A few thoughts (and some links) about content mills…

Over the last couple of days, I have been reading a lot about content mills. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, content mills or content farms are websites or networks of sites that churn out thousands of pieces of content per day, which are optimized to score high on specific search engine results. These content mills pay freelance writers very poorly to pump out the content, and their quality reflects that. This is the crap that is cluttering up your Google search results, which I have written about before here.

I don’t have much to say about content mills, except that once I identify one, I avoid it with extreme prejudice. I also noticed that when you google the term content mill, the first result, “What Is a Content Mill,” comes from a well-known content mill. Irony in action.

Anyway, it appears a backlash is a-brewin’. People want this crap out of their search results. Yeah, me too. Anyhoo, here are some good links on the subject for further reading:

The Search Engine Backlash Against ‘Content Mills’ (MIT Technology Review)
Google, Content Farms & Why This May Be Blekko’s Moment (Search Engine Land)
MediaShift’s Guide to Content Farms (PBS)
Content Farms: Why Media, Blogs & Google Should Be Worried and How Google Can Combat Content Farms (ReadWriteWeb)
Content farms v. curating farmers (BuzzMachine)
Content dust bowls (Magellan Media)
The Future of Media Isn’t Free Content, It’s Cheap Content (Metafilter)

7 thoughts on “A few thoughts (and some links) about content mills…

  1. A few thoughts and some links about content mills… Blog, by Shannon « Chicago Mac/PC Support

  2. I would love to have a standard Google search save that it’s modified (perhaps through their custom search engine) to exclude content mills. Somebody has to have created something like that, right?

  3. Thanks! I didn’t dig deep into those links because I didn’t have the time. I look forward to putting the Duckie through its paces tomorrow. :)

  4. Goodbye to All This | Blog, by Shannon

  5. Thanks for the warning! I am an aspiring freelance writer. I used Google to search online markets for new writers”. The popular “Content Mills” are the very first links to come up.
    Another established author mentioned that if I used these sites as clips when submitting to a reputable publication one day, they would laugh me out of their office.
    Getting paid would be nice, however I need the experience more. My plan is now to just keep writing, take some classes, and fine tune my writing skills. Content sites I think are good for practice. Thank you all for the heads up on not using them on my resume.

  6. List of content farms | Blog, by Shannon

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