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Should ‘Write To Rank’ Articles Be Punished by Google?

Should Demand Media's SEO'd content be demoted in search results?

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Google has stated many times that content should be written for the reader of the content and not to rank in search engines. I assume this would go for YouTube videos as well. It is an excellent approach for search engines to take in my opinion because theoretically if every content producer follows this standard, search results would be filled with high quality relevant links.

Unfortunately, every blogger or content publisher doesn’t follow this ‘write for the user’ approach. Many spammy content mills working with black hat SEO companies have been creating this content for years. It often includes paid links to sites and is created to raise the search ranking of the SEO’s customers site in Google and other search engines. Google is aware of this and has been rather effective in keeping these articles out of top search results.

However, Google’s principal of rewarding publishers with top search results who create content for users rather than a high search result is now suspect. Google is clearly rewarding content that is produced by SEO’d content powerhouse Demand Media with top results in its search engine. They are major Adsense partners of Google as well which I delineated in my recent article, "Google: Are You Really Serious About Web Spam?".

Has Google’s search result philosophy changed? Is Google now encouraging all of us content makers to write for search results rather than the reader? If so, has Google jumped the shark as the greatest search engine by not favoring the best content over SEO’d content?

Demand Media which just had a highly successful IPO valuing the company at over $1.5 billion is openly running an SEO’d content mill.  They are producing content for the sole purpose of ranking for thousands of keywords in Google. They have article topic request for submitters that are based on titles that are designed specifically to rank for certain keywords in Google. They have search engine specialist employed to direct programmers to write sophisticated algorithms that give them data on what subjects to write about and how to structure articles to appear in top results for a search term.

Demand Media’s entire business model is built around creating content that will rank high in millions of long-tail search results which contain Google ads that will be clicked on over a number of years. Google is obviously aware of Demand’s SEO’d content and their Adwords revenue strategy which makes Google’s perceived stance of encouraging bloggers and publishers to write ‘content for users, not their search engine’ a joke.

The problem with content produced for search results is that it competes with content produced for users. It comes down to what makes the best search results, articles written with passion and experience and for the reader or articles written to rank high for a search term by someone paid ten bucks? 

Google, it’s time to revisit whether you want to remain the best in search or just the best in getting ad clicks.

And Google, in order to remain the best … you must punish with lower search results ‘write to rank’ articles!

More on the topic here: Demand Media CEO: Google Not Talking About Us

Should ‘Write To Rank’ Articles Be Punished by Google?


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  • http://www.Beltwayboysports.com Jason

    You have made a great point and it would be nice if Google would come out and let us all know what the deal is!

  • Glyn Sheridan

    Despite the prolific accusations, we at Demand Media do not write to rank. We write for accuracy.

    It’s a common misconception that we load articles with keywords, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The reason, in my estimation, that this rumor is so prevalent, is because most media outlets believe that in order to rank high on the search engines, writers must repeat key phrases ad nauseum.

    The quickest way to disprove the rumors is to read some LIVESTRONG or eHow articles. No keyword stuffing there.

    Another misconception is that we slave over a single article for hours, all for a measly $15. In reality, we can often write a couple of articles in an hour, because the format is pared down to include only the most pertinent facts.

    We’re currently the whipping boy of journalists everywhere, when in truth, many of us also hold degrees in journalism. We have post graduates that write legal and medical articles.

    Why do I write for Demand Media?

    For a number of reasons. First, I can work four hours a day and make more than I did working full time as a newspaper reporter. In addition, I can set my own hours and work in my PJ’s at midnight if I so chose.

    Demand Media offers me freedom that my old 9-to-5 couldn’t match.

    Before your make up your mind that you hate us – check us out. You might be surprised.

    You just might quit your day job.

  • http://www.feelfree.co Guest

    I think the soul aim of any business guy is to make profit. Demand Media or Google are all business guys that are willing to make the last dime no matter what.

    Perhaps Google should be the one to set their algorithm right. Hmmm maybe they are making some bulks from the business with Demand media as well who knows

  • David

    Are you kidding me? Where is it written that articles can’t serve more than one purpose? There’s no reason that a good article can’t be useful to the reader *and* well-SEO’d at the same time. In fact, I’d say most commercial online content, be it the NY Times or WebProNews, follows this model. Demand Media just happens to be better at it than most.

    • Guest

      Then they should be penalized more than most. Google has made it very clear over the years that “SEO” practices are directly trying to manipulate search rankings, and therefore those practices violate their guidelines. Being talented at breaking the rules shouldn’t earn you bonus points in rankings when those independent publishers who DO follow the rules would be penalized for doing the same.

