A Convenient Content Truth

Companies are making SEO'd content to rank in Google and Google is feeding them traffic and revenue.

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Big businesses with huge pageviews fueled by Google have emerged in recent years that exist only because of a unique SEO / Adwords relationship with Google. Google gives them a huge presence in the long tail SERPS and they in turn give Google increased revenue by being a Google Adsense partner. Not just any Adsense partner, but a Google partner that turns Google search generated traffic into billions of Adwords clicks totaling tens of billions of dollars. 

Demand Media, for instance, was created with this business model. Figure out what people are searching for, create somewhat unique content in bulk that matches the title tags and other keywords in the search terms, place Google ads all over this content and  voila … Demand Media’s eHow.com articles rank on the first page of Google search result for hundreds of thousand of searches. By the way, Demand Media is reportedly going to generate $200 million in revenue this year and may be worth a billion dollars in large part because of these Google Adwords clicks.

It is a fascinating business model; A content assembly line creates content specifically for Google searches and Google then pays millions for Google ads clicked on that content. Unfortunately, it does raise questions about whether Google has a conflict of interest in being both the main supplier of traffic and revenue for these bulk article sites while also earning substantial revenue for itself? After all, if these articles didn’t result high in Google searches this mass content production model wouldn’t work.

I have followed the SEO industry for years and our WebProNews reporters have interviewed countless Google product managers on the subject of ranking well in Google.  Google’s mantra has been for publishers to make quality content for their users and not for its search engine. Google’s position is that quality content will rise to the top of its SERPS. 

However, Google seems to be sending content creators a mixed message. Demand Media is creating as many as 5,000 articles and videos each day for the purposes of ranking in Google. If Google’s message is for publishers to create content for their readers, not just to rank in Google, then why is Demand Media’s content ranking so well in Google? 

The answer could be that for thousands of long tail searches, Demand Media’s content is quality enough. The vast majority of Google searches on any given day include a search term that will get less than a hundred searches a day. What content farms such as Demand Media do is provide articles and videos that are optimized for these rarely searched terms. The content is often mediocre, but it is unique and it has a title tag and other keywords that match these targeted searches. 

The problem as I see it is that while Google is highly ranking the content of these mass production publishers it also has a financial incentive to do so. Almost all content farms use Google Adwords for their revenue. So while Google on the one hand encourages publishers to make content for their readers and not just for search ranking, it is in partnership with sites that do just that. 

This should make publishers wonder about their business models. Should they spend thousands paying reporters and editors to create quality content for their users or should they simply create a content farm that pays little for bulk quantities of articles and videos but gets lots of Google love?  

I guess if you can make content for the purpose of ranking in searches … but make it targeted, unique and not horrible, then you might find that Google well reward you quite well.

Is this the future of online publishing?

A Convenient Content Truth
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  • http://www.workingwebcopy.com Angela West

    Demand Studios stands to make all of this money, and yet it pays its writers a fraction of what their articles are truly worth. While I believe that their business model is brilliant, they are making their money on the sweat of stay-at-home moms and new writers who simply don’t feel that they can write for more money.

    They can and will write for more money when they start to get some experience under their belt. As Demand runs out of writers who will accept their pay rates, I think you’ll see their business model collapse unless they give them modest raises.

    I also believe that Google will eventually make up for the current popularity of “junk sites” like Demand and Yahoo Answers in their rankings by screening out articles of a lesser quality, since many of their readers do the same already. I don’t know about you, but if I’m looking up “brain surgery” and a paper from Johns Hopkins comes up #2 against an eHow article at #1, I’m not even going to be looking at the #1 result. Google tends to follow eyeballs and I can’t see them not doing so in this case.

    • http://www.ehow.com/members/heatherschulte-articles.html Heather Schulte


      eHow pays it’s writers well. In the two years I’ve been with eHow, I’ve earned on average $20 per article. It rarely takes me an hour to write one as I focus on what I know from experience. I write for many other publications, including some that are more selective and some that have a stringent editorial process. They do not pay better than eHow. The quality of my writing is the same, regardless of where it is published. Many of the best web content writers are proud to say they write for eHow and Demand Studios.

