so many sites including Content Farms. The main motive of this update was to remove or de-rank the sites which are not producing original, researched contents. Motive of Google’s employees was good but the result is not 100% perfect. The new algorithm impacted so many popular sites which are producing original and detailed contents. Many bloggers and webmasters are reporting traffic collapse after this update and I am pretty sure that Google users will find many helpful articles on these sites as well. If you are victim of the new algorithm change in Google is seeing a drop in your traffic, then here is a guide to let you check the impact in Google Analytics.

For my blog, I saw traffic drop of around 10% on the very first day of roll out and that was scary. As I use Google Adsense to earn from this blog and the revenue from Adsense is very much dependent on number of Pageviews. If the Pageviews is getting down, that means the revenue will also impacted. Then I started digging into the impact and then I found that not all of my posts are impacted but few posts are getting more views after the Farmer update in Google Search Algorithm. That’s why I would suggest you to do this kind of analysis for your blog or site as well if you are using Google Analytics for traffic reporting.

Steps to Find Impact on Organic Traffic from United States

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  • Login to Google Analytics and open the dashboard of your site’s Analytics page.
  • Select any date after 24’th Feb 2011 as the Farmer Update came rolled out on that day in US.
  • On left menu, click on “Traffic Sources”
  • Now click on “Google (Organic)” under “Top Traffic Sources” section
  • The next page will show you traffic coming to your site from “Google Search Engine” on the selected date
  • As the “Farmer Update” only rolled out in US, so we will check the organic traffic coming from United States only. To get the list of keywords and traffic details for organic traffic, click on the link saying “None” beside the “Keyword” link. There you can select from different options. Select “Country / Territory”. This will add another column named “Country / Territory” on the “Search Engine : Google” page of Analytics
  • Now you need to get report only for organic traffic coming to your site from United States. To get that, click on the “Advance Filter” link available at the bottom of the page (beside Go button of “Filter Keyword box).
  • There you can add filter for “Country / Territory” containing “United States”. So write “United States” in the input box of advance filter to get report for US traffic (for Organic traffic from Google). Click on “Apply Filter” to the complete report.

That’s it. Now you are seeing organic traffic from Google Search Engine coming to your site from United States only. That Google Analytics page is showing you the keywords and traffic details for them. As “Farmer Update” came on 24’th Feb, now you can compare this organic traffic from US to any of your previous day report. To do that, remain on the same page and click on the “Date” dropdown which is available on top-right corner. Click on “Compare to Past” check box and then select any previous date in the second date field. I would suggest to select the same day of previous week so that you can compare the traffic properly. It is a well known fact that traffic on sites fluctuates on weekdays and weekends.

Here is a quick look on organic traffic gain and drop compared with previous date only for traffic coming from United States. This is how your final comparison report will look like.

Now that page will show you the comparison in traffic for each and every keyword. As that report is for traffic coming to your site from United States from Google Search Engine, it will show you the complete impact of Farmer Update by Google.

Note – Apart from “Keywords”, you can also check the affected posts on same page by selecting “Landing Pages” by clicking on the “Keyword” link available beside the same “None” link mentioned in step 6 of above procedure.

Did you find this post helpful? Are you facing the heat from Google’s Farmer Update? Share your experience of Google’s change in algorithm through comments section.

Sanjeev Mishra is a professional blogger and an Internet Marketing Consultant based in India. He has built the Internet Techies to provide you updates in technology and web application area.
  • It was helpful.
    Thanks Clickonf5.
    Luckily there was no drop in organic traffic on my blog.

  • Thanks Sanjeev for this great post. I just checked my blog, and it seems that it is not that much affected by Google’s farmer update.