  • crispy_barcelona

    Demand Media’s set up wouldn’t be so bad if the content produced was good, but some of it is just awful. However, i can’t help thinking that it’s wrong to single out one player. Google results are full of sites which feature long, keyword-heavy articles written by people who obviously have no clue about the subject matter. May be we need human-edited directories again!

  • http://www.ebook-site.com Bryan

    Excellent article and about time something was done to help prevent some of the rubbish written only to achieve higher ranking results. But will it ever happen? Difficult when some companies have so much money and resources available to them.

  • http://www.perfectblogs.co.cc/ Karun

    Some people often spin the content to make it unique but still Google ranks them well…

  • http://www.nofactzone.net DB Ferguson

    There’s two things that unfortunately affect article ratings on Google for me. The first is content mills, as you describe in the article, with very little worth but tons of SEO. The other that hurts is sites that publish partial feeds from my RSS feeds with my title and part of my content. They have better SEO than me because of the way that they publish and my genuine, primary articles get pushed onto the second or third page.

    And it’s not like I’m a teeny tiny site – we average over 50K+ uniques a month. For what we do, we’re highly regarded and have permalinks on multiple related sites.

  • sofakingdabest

    Follow the money. Unless the bills say NOFOLLOW.

  • Guest

    What about content that is not only written for the user but also for ranking? I think there is a middle ground that can be reached. I operate sites like this and not only do I write for rank but ALSO for the user – whats so bad about this???

  • http://www.bradbarks.com/ Brad

    All articles are essentially “written to rank” – end of story.

    “Loading keywords” is exactly what you want to do..

    Articles packed with unrelated keywords, or tons of stuffed keywords is what you don’t want to do..

    Besides, everyone “thinks” their site should always rank first.. why wouldn’t they? We all have that sense of self-entitlement..

    The people that are “passionate” shouldn’t care about rankings, if being “passionate” is all they care about, right?

    I say educate yourself. Either learn the techniques that will help you rank better, ethically, for the long-term, or go back to writing to be passionate.

    • Rich Ord

      Most bloggers and journalists are not thinking even the slightest about keywords when writing an article. I don’t believe they should have to in order to rank above SEO’d content farms.

      Why should eHow, wikiHow and Yahoo’s Associated Content articles rank in the top ten Google results routinely over articles actually written by experts or journalists? Doesn’t that dumb down the Web?

      Rich Ord
      Publisher of WebProNews

      • http://www.bradbarks.com/ Brad

        I’m not necessarily saying they should, but where do we draw the line?

        When someone else builds up a monster site, full of content, should they get removed, too?

        Just because eHow is doing a good job with their website, who should get to decide what Google does?

        (Only Google, in my opinion..)

        Google doesn’t rank eHow, wikiHow and Yahoo’s Associated Content articles high just for kicks..

        Those are credible, highly authoritative sites that have lots of incoming links from other high authority sites.. the secret sauce that fuels the rankings.

        Instead of crying about it (not saying you are specifically, Rich, I do see your viewpoint..) – people should simply educate themselves and work hard to improve their rankings effectively, with the right strategies, instead of trying to rip on someone else for being successful.

        After all, eHow and other Demand Studios websites are doing exactly what 99.9%, just on a much larger scale.

  • Rashan

    Seriously, Ehow is one of the worst sites on the web. 95% of their articles are garbage, and I make it a point to skip their results on the SERPs.

    Here’s a game you can play:

    Google any term, and look for an Ehow page. Read it, and really rate the quality.

    Here’s my example — http://www.ehow.com/how_6126621_write-bad-article.html (probably 100 words tops)?

    • Rich Ord

      Here’s another example of a bad Google result:

      >> Search Google for the term … Stage 4 Brain Cancer

      >> The top result is an eHow article titled: Is Stage 4 Brain Cancer Terminal?

      The writer of the article simply searched the web for five minutes to report a few “facts”. The whole article is only 214 words.

      Is this what the searcher wanted, some re-write of a few random facts? If the person just learned they or someone they loved was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer they obviously would consider this frivolous. Google should be ashamed to link to any content farm or article submission site articles in search results for medical terms, or anything else that requires a real expert!

      Rich Ord
      Publisher of WebProNews

  • Nicksey

    Just very slightly off the topic. I wonder how and why Google hold their position as the top search engine when their content is stale. New pages and sites appear far quicker in Bing and Yahoo which makes me think that generally speaking their content is fresher and more relevant to my search query.

