The Long, Slow Slide Into Mediocrity

Spun ArticlesAs long as there have been products and services made available to the buying public, there has been people who live by the mantra that you get what you pay for. Inferior quality usually leads to inferior performance, but the internet has turned that notion on its head somewhat. The rush to become the next internet gazillionaire has led to entrepreneurs taking shortcuts that make them wealthy while leaving the rest of us grasping at air. How did this happen and who is to blame? It may be unfair, but much of the blame has to fall at the feet of the search engine giants like Google, Bing, and Yahoo who frequently put garbage content at the top of their search rankings.
The more I think about it, the more unfair it seems that they should have to shoulder that blame. Google in particular has changed their algorithms a number of times in an effort to filter out the good from the bad, but when the vast majority is poor, it still leaves an awful lot of inferior content out there. Search engine optimization (SEO) is supposed to be what helps take a website to the top while others flounder. The sad reality is that proper SEO techniques are regularly tossed aside in favor of black hat tactics. The idea of SEO itself was a good one, but it’s a system that is fundamentally flawed.
Entertaining content has now been replaced by articles that have been placed though a software spinner so many times they become unrecognizable and unreadable. This still shows up as original content that has certain keywords strategically placed so that the search engine spiders will love what they see. It helps propel websites up the ranks, but provides nothing of any value to the reader. We have become so infatuated with the prospect of making a living online that many of us have forgotten that the internet was once the place to go get up to date, helpful information.
Some might say that the folks who perpetrate such distasteful content are at fault in dragging the internet through the dirt, but the fact that they continue to do so must mean that they are making some sort of living. This most likely comes from ads placed on their sites or from sales of products that are available there, too. The poor content is usually shuffled into a blog that is part of the site, but which doesn’t really define what the website is about. And therein lies the problem. Too many people are willing to ignore that junk and just take from the site whatever it is they can. The people who create the content, often for pennies at a time, will continue to put someone else’s hard work though the spinner and gratefully accept payment. A software spinner takes seconds to spit out its junk, allowing those folks to make their money in volume rather than on talent. There is probably no way to make it stop, as we all seem to have set the bar at a new low that continues to drop. We have become so content with settling for less that we fail to see that there is quality out there; now if only we could actually find it.
Written by John Watson of

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