Today, with more and more individuals making their way online to make money, there is a HUGE demand for good content. Afterall, it is a good content that draws readers back to a website every day. People search online for information – information that is useful for their own use.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the ability to think well, analyse critically, and express thoughts into words is a skill that not everyone i this world has. So what happens? People start taking content from other’s blogs and websites.
I’m not talking about quoting a good paragraph or two, I feel that quoting content from another author is pretty much okay, so long as you add value to that work. You can quote one paragraph or one sentence, and write five sentences to say how you feel about that sentence. I’m talking about quoting chunks of text wholesale, and publishing them other’s content as if they were yours.
Is Quality a Differentiator?
I was in my daily routine, reading and contibuting my two cents worth in comments for other’s blogs, and I came across this post in Blog Republic – Quality is NOT a Differentiator For Blogs. The post discussed if high quality writing make blogs better, and it seems that it won’t, because
1) Because “quality” is subjective, and extremely hard to define
2) There’s no evidence that popular blogs are high-quality
I posted a comment on that post, and I ended with a statement saying that “The blogger needs to think and write some content, at least.”
Satish replied to my comment today, saying that he too, has been coming across posts that have been auto-generated or copied with only a few words changed – and its a fact that these sites are making money!
Why is this happening? Should this be happening?
My personal stand to this is as such. Original content bloggers out there – stay with content from your heart. Auto generated posts and things like that (e.g. I’ve heard of software that allows individuals to create thousands of blogs in a click!) may work for now, but if you were the one behind Google, and you had the means to – what would you do? Would you honor these blogs and add them to your listings?
I, for one, won’t.
How long can these methods last? Yes, they may last long enough for you to run a quick cash in, but look at the best blogs and information websites out there – the Technorati top 100 for example – how many use more content from others than their original content?
How do you combat content theft?
A couple of days ago, Neville Hobson published a good post on taking small steps to combat content theft. He recommended (for WordPress users) to use a plugin to add an attribution text at the end of each RSS feed entry. This doesn’t stop content theft, but it makes it more difficult. You can find out more about combating content theft and the nifty plugin on his post.
Stick to this thinking – “If you were Google, would you like this?“, and you will know what to do and what not to do. Some methods may work, but IMHO, not for long.