  • sofakingdabest

    I always wondered why eHow.com always came up first. I stopped clicking on eHow years ago because I find thier “How to” content weak. Although they may not know it, Google’s quailty control of “search relevance” should be near the top. Hey Google, how about my own personal search algorithm? Now that’s the future.

    • Guest

      I wholeheartedly agree. Every time I click on an eHow article, I find myself saying, “Well, duh,” as I read something begging the question I was seeking an answer to. Even Yahoo Answers provides a better source than most of these articles.

      eHow authors defending their work notwithstanding, you cannot expect to spend an hour writing an article, having a topic for which you are not a subject matter expert, and produce a high quality result. Even subject matter experts can spend days or weeks researching and producing an article of any significance.

      • Guest

        i fully agree with your comment. i wanted to add that yahoo answers is a hotbed of common errors. people gi ve their opinion on subjects they know little about , then what seems like the best answer to the questioner is published and displayed like it should be written in stone. in short it breeds ignorance just like ehow often does.

  • sofakingdabest

    If I were an advertiser reading this article, should I be concerned that I may have wasted some of my money? Think about all those stomachs dropping to the floor.

  • http://www.czonellc.com Terry

    It’s the basic problem of our civilization – any good idea will eventually be corrupted by the hogs who want it all. The smaller players content with making a living will be swallowed by the excesses of the few that will corner the market, whatever market it may be. History repeats itself over and over. The strong and greedy survive, the weak and mellow disappear.

    i consider myself a professional Internet marketer struggling like many. Google is a major expense for me in advertising dollars yet they do everything in their power to deny my ads or cause PPC ads to ever increase despite my best efforts to follow their nebulous guidelines that change day-to-day.

    I’m not happy with Google Adwords in the least but they corner 70% of the market. The Golden Rule, he who has the gold makes the rules.

  • KTB

    Good article. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.digitalstroke.co.uk Guest

    Emphasise the word ‘Quality’. In Google terms the amount of visitors to a specific page, whether relevant or not to actual search results.

    I always thought Content was King?, not in Google’s eyes.
    Google has been sending mixed messages for years. They don’t deny or acknowledge rumours, they just let the stories roll. There is no point in even trying to understand Google, as they always move the goal posts, in favour of themselves and certainly not the actual users, they provide in the millions of search results to per day.

    Their guidelines are nothing to shout about and they certainly DO NOT adhere to them, themselves. I think the word is ‘Double Standards’.

  • http://pagestat.com Guest

    Im going to agree with Angela West west on this. E-how and brain surgery are a no go. And i really do think google follows the click rates and bounces of its users.

    20,000 people google brain surgery and 14,555 click on the second ad im sure there is a lever in that google algo somewhere that trips at a certain point.

    We’ve all created sites that don’t rate for their own url term (ie: somedomain where the name is somedomain.com ) for the first weeks or months.

    If the content answers a question and answers it correctly then thats really all that matters right. Im querying the search engine, i have a problem and i want help fixing it. Be it a runny nose, broken tv tuner, or the occasional ruptured hemorrhoid. Hey it happens to all of us.

    As long as the model is not truly broke… why fix it. Paying for 5,000 pages of content must be a huge risk, but it seems to be paying off.

    People will always find a way to game the system.

  • http://www.alienst.com Head Alienst

    We could list 20 things that Google is doing counter productive to common sense. For example: They are kicking paying advertisers out of Adwords as advertisers for violating their terms and conditions on the first instance. You can be a fresh faced, first timer 20 minutes in and be banned from Google for life.(Along with your email, credit card, name, IP, website URL) It is happening to literally hundreds of people per day, you can read all about in the Google Forums, etc. The only notice the advertiser gets says “Your account has been deleted for violating our terms, do not contact us again”

    In addition, adsense is border line theft, with a less than .001 conversion ratio on your investment from adsense generated visitors you are losing your entire budget in cheap, un-targeted traffic from a one page optimized site designed to take your advertising dollars and give them to Google.