    So come on Google wake up, you are becoming less relevant by the day.
    I always repeat my search on G, B and Y and can’t believe how much better the other two are compared to Google.

    Which leads me to say Come on internet users, wake up and realise that Google doesn’t deserve your click. Don’t follow the crowd switch to one of the others for a vastly superior search experience.

  • http://www.dark-fairy.co.uk Fairy Lady

    Its a catch 22. If you wrote your article for the readers, but didnt stuff a few extra keywords and optimize it at all, then you probably wouldnt rank at all and not get any readers.

    I think you will always need to add a few extra keywords etc to your articles, just to get you that little bit higher, then once you have your article on page 1, readers will follow.

  • http://www.wherewhenwowevents.com shawnhc

    Being an absolute neophyte in website building and searching, when I began a very small start up business and bought a domain name, I followed the rules, worked the webmaster tools, generated keywords, etc. and have had poor results. If what you are saying is true then is stuffing the only way at least to draw some traffic? My background is in editing and while I realize web content is far different from modern print, the fact remains there has to be real content, or we have now entered into an age where all information is skewed.

    • Rich Ord

      The problem is Google has already picked their favorite search result sources that millions of times over include eHow and wikiHow. These sites produce 10,000+ articles per day and they employ good linking strategies, creating high page rank and have a social media strategy that helps build credibility for their articles from Google’s perspective. Of course “just coincidentally” they are among the biggest Adsense partners Google has generating millions in revenue daily.

      If your website is on a topic they have articles on you will likely be buried. It doesn’t matter whether your content is more useful to the searcher or unfortunately whether their content is amateurish and shallow. There are link building strategies and other on page SEO tactics you should learn about, but for topics that are currently dominated by these big article producers you will have a tough time showing up near the top of a Google search.

      Rich Ord
      Publisher of WebProNews

      • http://anumuloyo.blogspot.com Guest

        I think google always do the best thing to prevent quality in result page. Because when reader find a teks that is not relevan, reader will go on other search engine

    • http://www.tickerfind.com/ JeffreyW

      While the system can be gamed I think content does remain important, and it is certainly not a good idea to simply stuff a bunch of keywords into the text for its own sake. Not because Google will care (though I hear there is a penalty if keywords exceed 8%) but simply because readers will leave the site. By far the most important thing for Google is links. I don’t think Google has ever looked at content very much. As an example, I was working on boosting my girlfriends site by adding some pages about subjects related to cleaning. And, to my surprise, the #6 page for “what is dirt?” was this page which consisted of nothing but an image and text which said something completely unrelated to dirt. I’m not saying Google completely disregards content, and maybe there is more focus on it lately, but overall I don’t think content matters very much one way or the other. It’s just what I’ve seen. That said, Google does seem to look at the content of the site from which the link is pointing. I’ve noticed that there is more boost if the content of the linking site is relevant, so I believe Google is looking at keywords on the outbound link’s text.

  • Andrew

    On-page optimization is a tiny part of the Google ranking puzzle-it’s links that drive position on Google.

    And I don’t really understand your point anyway. How can Google rate the quality of content? Surely it can really only rate the relevancy – and that means relating it to the keyword searched for. This doesn’t just mean stuffing the article itself with the keyword, as you wrongly believe, but building backlinks with keyword rich anchor text.

    I’m not saying that Google has got it right, but using your theory of quality over relevance seems rather naive. William Shakespeare would outrank Wikipedia for ‘Julius Caesar’. Dan Brown’s book cover would appear when I search for ‘da Vinci images’. And ‘Leonardo Romeo and Juliet’ would throw your ‘quality first’ search engine into spin, when it is obvious that I want IMDB.

    Whichever path Google chooses to take; quality or relevancy; this article will end up in the SERPs basement, as it is neither.

    • Rich Ord

      All you have to do is look at the poor quality articles on eHow on medical subjects like brain surgery to understand WHY Google needs to rank certain “content farm” produced articles lower than it does now. I pointed to a specific example of this in a reply to a comment below.

      My article is in response to Google itself stating that they are going to make changes that will impact content farms. Therefore, when you call my article “rubbish” you are also saying that Google’s blog post on this subject is “rubbish”.

      Additionally, since Google knows exactly who these content farms are because they are all huge Adsense partners they don’t need to adjust their algorithm at all to make a huge quality improvement in their search results. Google could simply rank articles lower if they are from these content farms.

      Here is an excerpt for Matt Cutts blog post where he mentioned content farms:

      As

      • Andrew

        This statement is pure Google PR – of course they are striving for search perfection, but obviously this is impossible.

