As Bob Dylan said, “Times they are a-changing”.  When we first created InfoBarrel we set out to create a web platform where writers of all walks of life could come create amazing content that helped people from around the world solve a problem.

We launched in 2008 with a vision in mind, but had no idea how quickly things would take off.  The site grew so fast that at one point we were publishing 150 unique articles each and every day.  We were also turning away 150 articles that didn’t meet our quality standards. 

As we grew, we went through highs and lows.  While we offered an extremely generous revenue share, many users also came to use us as a means to build links for their web properties.  While we wanted to focus on quality content, with the Internet, marketers are always going to try and find a way to abuse the system.

Because of the sheer volume of content it made it difficult to determine which content was good and which content was less than stellar.  Content continued to amass and we tried to roll with the punches, implementing new tools to help us keep the content the best we could.

In 2011 Google started implementing more advanced algorithms that devalued content that was thin, or didn’t deliver on what was promised in the title.  As a result, many large sites like InfoBarrel saw a huge drop in search engine traffic.

We tightened down our guidelines and tried to continue adding features, but the link spam just kept  on coming.   InfoBarrel became more and more about the writers and less about the readers of the site.

The Future

We want InfoBarrel to cater to both writers as well as the readers.  We want IB to be a place that people trust.  The first step to changing how people view IB is to remove the heavy marketers and link builders.

This took a lot of thought, but we are realigning the way we look at links now.  Using data from Majestic SEO we are going to evaluate every article on IB.  The metrics from Majestic SEO that we will be using are Trust Flow and Trust Ratio.  You can see some documents at the following URLS:

The Numbers

When we crawl IB and evaluate links, we will be removing any links that point to a site that no longer exists. 

If a link points to a URL that has over 40 trust flow, the link will remain.

If a link is under 0.5 Trust Ratio and under 40 trust flow.  The link will be removed from the article.

If a link has less that 40 trust flow, but more than 0.5 trust ratio, the link will remain, but it will be no followed.

The goal is to avoid linking to shady neighbourhoods.  This not only will have a positive affect on our search presence, it also makes us a much safer place for readers.

For signatures, all links moving forward will be no-followed.  If you link to a domain with less than 40 trust flow or  under 0.5 trust ratio, the links will be removed entirely.

I know this is a big change, but we think it will make a huge difference in making InfoBarrel a better place for real writers, as well as their readers.

For discussion on this, please visit this forum topic.