  • http://moderndaypeasants.com/blog Dan Waggoner

    To me the message is don’t waste your time trying to understand Google’s message. Instead just devote your time trying to figure out how to get on the payroll.

  • Guest

    Did you really believe its just about QUALITY content? Or QUALITY ad copy, or landing pages?

    Blue Pill People, Google is a multi-Billion dollar business, in the business of making multi-billions of dollars. EVERYTHING THEY DO has this purpose as an end, no matter what the action is, even the good ones.

    The concept of a “Quality Score” in PPC was so they can infect the true auction model they once had and charge people whatever they want. The concept of “Serve up QUALITY content” is so their users will continue to use their search engine and continue to insure Google stay’s paid.

    In the world of the Black Hats. they laugh at the Blue pill people working so hard and spending so much money to have “QUALITY” content. They spam Google 87 ways to Sunday, get away with it and walk off with buckets of cash.

    The problem with most people is they are naturally honest. Now mind you, this is only a problem because we are all living in a dishonest world. Being honest in a dishonest environment will likely serve you no good.

    So please take the red pill, realize that they are just out to make as much money as they can, like everyone else raised on these false values of civilization, and act accordingly.

    • http://www.thebootcd.com Guest

      I completely agree, I have had an online buisness for 5 years. I have done everything I can to rank high on Google, paying thousands of dollars into PPC ads, changing my content & trying to make my website the best it can be for Google’s “algorithm”. Yet after all my blood sweat & tears, Google banned me from even having ads? They just stopped my ads from running & said that my website wasn’t good enough for them. Are you kidding me? I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me what I had done wrong. Obviously I wasn’t making them enough money. I of course figured out how to trick their algorithm so my ads ran again, just to get myself at the top of their searches. Yet after paying their expensive PPC fees, I barely even make a profit. It really is sad how they take advantage of a small honest business person just trying to make enough to pay their mortgage in this day & economy.

    • Guest

      Right on man.

  • http://www.tmart.in www.tmart.in

    Very interesting and astonishing!!!

    Thanks / Tissy

  • Guest

    This article addresses one side of the issue, correctly and accurately. The other side of the content issue is this: Why can’t Google determine the original source more accurately?

    It’s to the point where I see very little benefit in spending hours and hours of time writing quality content anymore. I might as well write crap, mass produce it, slap piles of Google Ads on it, and make some money. Unfortunately I have standards, though they have gotten me nowhere.

    There is not a single day that goes by anymore that someone doesn’t steal one of my original documents. There isn’t a thing I can do about it. Sometimes it doesn’t matter, and my original continues to rank. Unfortunately, more often than not, Google throws the article on MY site out of its index and keeps the stolen copy. And you have to love when Google turns around and tosses out my entire site because my content appears elsewhere (despite the fact that it’s not my damn fault).

    It doesn’t matter if the person reproduces my content puts a link back to my site or not. Google still can’t figure it out.

    There is no reason for this. Regardless of whether there is a link or not, Yahoo never had this problem. Bing does not have this problem. Google consistently has this problem.

    So now I am not able to create nearly as much content as I once did. Why? I have to spend hours and hours monitoring and tracking my content. I have to spend hours and hours getting my content removed from other sites. People don’t understand why. Explaining it to them is like talking to a wall. The worst offenders then go and steal more of my content, which makes matters worse. I can’t win.

    And you have to love all the times that Google suggests things like “torrent” and “rapidshare” when you search for something. The oh-so-wise Google is telling their users to go steal the item rather than purchase it.

    And Google wants to be able to make money from works that are still protected by copyright but are out of print? Good God, you have to hope someones comes to their senses and lets Yahoo or Bing have the damn contract. I wouldn’t trust Google with anything that has anything to do with copyright. The only thing they protect are their own patents and their bottom-line. Everything else, they ignore under the protection of “safe harbor.”

