The internet can be characterized very simply. Billions of people are looking for interesting and useful information, and millions of companies are trying to make money by people finding their content, through search engines and increasingly on social media.
This has led to the rise of companies such as Demand Media, which last week listed on New York Stock Exchange to be valued at $1.5 billion, more than the New York Times. Demand Media and its peers such as Associated Content, now owned by Yahoo!, use low-cost writers and sophisticated algorithms to create massive amounts of content tailored to generate revenue from search traffic.
There are also many writing brokers such as TextBroker and The Content Authority that help smaller companies that need web content to improve their search rankings to get copy written, at rates as low as 1.2 cents a word.
I have written about the proliferation of crap content and how search is evolving to deal with the rise of low-quality content. The latest iteration in Google’s search algorithms explicitly address duplicate content. The quest for original content to feed the search engines continues.
The obvious next step is to automate copywriting, further improving the cost-revenue equation for those seeking to attract search traffic.