        If Google decide to penalize every page on eHow, you will penalise any good pages on that site too, even if they are the best available. And won’t they just break up their site into smaller ‘content farms’.

        In your head it’s plain who the offenders are, but what about the grey areas? Who decides when Wikipedia has got too spammy, or IMDB has got too many adverts?

        There is of course one website that scrapes content, stores it without permission, offers it up in a bastardised form, and sticks ads all round it – but would you really want Google banned from its own listings?

        Finally I would like to apologize for the tone of my first post-you obviously know your stuff, and it was disrespectful of me to call your post rubbish.

  • http://www.frames.uk.com/ Moonshine Framing

    Im not commenting from an SEO viewpoint, but as a web user. Sometimes I have to trawl back five or six pages of results before the real information pages crop up.
    The web is knee deep in garbage articles – a lot of niche information scraped from good sites with good information then pared down and re-spun over and over into completely valueless pages.
    I have had content ripped from my sides, respun, then turning up higher in the SERPS. I sell and ship a physical product from my web sites and it grates wiuth me that some clown is diverting genuine traffic who want to buy something onto miserable little written-for-rankings pages for the sake of a few pence/cents of “clicks”.

    If you write for SEO you can sacrafice usability, ending up with a lot of traffic, but rubbish traffic.
    These “written for rankings” pages end up as just more “noise” on the internet getting in the way of proper search.

    Whether google actually favours these pages or not, they are not giving people what they are really searching for. So in that regard, google are not as good at search as they used to be, or as good as they could be.

    Do No Harm? My A*se.

  • http://www.addmine.com Kendo

    What Google claims about the workings of their search algorithm is nothing but hogwash!

    And trying to work out how hogwash works is a complete waste of time. If they were honest and disclosed just how they rate search results and rig everything for their own greed and avarice, then they would go broke within months, and that’s just what that “do no evil” felonious fraudster deserves.

    When I said “pass the sauce” I didn’t mean ‘pass the effluent’!

  • Guest

    How can you be so naive and write for this “publication”. You’re articles would probably be better if you were writing for ranking rather than sensationalism. Do they really pay you for this kind of superficial exploitative dribble? Probably not. I ignored your first launch of content in this direction but it is pretty obvious you are an SEO or Paid search advocate that hates to see valuable top-10 positions wasted on interesting on-topic content. Google is managing Google just fine, based on the financials, without your help or advice. Did they ask for your commentary or are you just offering based on your success at running the world’s largest search engine. Give it a break.

    • Stupidscript

      Once upon a time, Google was a simple search engine using a simple algorithm. Back in the days when there was no such thing as “SEO”, there was a clear distinction between articles that were very relevant and those that were less relevant. That distinction was clear from the words used in the articles.

      In those days, Google’s motto, “Don’t be evil”, referred to their honest intention as a company to provide an excellent search experience for the people who used their budding engine to find documents on the web. They really did, as a company, want to help people find the best stuff.

      Then came commerce. And advertising. And the IPO. And the shareholders. And Wall Street.

      Now, Google is skewing toward “business”. As you noted, “based on financials”, Google is doing pretty well.

      But based on people who use the service to discover what they are really looking for, Google is doing less and less well as time goes on. When all searches lead with featured business links, and “Places”, and ever-more prominent ads to businesses, and maps to business locations, etc. etc., then it is plain that their focus has shifted.

      Now, Google is directed toward improving their relationships with businesses, and their shareholder value, rather than being directed toward helping people find what they seek.

      If you agree that the ONLY purpose for a company like Google to exist is to help their shareholders’ bottom line, then you agree with this direction.

      However if you believe that a company with such a history and such an operating fund as Google has should remain committed to their original purpose, and to accept slower business growth in order to maintain user loyalty, then you can recognize how this shift away from people and toward money can damage Google’s reputation, and their once-unique position in the search landscape.

      Now, Google is just one more money-grubber without a soul. And that’s too bad, because there is no other company in existence, or on the horizon, who had/has the capabilities and options that Google has to help this massive piece of technology retain its connection to humanity.

      • http://ripsychotherapy.com Mike A.

        Nicely said.

    • Guest

      The way I see it is he has an opinion about something and he has every right to voice that opinion any way he sees fit as long as it isn’t obscene, just as you did by balking his commentary. If you are not interested in what he has to say then don’t read it. I doubt very seriously anyone held a gun to your head and forced you to read it. Free speech! What a wonderful thing. Learn to respect it.

  • http://str82u.co Str82u

    AH, can I get my other content seo’d for me first also? I looked into it and it sounds to me like I can get content for my users, content that will get their attention, and it’s already SEO’d before it hit’s the site live.