  • http://www.ehow.com/members/heatherschulte-articles.html Heather Schulte

    It is a supply and demand model. Google supplies what internet users want. For this reason, it remains the number 1 search engine. Google has plenty of competition. If users weren’t happy with Google results (including eHow) they would go elsewhere.

  • http://www.town-court.com Traffic Court

    The content farm model only works for topics where there is little meaningful content already – mainly long-tail phrases that are searched only rarely. I write quality content and it tends to do well. I rarely see crappy content outrank me. It’s much tougher to do well when there is already quality content for a particular phrase.

    • Guest

      Even with a site that ranks well in a competitive area, our content vanishes when people steal it. Our original document doesn’t just drop a few spots or even 20 or 30 spots. It vanishes. It goes away. Get the copy removed, and we come back. The problem is entirely with Google’s duplicate content filter, which does NOT take the original source into consideration.

      • http://www.ehow.com/members/taxguru-articles.html Heather Schulte

        It is interesting that you mention stolen content. I rarely have content stolen from other article libraries, or “content farms,” but a lot of what I’ve written for eHow was stolen by other websites.

  • http://www.opendooronthenet.com Larry Ray Palmer

    I found your article very interesting. Yes, Demand Media does produce an amazing amount of content every day. The reason they do this is that they hire freelance writers like myself to work on their own time in a very flexible setting. I can write as much or as little as I want each week. They also pay much better than most freelance job sources. On average, I make 5x my usual rate. For these reasons, Demand is able to produce high ranking content in huge amounts.

    In regards to quality issues, Demand is very concerned with quality. Every article produced must pass through editors before it is sent on to final publication. Many writers have complained because sometimes the editors can be very strict, even rejecting articles for being over word counts or small grammatical differences. The articles written for Demand are mass produced but they are far from being a cookie cutter content producer.

    Even before getting approved to write for Demand, each content producer must fill out a very detailed application. I know several very good writers that I have worked with who were not accepted because their applications were not up to Demands standards.

    I hope this helps in explaining why Demand is such a big name in High Traffic content production. Thanks for a wonderful article and the chance to share my thoughts.

    Sincerely, Larry Ray Palmer

  • CMB

    There are no honest corporations. Once a company incorporates they lose all morality. The CEO makes millions or hundreds of millions and if he want to continue making hundreds of millions he has to do whatever he can to make more money for the stock holders. Corporations are an evil business model based on pure greed with no other alternative.

    I guess what I’m saying is you shouldn’t have trusted them in the first place.

    • Guest

      As a small business owner — whose company happens to be incorporated — I take strong exception to these comments. Honestly is a human trait, which cannot be applied to an entity, in this case, defined as a corporation. This seems so painfully obvious, I can’t believe someone thinks otherwise.

      So it comes down to the honesty of the people running the corporation. If you are calling my corporation dishonest, you are calling me dishonest. To suggest that there are no honest corporations, that they are evil, is as outrageous as it is ignorant.

  • Guest

    While I agree with Angela West’s comment that Google must follow eyeballs to maintain the credibility of their SERPs, I can’t see how mass production publishers will ever run out of content authors. For every writer who develops sufficient skill and experience to command greater returns, several mediocre newbies will become available to replace her.

    The result will continue to be the increasing volume of low quality, fluffy content we are seeing — right up until the point where a newer, better search algorithm comes along and forces the fluff down to where it belongs. The irony in the current situation is that one can use the highly targeted Google ads on the fluffy pages to find the very unique content he is seeking, with Google and the fluff publisher cashing in on the ad revenues.

    Economics dictates that someone will find a way to “cut out the middle men.” If Google doesn’t get there first, we finally could have some real competition in the SE industry (but don’t count on this fact being lost on Google; beyond their reputation — in terms of presenting high quality search results — they simply have little incentive).

