The Problem of Low-Quality Articles on Websites

July 27, 2014  |   How to Buy & Sell Websites   |     |   Comments Off on The Problem of Low-Quality Articles on Websites

As website brokers, without a doubt the most popular type of website requested by the website buyers in our database is the article website monetized by Google AdSense. We receive buyer requests for this website category everyday. As such, we’re constantly on the lookout for quality article websites.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of article websites out there today are of very poor quality. The articles are often totally impossible to understand. Sometimes there are tons of grammatical errors and the sentences are simply a collection of words that make no sense. It’s almost as if these articles weren’t written by human beings, let alone researched at all.

We receive tons of requests everyday from website sellers to sell their article AdSense websites. But the article quality is generally extremely poor so we turn down the vast majority of them. These even include websites that earn good money. We turn them down because we know that at some point, the website will fail. We can’t present that type of website to our buyers.

How come articles are so poorly-written today?

The big reason is that people are no longer writing articles for people. People are writing articles for search engines. People are writing articles for software like Googlebot. Google’s spider might be intelligent but it doesn’t read like a human being.

Today, articles are stuffed with relevant keywords even if the sentences make no sense. Writers are trying to trick search engines into ranking their articles, and thus websites, high.

It’s a very flawed way of thinking. Why? Because even if the website is ranked high and attracts visitors, they can’t read the content and quickly “bounce” or exit the website. Not only are visitors not sticky, it gives the website a negative reputation. Articles are the product on article websites. Visitors associate the website and its brand with a low-quality product.

If these low-quality articles on websites were written in newspapers, nobody would read the papers. The newspapers would go bankrupt fast. But websites cost very little to build and maintain so the financial risk to website owners is low. They’re just trying to publish and distribute the largest volume of articles possible in as little time as possible.

This is where article software comes in.

Who actually writes these low-quality articles?

The introduction of article creation software changed everything. A user can select keywords and the software scans the Internet and pulls relevant phrases from hundreds of websites. The user simply has to copy and paste these words and phrases together to create an article in a few minutes.

No research necessary. Little to no proofreading done. So you can understand why the articles often make no sense. Essentially, the software program wrote the article.

Once the article is written, it can be modified using article spinning software. The spinner creates variations of the same article. This is so different versions of the article can be distributed to different online article directories. Now, if it was a low-quality article to begin with, it definitely won’t get any better after being spun.

With these quick, easy tasks, the article is published on websites and automatically distributed to article directories using article submission software.

Are low-quality article websites financially successful?

Some article websites with a large volume of articles do well initially. We receive requests to sell these websites regularly. Of course, visitors don’t spend very much time on these websites. Bounce rates in these websites’ Google Analytics data tend to be very high. But a lot of these websites have AdSense ads displayed everywhere on the website. Thus, a small percentage of the visitors exit the websites by clicking on these ads. This puts money in the website owner’s pockets.

But eventually, the website revenues inevitably start to fall. Most often than not, it’s because search engines realize that most of the visitors they send to the website exit quickly. Search engines build this functionality into their programs.

Eventually Search Engines React

Search engines want to submit the very best websites to their users’ searches. A good way to determine if a website’s content is good is by assessing how long visitors spend on the website. If visitors spend a long time, it can be assumed that they found content of use and value to them. If they exit the website quickly, it can be assumed that the content is not so good. Search engines then begin to rank the low-quality-content website lower. Once traffic drops, revenues drop. It’s inevitable.

So as a website buyer, don’t buy low-quality article websites. A very simple tool during due diligence of an article website is your ability to read. Just click around and read a few articles. If many of the articles make no sense to you and seem useless, then the website’s visitors must feel the same way.

You wouldn’t buy a newspaper with articles you can’t understand. Don’t buy a website with articles you can’t understand.


Kris Tabetando provides mergers & acquisitions (M&A) advisory and brokerage services to Internet companies. He also partners with investors to acquire & manage Internet businesses.

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