As you already know, there have been some recent changes in Google algorithms aimed at providing better search results for Google searches. I have read various reports, blog posts and all sorts of nondescript stuff on it.
Some of the articles I went through say that the Google algorithm change is targeted against content farms that mass-produce highly search-relevant articles and other stuff including videos. It is argued that Google seeks to reduce the rankings of such sites, and bring high-quality original content on the top of Google search results.
Google search-users might not have felt the difference, because the change in the effect of the new algorithm may take some time, as new search indexing replaces the already indexed pages in the cache. As Google claims to improve the user-experience with every change in algorithms, most people are of the opinion that the change will produce better results by booting out content farms.
There are others who feel that it can turn out for the worse, because the search results that were way down the front pages of the SERPs may replace some of the top results. These can be sites that had low-quality content as determined by the previous Google algorithm updates.
If high-quality content comes up in the top searches, and Google actually reduces the relevance of content farms on top search results, the real beneficiaries will be those people who produce top quality original content, and it can include bloggers, journalists, researchers, and others who regularly bring out original content.
What are content farms?
First of all Google does not say that the new algorithm update is aimed against content farms. All it refers to is low-quality content. But most people in the know-of-things say that the change is aimed against content farms.
As the name suggests, content farms are websites that publish large quantity of content that are optimized for top search rankings, but the content may not be original, or of top quality. These companies aim at high advertising revenue, as they top in searches and get heavy organic traffic.
They usually hire content writers paying as low as $5 per article (of say 500 words); whereas a journalist or a content writer or copy-writer may charge in hundreds of dollars per article. But the people writing for content farms also make good amount of money by writing several articles a day from data collected from several original sources.
Such mass-produced articles are published by sites or companies that are known as content farms. Highly optimized content (because they too use some algorithms to find out the highly paying keywords using which the articles are written), coupled with large number of pages published by them help them come on top of the results for most of the high-paying keywords and keyword phrases. Such search results brings them huge advertising revenue.