  • David Sarokin

    Thanks for an interesting article, but as one of the freelance writers at eHow, I’d like to clarify a few things.

    One, it’s simply not the case that all eHow’s material ranks well in Google. I can say this categorically from my own experience as the author of several hundred how-to’s…some of them rank very well, many do not. It takes effort, a focus on quality, and a bit of luck to get in the top ten, even for some very long-tail searches.

    Second, eHow seems to rank just as well with Yahoo or Bing or any other search engine, as it does in Google, which suggests there’s no real hanky-panky going on by artificially boosting rank in search results. While I understand your concern about an apparent conflict of interest, if Google were to unfairly favor a site like eHow, users would quickly recognize what’s going on, and Google’s credibility would go out the window.

    I really, really doubt they would take that risk.

    One last thing. Someone complained about the pay-rate at eHow, and I suppose they have a point if they work for Demand Media, and collect a flat fee (currently at $15 per article). However, writers like me, working directly for eHow, do so on a revenue sharing arrangement. I’ve had individual articles earn hundreds of dollars…one has topped $1,000. Not bad for a couple hours of my time!

    I look forward to reading more comments here.


  • http://www.adscams.info Kevin Hillman

    Google is just a bunch of criminals stealing on the web every chance the get. We have known for years about Google’s ” Special Relationship ” with the Russian Mob on the Canadian Pharmacy Scam and the millions the make off the scam.

    Now we know another junk company – Demand Media. Churning out thousands of pages of junk content with Google Ads and no substance on the pages. Anybody that thinks Demand Media is worth anything is an IDIOT.

    The only companies in this country that are worth anything is ones that own material things. Demand Media is worth a lot on paper because the people that make money off of it issued a bunch of white paper saying so.

    Let us see them sell their POS company for 1 billion dollars. HA HA HA ! Google’s worth is made up by the people that are stealing money from this country for investments in China and India and other emerging economies

    Google is a criminal company and they steal. It is a fact. the people that run Google are common thieves trying to control all advertising and search results on the web. I know they are worthless because search is about to change on the web. the Google killer is just about ready and it will put the power of search back into the webmasters hands and wrench it away from Google for the public good.

    No Scam sites, no bogus paid results, the best relevant results ever returned, a smart search engine with the largest blacklist of scam sites on the web is part of it. We are about to launch the core and thousands of real webmasters will be helping topple the giant.
    Kevin Hillman
    Ad Scams Admin

    • Rich Ord

      I think you are taking this too far calling these companies worthless. The article certainly didn’t say that.

      Rich Ord

    • Guest

      these companies are not worthless. the media industry has massive value. regards your search idea, you are in dream land. do you have any idea of the cost in staff time to produce what you propose?

  • Lou

    My friends & co-workers are all tired of Government & big businesses doing nothing and getting millions (and sometimes billions for doing nothing).
    Then comes Google…after being made the major site by all of us users. It gets power hungry and is now the school yard bully!
    Well, we say here in our little world, “Freedom for the little guy and forget Google. We made ‘em, we can break ‘em!”
    Let’s all (the millions of users and our billions of hits a year) GOTO and USE The OTHER SEO’s on the web and IGNORE GOOGLE. Let him (Google) see how big the user is! (Hey, it’s what the West was found on….NOT facist or dictatorship but good old FREE ENTERPRISE.

    • dave

      That won’t happen because the big boys make too much money and eventually Google will have partnerships with these big boys and forget the little guys. Google can suck my **** they have mass banned adwords accounts for no reason whatsoever.
      They continue to let big companies get away with BS article writing for the sake of adsense income , yet bann the little go for doing the same thing. Google is just a whore.

  • Jeremy

    Angela, first, you really should come up with your own headlines for your posts. It’s not nice to rip off other writers. Besides, it shows a decided lack of creativity. . .or, dare I say it. . .”junk” writing.

    Second, Yahoo Answers and the articles published by Demand Studios couldn’t be more different. Again, a lack of research on your part?