    I SEO content based on the fact that Google says to take care of users, my interpretation of SEO in some areas is to make sure the user gets something out of it and the rest of SEO is technical. Technical involves the user too, you know. Load the style sheet and present a picture before dumping javascript junk on them, that sort of thing.

  • Guest

    Have to say, my definition of web spam would inlude a site with a popup that asks me to enter my email address to sign up for a newsletter EVERY SINGLE TIME I go to a new page on that site. Even though I’m already signed up to that newsletter. Cookies? Session variables? Lots of ways to only ask that question once and not piss off the user any more than you need to. Was going to comment on the actual issue but really irritated by this site now and going to leave. Bye

  • Guest

    Oh come on… So this begs the question — Who decides whether the content was written for SEO purposes or to inform the customer? This is kind of a “what came first the chicken or the egg” scenario and I’d hazard a guess that 99.999% of the time the answer to the question is “both.”

    If you don’t have good articles and decent content, your site won’t come up in search and your customers won’t find you. The whole point is to both provide great information and if that means it helps your search rankings then so be it. Does it really matter whether I write that content myself or hire a PR firm or content firm to write it? I mean seriously folks — does this mean that Press Releases become suspicious also?

    Again, who decides what’s legitimate and what’s not. I expect good search results when I’m searching for something – if the information I’m looking for happens to be in a content farm so be it. As long as it’s pertinent to what I’m interested in I honestly don’t care.

    What I wish Google would crack down on is Paid Search where the headline and ad content equals what you’ve searched for but when you click on the link and get to the site you find out they don’t sell that at all. That’s the content that should be eliminated.

  • Guest

    Google’s a hypocrite. If they give Demand Media a free pass, they have no right to come down on other websites whom they accuse of web spam. I own a website that publishes articles on a daily basis. I write my own content and use articles provided by article directories. I don’t write to get ad clicks, I provide information to readers. People want information. Valuable content is that which answers questions, Google has no right to be the sole judge as to what qualifies as quality content. That should be left up to the websurfer. Google’s decision is based solely on $$MONEY$$. Their motto “Do no evil” is a joke, they are indeed evil.

    When you provide information on topics within a certain niche, looking for stories and writing them in such a way that they appeal to the emotional needs of readers while at the same time making that information easily digestible by those readers, Google has no right to bury your results. Google wants a monopoly on revenue. They’re crooked. What would be great is for web publishers who follow the rules to sue Google. See, if you don’t produce content, then you lose relevance. But if you produce a lot of content, then you’re spam?? That’s stupid. Google is only interested in bilking billions of dollars from consumers, and they way they do this is to have business relationships with a select few (whom they can control and whom they may also have a financial investment) while trying hard to destroy any competition. Blekko is a search engine alternative. I urge people to use Bing, yahoo and Blekko and all other search engines that are not powered by Google.

    Google needs to go down. They will go down. But sooner rather than later is what I seek.

    • Guest

      And to make it clear: at present I only produce 10 articles per week. And all of it is for health and wellness. I would not consider 10 articles per week web spam.

  • http://www.businessukwebhosting.com Steve

    Maybe I’m being naive here but google dominates the internet and in doing so can do whatever it chooses to do to bring the web up to ‘its’ standard. For which as website owners we all have to follow or fall by the wayside in their eyes. Is it googles fault or our own when we chase the google dream for wanting a piece of the action to become ranked at the top and then be-moaning the fact when we’re not?
    Stripping your article down, there are just two clear points. The search engines and your website visitor. No matter what the consequences of my search engine rankings and standings my audience pays my bills not google. There are many other ways to find visitors other than ranking first page on google and when you’re searching for that audience it’s tempting to want to ride on the back of another site that is doing well such as “E-How”. However haven’t read some of their articles I wouldn’t drop my standards that low. It’s typical of any major corporation to want to keep itself at the top and to do so will always bring in unlikely ‘bedfellows’. Control is everything to them and it has gone beyond a joke when people worry about, talk about and probably even daydream about ‘How Can I Be Number 1′. Sad really. This is just a distraction from the quality and content for your own audience.
    The way I look at all of this now (one time I chased the google dream – succeeded in one area) is to write my articles build my links through simple honest directories and participate in one or two forums of my chosen subject and B**L**KS to google or any other search engine madness that perceives itself as the latest must do action. Who knows what’s on googles mind? Who cares?

  • Frank

    The evil of the Google empire will not stop and only get worse!

