Ratnakar Sadasyula asked:
What needs to be done to handle the vast amount of Junk Content on the Net? While the Net for sure has made information more accessible to users, and has resulted in the spread of knowledge, the large amount of junk content can’t be ignored. There are a whole lot of sites, that have content, which is not of any use in any way. Portals are flooded with a whole lot of junk content, most of which is plain irrelevant crap. As we step into the next decade, the question begs is there a way to handle the junk content, that seems to increase day by day, and is clogging up the servers, bandwidth. Sooner or later, we would have to take a call on this.
My answer is just an observation from my own perspective, of course, and not intended to suggest that it’s the only reason.
In my line of work, I’m frequently contacted by small business owners to create content. Sometimes, the request is to create work that amounts to “junk content”. (Don’t worry, I turn those projects down). I’ve found that the two biggest reasons that junk content gets created and disseminated in the first place are:
1. Price. Businesses need to watch their budgets. That’s completely understandable. Unfortunately, they tighten their belts with low-priced content rather than saving money elsewhere. When a business hires a writer to create content for $1 for a 500 word article and another business hires a writer to create content for $50 for a 500 word article, you can be sure that the business receiving the $1 for 500 word article is getting exactly what they pay for. They’re exchange value for volume… to the detriment of their audience and their credibility.
2. Search engine optimization. This is an area that is improving but is far from “fixed”. For a long time, 4% keyword density was THE magic formula for search engine optimization. However, in a 500 word article, a 4% density means that the keyword has to appear 20 times. That’s pretty excessive and with long-tail keywords, it’s more than excessive; it’s ridiculous. These businesses have traded human-readability for search-engine-crawlability to the detriment of their audience and their credibility.
Sadly, I don’t see either of these issues changing any time soon.
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