A Goodbye to Content Farms

by Alex Leo

Everyone’s talking about content farms these days. But for those of you who aren’t talking about them, content farms are websites that look at Google trends and then quickly tailor and create content for users searching these topics. For instance, “What Time Does the Superbowl Start?” (if it’s a news content farm) and “How to Edit a PDF Document” (if it’s looking to collect traffic on a commonly searched topic over a long period of time). Sometimes these stories are well researched and helpful, and sometimes they’re not. After many complaints from users who think these sites spam their search results, Google has implemented a new algorithm that cuts the rankings for content farms, and favors “high-quality” sites with original content.

And so, as a goodbye to content farms, here are three guides for actitivies some of us may or may not have searched recently.

1) How do I knit a sweater while also wearing it?

-First, buy yarn and roll it into a ball, because for some reason yarn must be made into a ball but isn’t sold that way. Despite all our content farming we cannot figure out why this is true.
-Next, choose your sweater pattern from a knitting website and take off your shirt.
-Begin knitting and after you have a lengthy row, attach it to your side with duct tape.
-This is a two-person job, so you should have found someone you feel comfortable with — and can knit — to aid you before you started. Sorry, this should have been first.
-Just knit round and round until you both get bored and decide it should be a sweater tube top instead of a sweater sweater. Hipsters wear weird, unflattering stuff all the time and no one says anything, so it’ll probably be OK.

2) How do I make pornographic decoupage?

-Bachelorette parties are hard to shop for. Everyone gets the bride-to-be penis pasta or edible underwear, which is sad because it means your pornographic present is ephemeral and will be eaten or, more likely, thrown away. Enter this shellacked pornographic gift from the heart!
-First, choose your pornographic images. These can be photos you take yourself, photos of men from the Anthropologie catalogue (there is one a year), photos of up-and-coming comedians who posed topless for Time Out New York semi-ironically, or printed-out photos from the web-only version of Playgirl.
-Next, choose what you want to decoupage — a night stand would work, as would a serving tray, a collection of large rings, or a chess set. Whatever you choose should be wood, both for practical and humor reasons.
-Then buy a product made for decoupaging, such as Modge Podge or Collage Pauge.
-Put all your pictures on the item you’re decoupaging and spread the glue product on with a foam brush. Use a Popsicle stick to scrape off excess glue. Ta da!

3) How do I make my grandma feel really special on her birthday?

-As the date approaches, start calling her in the middle of the night and hanging up to build suspense and excitement.
-On the actual day, pack yourself into a large gift box and have yourself delivered to her retirement home/actual home. Be careful not to put your head too closed to the taped area, as old people with scissors are dangerous.
-When she’s almost done opening the box, pop out and yell, “SURPRISE,” lighting whatever sparklers you have on hand.
-If she survives, you did it!

Alex Leo is a writer and internet enthusiast living in New York City. Her work has appeared on ABCNews.com, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, The Gloss, and more. Leo was a senior editor at the Huffington Post and an associate producer at ABC News. You can follow her on Twitter here.