  • http://www.wirelessandmobilenews.com/ Lynn Walford

    The recent Google changes seem to cause reduced page-views mainly the mid level and small websites but not Demand Media sites.

    I’ve been to seminars at Demand Media and also interviewed management before they went public. That’s when their most popular articles were “How to Write a Check.”

    One of the editors said that they also get information from Facebook. If you combine and Google and Facebook data, you do have an unfair advantage.

    Recently, I searched on how to fill out a W-9 form in California and didn’t get the IRS but got eHow. When I finally found the IRS publication, it actually showed the form and what to spaces to fill and was much better.

    For a while, Demand Media was allowing anyone to write for them. They then found because of their high page ranking, writers were putting in affiliate links. Now all writers have to be approved. Today, eHow sent me an email saying that all writers had to login via Facebook. That could be a sign that even more Facebook data will be used.

    The great thing about Google and most of its policies is that they claim to be open. Google Adsense opened up the web to small publishers. Their current changes don’t make ideal-sense or Adsense.

  • Guest

    For me it goes like this. And I think for most people it will make sense as well.

    When I’m searching on any search engine, I usually click on results from Wikipedia, WebMD, city-data, I hope your getting my point.

    Meaning the company who wrote it makes a difference to me, and when I can’t find my preferred company I start clicking other companies results.

    But if they have good writers, I mean I also visit that about.com and babycenter also, then of course they should be in results.

    I think its also about reputation. If the sites are good, have original stuff, then of course they should be in search results.

  • http://www.ferdinando-menconi.it/ Ferdinando Menconi

    There was a time when internet offered level playing field for even the small fries if they had quality content. You could rank well above giants. Now the giants have come in different avatars – content farms. An ordinary webmaster can never hope to out do these content mills when it comes to their own field of expertise. The major problem for Google and other search engines is how do you separate the wheat from the chaff ? Content quality is subjective and no matter how sophisticated your algorithm is – it can’t decide what makes the best content. Is it in the number of words ? May be. The 10 $ content writer is unlikely to have the expertise on the subject he is writing about. So at best his writing is going to be limited to about 300 words or less.

    On the other hand, the expert will always ramble on and end up writing pages with longer content.

  • http://instantshopping.posterous.com/ Wendy

    The suggestion that Google favors content over SEO and big adsense partners is in my opinion false.

    For years we have seen a plethora of adsense spammy sites everywhere on the internet. So many of them its proof of the embarrassing fact that google are simply a revenue making machine who changes its rules to suit its own agenda.

    They talk about relevant ads and relevant content and relevant links. But please! When was the last time you saw a stupid adwords ad promoting ebay during an ebay search that clearly doesn’t have a relevant page behind it. Like ‘Find the best Stewart Richards deals today on ebay’ or some rubbish like that.

    Articles are exactly the same. There is no reason to assume that google has the technology or inclination to determine exactly the difference between a human written article and one that is cleverly spun. I still come across articles that are so obviously filled with rubbish that don’t read properly that are obviously cobbled together by machine. In their favor, its an impossible thing for google to do because in todays internet people and businesses from all over the world use write articles in their native languages, some better than others and many get translated into other languages, usually not very well. So how can Google determine the good or bad in something like a poor French or English or German translation of say a Chinese technical article about something like plastic injection molding? It can’t. Some languages simply do not translate perfectly and its up to the reader to figure out the true meaning of much of what we read.

    What do we expect from Google anyway. Its simply a sophisticated set of programmes powered by monster server farms operated by phd level geeks serving their masters. Google will never replace human common sense with megawatts of computer power. Never. And it shows!

    Google seem to tell people the things they want to hear the most. But the truth of the matter is it is probably the worlds greatest internet money making solution. And they want to keep it that way. If you think for one moment that all of a sudden, Google will announce the withdrawal of adsense in order to remove the incentive of millions of content writers churning out crappy spammy articles, you’re sadly mistaken.

  • BMD

    This is news? Goggle has been off the mark for over a year now.

  • elWyatt

    I generally can find what I want within a page or so of the rankings, so I don’t thing Google is doing a bad job. It is frustrating that the same sources, like wikipedia or eHow are so highly ranked much of the time. Since they are often relevant to search keywords that doesn’t seem inappropriate, but they could easily be given small designated links listed as “References” which need not obscure or take positions the other sites covet. We cannot all rank high for our search terms and honest appraisal will usually tell you why – you’re customers are just not that into you! If you think customers want to come to your site to read your ads to generate ad revenue for you, you’re likely wrong. If your site is compelling to visitors, it will eventually do well, if it is also unique and offers enough content for Google to examine, in a niche market. Even a good site will drown if 10,000 others are building similar sites.

