Part of my writing for money business is keeping up with trends around the search engine world as well as trends in the buying habits of the general public. Much of my writing involves some degree of research through Google. Lately, I have noticed a trend that is both disturbing and exciting. This trend is nothing new really, however it is becoming more visible and it is changing the search engine rankings for many well known web properties.
In researching simple topics, much of the front page of Google was riddled with eHow, Bukisa and Helium articles. It was common to see half of the front page consist of content mill site results. In the past few weeks though that trend has taken a slight turn. Now although there are content sites coming up in the search results, there are fewer and they are more relevant to the topic being searched.
The news around the Internet is that Google is between a rock and a hard place if you will. On the one hand they are making a huge profit by allowing spammy sites and content mills to fill up the front pages of a search result with content that is driven by keywords and advertising. On the other hand, search engines such as Yahoo and Bing are gaining ground through filtering properties supplied by content mills and providing more relevant search results. There is also the fact that social media giants such as Facebook are beginning to draw in more advertisers away from Google.
People don’t want spam. They filter it out of their email inboxes and filter it out of their social media accounts. They also want to filter out of their general web browsing. Many of the search engines are listening to their users and all but eliminating content mill search results based on keywords alone. They want results their users want….quality relevant content.
What I think is happening is Google is beginning to devalue content coming from mass generated content mills such as Demand Media Studios. This devaluation results in lower search engine rankings which in turn mean less revenue for the content site. Now how long or how much devaluation will Google place is anybody’s guess at this point. But one can only speculate as to how much it will affect such things as the upcoming IPO for Demand Media, ranking of lower quality content sites without an editorial process as well as freelance content writer pay in the long term.
I wrote a guest post on another blog about what the content mills mean to the freelance writer today. I believe some like Suite 101, Yahoo! Contributor Network and Bright Hub have the ability to increase value to the Internet community without changing much on their end. However, I also believe that for places such as Demand Media Studios to keep their heads above water over the next few years, they will require painful changes which will in turn result in quite a few quality writers leaving for other opportunities.
Most people writing for money are good writers and can produce quality results. I think a survey of writers would show that most will spend the appropriate time necessary to craft well written and well researched articles for revenue share and residual content sites. However those same writers will not put in even half that effort for $15 flat rate per article. Even less would do it for a flat $10 per article. I also think you are going to see more pay structures similar to Bright Hub and Yahoo! In the near future. A mixture of low up-front pay with revenue share or page view incentives. However I don’t see certain content sites pulling that off without a major turnover of writers.
So what am I saying? What is my point? Simple. The wave of change is on the horizon. Content mills may not be dying, but there will be significant change. Freelance writers and entrepreneurs who are proactive will survive and prosper in this time of change. Those that are going to prosper will be those who are writing revenue share and residual articles at established sites such as Suite101, Yahoo! And Bright Hub as well as a small mix of up-front pay. Those that will prosper will develop clients through sites such as Textbroker and Constant Content. Those that will prosper will be building their own non-spam business websites and blogs geared toward helping others.
I said in my guest post that like it or not, freelance web content writers are salespeople in one form or another. You, as a freelance writer, are also a business. Businesses that prosper in a changing climate are the ones that change ahead of everybody else. It is my personal opinion that to prosper, we as freelance content writers must step up the quality of writing and be selective where we write. We must offer significant value to the reader. This must be done especially if you are building your own websites and blogs. The Internet is still full of opportunity to create financial security through writing for money as a freelance content writer. However, the writers that offer quality and value are the ones who will prosper.
- A Successful Writing For Money Business Plan (thefreelancertoday.com)
- Building Mini-Niche Sites With One Week Marketing (thefreelancertoday.com)
- Online Money Making Guide (thefreelancertoday.com)
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