    Finally, “stay-at-home moms and new writers” make up only a fraction of the writers at Demand. We have many more experienced writers in our ranks than amateurs. It’s a quick and easy way to pick up some extra money during a recession and at a time when “Old Journalism” is killing off writers and editors left and right.

    Don’t you worry your little head about Demand running out of writers. Not going to happen. I can’t think of anywhere else I can pop in on my schedule, make money and still have time to work on my novel.

  • http://hubpages.com/hub/Symptoms-and-Treatment-of-Generalized-Anxiety-Disorder Guest

    It’s funny that people complain about the pay rate of Demand. Actually, it’s quite sad. Not sad because this complaint is misdirected, but sad because the pay rate for Demand writers isn’t low compared to web content articles for a client obtained through another source such as elance. As long as writers are willing to write short, web content articles for a few dollars each, the earning potential for stay-at-home writing moms and so forth is rather limited. It is not uncommon for writers to write articles for $5 or less a piece. That’s what’s sad. I think the better avenue for writers who need to write from home is to write for HubPages. They won’t get paid upfront, but chances are, they’ll make more money in the end with their share of the Google AdSense for the article, especially if they write articles targeting keywords.

    • Guest

      Hub Pages? Please. They don’t even rank on the first page. Don’t waste your time.

  • http://ldii-sidoarjo-jawatimur.blogspot.com/ ldii

    Great news. I’m anxious to learn about content farm.

    • Guest

      good for you. nice comment.

  • http://twitter.com/Jeff_Martin Jeff Martin

    I speak from the experience/perspective of a YouTube Partner and producer of expert hi-quality “how to” content.

    This is quoted from the article in Wired:
    “When YouTube

    • Guest

      “If Google/YouTube wanted more content they should have put the word out PUBLICLY ”

      Why? So they could get the crap that is consistent with user-generated content? No, they called Demand because they knew what they would get: decent quality.

      And, who are YOU to dictate to Google what they should and should not do?

      • http://twitter.com/Jeff_Martin Jeff Martin

        Why? So they could get the crap that is consistent with user-generated content?
        1) YouTube owes what it is today and its revenue strings to UGC.
        2) So all UGC = crap? Could you paint with any more of a broad stroke? Most YouTube partners are amat UGC content producers and many of them have thousands (hundreds of thousands) of subscribers, high rated videos and nice checks every month (which equates for nice revenue for YouTube).
        3) At the very least YouTube Partners…most of the publishers recognized by YouTube for their valued content…should be included into the mix.

        No, they called Demand because they knew what they would get: decent quality.
        5) YouTube would probably say that all of their partners provide at least “decent quality”…whatever that is, otherwise they probably wouldn’t have been invited to be a partner.
        6) Again, most partners are amat UGC content producers

        And, who are YOU to dictate to Google what they should and should not do?
        7) Who are YOU to dictate all UGC is crap?
        8) Who are to dictate that Demand Media should get preferential treatment and have access to business intel that no one else can get? Google is not known for previously divulging ad publisher/inventory data and working behind the scenes with a commercial entity with goal of lining each others pockets with said ad money. So there’s nothing wrong with Google giving your competitors insider information to compete against you in your chosen keyword spaces so they and said competitor can make more money. Where do you think that would leave you?

        Google doesn’t want us making content with the main intent for running AdSense ads on it, yet that’s what’s happening here – it’s a double standard and very few are invited to the party.

        If you can’t grasp these concepts and the ethics (mostly established by Google) then there’s nothing more we can discuss.

        BTW – next time you troll, try to get up the nerve to use your name and stand behind your words.

        note: I’m typing this on the go, please forgive typos.

    • http://onlineforfree.net Rui Santos

      just one quick question and hope someone can answer me…

      Isn’t making a website with the sole purpose of showing adsense against adsense ToS??

      i guess it is but only for me and you…

    • Rich Ord

      Jeff — I agree with you that YouTube should tell everybody that they need certain videos, not just the chosen few. It makes you wonder whether Google would rank content from those that it has relationships with higher.