  • http://www.pub-quiz.net The Quiz Master

    6 months ago I started up my website in a small niche and spent countless hours on optimising my pages for Google for certain keywords. After 3 months when I wasn’t to be found anywhere in Googles search results, even though my website is content rich and a useful resource in my niche, I tried to find out why.

    I learned that I needed lots of one-way inbound links and that social media is the best way to go. When you are told that you need to write hundreds of quality, content rich, articles to be better ranked it is a daunting task. That you also have to be part of the social network and try to get followers on Twitter and Facebook etc.. is ridiculous. I spend more time blogging than I do improving my website and to be honest I think that blogging is for people with nothing better to do. Blog about Justin Timberlake and you get thousands of likes, blog about a pub quiz like my website and you get none.

    After spending months writing helpful articles in my field of expertise and giving away for FREE the secrets of my trade instead of making money from it, which was the point in the first place, to be told that ‘write to rank articles should be punished’ is a real kick in the teeth.
    I am one person with no money trying to make something online and I just can’t find the hours to do everything that is expected from a website nowadays.
    Who in their right mind would waste the best part of the day writing an article and get absolutely nothing in return? A self important, I am an expert, listen to me because I’m right, person perhaps?

    I might also add that it infuriates me to see my legit website pushed down further and further in the search results because of rubish blogs that seem to have no purpose being there. A blog is not a website and neither is an article and they have no purpose being in search results. If people want to read articles to learn something then surely they should visit article base or ezine articles and search for what they need. After all, in the real world if you want something to read you go and buy a newspaper or a book, you do not go to a book store and buy a pound of apples.

    Finding such sites as Wiki in number the one spot for nearly everything you search for is ridiculous too. If you are looking to buy a toaster online you don’t want to know who invented the damned thing you need toast.

    With Google consistently changing the rules only the big companies have the resources and the man power to keep up with it and poor people like me have no chance.

    I’m getting ready to give up and throw away 6 months hard graft because of this, after all, if you are not ranked in Google you are nothing.

    • http://www.bradbarks.com/ Brad

      Google isn’t God.. there are plenty of ways to generate traffic online. Diversify, my friend!

      • Guest

        Quizmaster, Brad is quite right – diversify! Just google “generate traffic online”

    • http://zygella.com Zygella

      I do have to agree with you. The pressure on being on twitter and facebook is just crazy. Why on earth one needs to use those website to get better ranking in google??

      I myself have not got the time to use those sites every hour of the day.

  • Craigmn3

    The discenment of what is releveant to the subject has to be pretty limited if your dealing with a algorithm

    If you insert your keywords appropriately what other methods can be used to make that determination. Is this the bridge too far for google?

    I know Google doesn’t like this, but they set the playground rules…I have to try and play within those rules and succeed.

  • B Smitzeski

    Read about the Time Magazine success story and you will learn it was not an editor, but an editorial formulary that was measured and scored with each issue. I have no axe to grind, and I often find Demand Media and eHow to have great content, exactly what I need. There is nothing wrong with researching a need and fulfilling that need. Demand Media is just doing good research and filling a need. No different than Ford, Apple or P&G.

  • http://reliable-seoservices.com/ Reliable

    Just asmall query.. Is it possible for Google boot to make a difference between real content and content for ranking in SE.

  • http://www.24h-bag.com/%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B0%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%9B%E0%B9%8B%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%B0%E0%B8%9E%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A2.html ????????????

    Good idea, Many time I’ve got terrible result with the outcome SERP, I understand, the 1st rank contents in SERP have always been written by the SEO expert guy. I am not surprise if the good contents are hard or rare to find. Sometime, you would like to find the good content but you got only the contents from blackhat SEO.
    Sorry with the broken English as I am not a native English guy
    Regards,

  • http://www.wineandspiritstravel.com Marcia Frost

    You may bring up some good points, but you aren’t pointing them in the right direction. As a writer for Demand Studios for two years, I’m told NOT to put in keywords for SEO and I don’t know of “$10 articles” Demand pay varies, like with any publisher, but I haven’t seen anything near that low.

    I happen to agree that keyword overload articles are terrible and shouldn’t be indexed, but they aren’t coming from Demand.

    Marcia

  • http://Freelancewritingnet.com Freelancewritingnet

    This is a Samson vs Goliath battle. Google has the monopoly and therefore frankly, does not care at all. They are the judge, jury and executioner when it comes to search engine rules and regulations and therefore appears virtually untouchable. It is more than obvious that Demand Media is getting preferential treatmment whilst we mortals cannot fully understand why our SEO articles are not ranking at all. A pity though, but like all things (and dictators), you cannot rule forever i.e. look at the recent upheavals around politics (Middle East), Wikileaks etc.

