Hasn’t Original Content Always Been the Right Way to Write?
In the last few weeks, since the Google Panda update of 2011, we have seen a new push for original content on what has now been termed content farms. In the old days, what we are now terming content farms was newspaper, magazine, or multiuser website. Content farm by its connotation has a negative tone to it all, yet most writers like to be part of a group collective of writers because a collaborative content collection has a much larger impact than a lone writer unless that lone writer is James Patterson or someone like him.
As a whole, a content farm is not a bad thing. It is a band of writers who have gotten together to publish information of various types. As no one author can be an expert on everything, this gives a broader spectrum to the content available from this particular group of authors.
Where content farms have gotten off the wagon is by allowing a lot of duplicate, and dubious content to stay on their websites. This is not true of all content farms as they are not the same. Some are no more than a place for people to drop links to other sites. Some are full of spammy, spun content. However, others have many excellent writers and authorities on a wide range of topics, that write articles that can help people who are searching online for information.
What Has Changed in the Content Forum Since the Google Panda Update?
It used to be that a company could hire an SEO firm to create articles to market with which the SEO firm would write, then submit to several different article directories. This was encouraged, and the content was original, but duplicated by posting it in several places. This is no different than a press release done in print media, or a commercial that repeats itself on radio, television or online. I believe that this kind of marketing will not go away completely but, will be toned down in this new environment.
However, sites that used to say that they would except duplicate content, or would only mouth the language of their TOS about not allowing duplicate content, are now finding themselves under pressure from Google and their membership to improve their library of content. So what is happening is that sites like Squidoo and Hubpages, are enforcing their TOS or changing them to remove duplicate content, plagiarized content, and overly commercial content. These sites have always preferred original content, so this shuffle should leave them with the best content in their existing library, as long as they can continue to reward their writers as changes occur.
The sites that will suffer the most are the ones that have encouraged people to submit duplicate content, or copy the content they have on their site. This means that their entire library is full of duplicated, (possibly many times), content which will have little or no value on the internet going forward.
The Choice for Online Writers
In this new content market online writers need to make a choice as to how they will go forward. Most writers can easily write alternate, related content instead of repeating the same rehashed old content. Any writer worth their salt, can take an article, and rewrite it much faster than any article spinner on the market, and much better too. Article spinners tend to write awkwardly, and sound like their resultant content was written by someone from a foreign country just learning the language.
The smart choice for writers is to write original content for everything that they write online. They can include quotes from other sources, but the bulk of the writing needs to be their own.
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