      Rich Ord
      CEO, iEntry, Inc.

  • Kain

    Any business model that relies on one single source for its income is doomed to failure.

    Especially when that one source of income is an evil schizophrenic company that changes it’s rules every few weeks and treats its advertisers and publishers like something it stepped on.

    As soon as the bounce rate increases or the publisher falls fowl of some latest rule Google devises they will find themselves with no income.

    Although judging by Googles track record this will happen to small publishers and would be very unlikely to happen to Demand media.

  • http://homesteadwebsitebuilder.com Homestead Website SEO

    I have done several comparisons with some of the eHow content in relation to a few things that I am very knowledgeable about. The truth of my findings is that the content is not accurate and it is very obvious that most of what is being published by eHow is optimized rubbish.

    Wikipedia is the king of quality content.

    eHow is the Internet junk yard as far as I am concerned.

  • http://www.albuquerquewebmall.com Guest

    Long-tail keywords are the consequence of irrelevant search results as people dig deeper to try to find relevant content and the answer they were hoping to get from a short-tail keyword.

    Pursuing this business model will be the demise of Google as people have already given up on “searching” for anything unless they have to. Nobody is too big to fail.

    Most searches are undertaken because the general public wants to get something done, not because they’re doing any in depth research into a subject. Consequently, most searches consist of people typing in the name of the company they know provides what they’re looking for because they saw it on TV, read about it in the news, or got the information from someone else. When those search strings result in an e-how response, people will end up going back to using the telephone.

  • http://www.direct-quotes.com direct quotes

    Someone complained about the pay-rate at eHow, and I suppose they have a point if they work for Demand Media, and collect a flat fee (currently at $15 per article). However, writers like me, working directly for eHow, do so on a revenue sharing arrangement. I’ve had individual articles earn hundreds of dollars…one has topped $1,000. Not bad for a couple hours of my time!

    I look forward to reading more comments here.

  • http://zamicanmarketingconsultants.com Morgan Madej

    Sure, eHow has answers to almost everything but one has to click through the mass of links to get to the content, which can be superficial.

    With my limited knowledge of the working of Gxxgle it seems that their search engines have been trained to respect quantity of information relating to thousands of topics in the name of relevance.

    What concerns me is that the websites that produce quality content are being neglected because their SEO is not as good as it could be or that they cannot afford adwords?

    Getting onto page 1 of Gxxgle without adwords is only a dream for many… My own slogan/comforter is “One day Gxxgle will find me” now I am not so sure.

  • http://www.hireservices.com.au freelancer

    As a freelancewriter I see the opportunity of making a few extra dollars a good alternative. If you write a few good articles you can make good extra money.

  • http://www.jeffgswanson.com Jeff Swanson

    Let me know if I’m missing something here, but I’m not buying into this at all. It seems to me that there is a major flaw in this argument, unless I’m just short on some facts, which is quite possible.

    This article is making it sound like Google is ranking them higher because they use Adwords and because they make so much money from it. In other words, they have a special relationship with Google. I’m not buying this at all. I think that they (Demand Media, Ehow, others) just know how to rank content well in search engines. I agree that it’s mediocre and hope that Google eventually filters it out, but I don’t believe that Google is giving them higher rankings because of the money.

    It’s one thing to rank crappy content, which happens a lot, but Google tries to combat it. It’s another to rank content because you make money off of it. If the latter is true, that’s complete B.S. by Google. If not, then those who create content have just as much of an opportunity to rank their content by figuring out how demand media does so.

  • http://www.vasserpro.com VasserPro

    Webusers are getting smarter all the time. Google usually does a good job with placing the most relevant sites first, but I agree the eHow.com is weak at best and I have also stopped clicking on it completely. People will begin to see this, too, and eHow will either improve articles or get less traffic.

    Bottom line: The system works.

  • http://www.uvvoka.com Carrie

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