  • http://dnewglobalnews.com/ new global news

    I think, write to readers is the best way.
    Cause, if we write a complete article and helping readers, I believe the readers will come again and suggest our site to another, or write link to our site.
    And, google also will like our article/site. we have outbound link.

  • Guest

    I’m a writer who is paid around $100 an hour to write web copy. During a bleak spell I took on some Demand Media work. As someone who’s seen their internal workings–and the resultant spam search results from eHow when doing a normal Google seach–I have to tell you, Glyn Sheridan is full of it. The Demand assignments come directly out of Google adwords and while you’re not encouraged to “spam” (quite the opposite–which makes complete sense if you’re trying to spam Google, whose algorithm specifically rejects repeated keywords and such)–you are forced to write in formats which completely prohibit content that’s actually useful to searchers.

    Length limits, article formats, and other rules on eHow are specifically designed to fool the Google algorithm, and anyone who’s been in this business for more than five minutes will tell you that Glyn Sheridan is being incredibly disingenuous here. Why would they post, for writer assignments, specific (often illiterate) query strings? Why do they devalue content so much they pay writers $10 an article? I’m not kidding, this is way beyond Mechanical Turk levels, when you realize how much they actually Demand (ha) from their writers.

    Since my experience with Demand and after perusing their forums at length, I’ve done a lot of research about the content mill business model. As an early supporter of Google, a longtime Web worker, and a citizen, I think Demand and their competition should be deeply ashamed of themselves. Google should also be ashamed–their “don’t be evil” motto’s been undermined by these new and more intelligent SEO famrers taking advantage of the business model. Google’s either not looking–or the profits are so good they don’t care. Whichever it is, Google will topple if it doesn’t pay more attention to its core business of search.

    EHow, by the way, simply sucks: there’s no way you can tell me how to do complex things in less than 500 words. Good luck, Glyn–I suggest you cash out the options sooner than later.

    • Rich Ord

      Thanks for sharing your experiences on what Demand is actually doing from a writers point of view. If you would like to expand on this subject in the form of an article send it my way and we will publish it. A lot of people are in the dark about how Demand actually works, how it chooses articles, rules it has for writers, etc…

      Rich Ord
      CEO, iEntry, Inc.
      Publisher of WebProNews
      richord@ientry.com

  • http://glassman96.com John

    First of all, Google’s search results stink. I use Bing because they give me much better relevant content for what I’m searching for than Google. It appears that greed has taken over Google. I do not click any of the eHow articles because I would much rather go to a site that deals only deals with what I’m looking for.

  • http://zygella.com Zygella

    I have just submitted ZYGELLA maps to YAHOO and BING and will see how much traffic I received from the other big search engines when compared to GOOGLE.

    More importantly I am interested to compare the page ranking.

  • http://www.lionstechsupport.com Lee Barnfield

    Google ignores hard working content rich websites written specifically for the customers in favour of backlinks. Time after time a competitors website ranks higher in the search engines because they have used 3rd party applications that spam forums all over the world with links back to there homepage.

    Google needs to reward businesses who favour content rich data and not spammers.

  • http://www.the-system.org The System

    If nobody ‘wrote to rank’ nobody would write anything as no one would get paid. The Internet would be a very thin place. Moaners – If you can’t outrank DM for your longtails I’d get yourself a day job!

  • http://fixmycabinet.com Jordy

    The content that Demand Media is pumping out is very poor quality in comparison to the “real” authorities for any given niche.

    They are greatly manipulating the SERPS and polluting the Internet with a lot of trash.

    If Google wants to serve the most relevant results, I think eHow should be limited to the tenth position on the first page, no higher.

    Their content is extremely weak.

  • http://www.sugarfreemedia.co.uk SEO Hampshire

    With Google saying that it is clamping down on spam everybody is looking around to see what might be categorized as such. Articles and blogs are the key to giving people what they are looking for online, and so are essentially key to the web as a whole.

    There are a huge number of companies and bloggers that write valuable content and share useful information because it’s what their audience is looking for. I would agree that backlinks provide another compelling reason to write articles, however if the information is good is this such a bad thing? The thrust of social media is that we see behind the thin sales veneer of a company and get a glimpse of the real people behind it, their ideas and their viewpoints.

    If rankings are a spin-off from writing interesting and informative articles, then that’s great in my eyes.

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