The Internet has opened up a number of opportunities for the budding writer. Not only can you now reach a worldwide audience for a minimal cost, you can also earn money writing articles for other sites. There is a powerful driving force behind this need for unique content: Google. I would to first give a little background into why the demand for written content is so high at the moment.

Background - The Introduction of Google

On its introduction, Google revolutionised the search engine market thanks to its ground breaking ranking methods. Google figured that the sites that were linked to most by other sites were thereby probably the most relevant and highest quality; therefore, it displayed these over sites with little or no links to them. This worked fine for a while, as at this stage websites had mostly linked together in a natural way and it genuinely was a good measure of their popularity. Like all good things this was soon to end though.

When it became evident how popular Google was in reaching customers a new industry of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) developed around it. The aim of this industry was to provide services that would boost your rankings in Google (and possibly other search engines, but Google has generally been the one to aim for), and therefore drive more surfers to your website. Part of the optimisation process involves making certain your site is arranged in a way that is friendly for search engines. For instance, the search engine needs to be able to read your content, so the pages need to oriented to this and optimised to emphasise your chosen keywords. The main aspect of SEO though was the process of building backlinks (links from other sites) in order to boost a sites ranking. These backlinks could be built rapidly by submitting them to directories or link farms, and a site could be very rapidly propelled to the top of Google's search results. In many cases these sites did not contain quality content and were often merely shells that served as gateways to sell products for other web sites.

When Google saw what was happening, it took action to reinforce the integrity of its search engine results. It started to place a value on what websites actually contained. If a website was merely made up of content already available elsewhere (for instance public domain material) or content that was scraped from somewhere else in order to sell a product, then its search ranking results were drastically penalised, regardless of the number of backlinks it had. The quality of the links will also have an effect; specifically, the higher quality the linking site is, the more effect that link will have. This led to a surge in article sites, where you provide them with content and in return they allow you to publish a link with your article. The article sites however will not publish any old rubbish, it has to be unique, quality content.

This all basically means:

  1. Sites need an ample supply good quality, well written, and unique content. This provides visitors with a meaningful experience, which in turn promotes natural growth while at the same appeasing the search engines.
  2. To SEO a site effectively, the SEO expert may need to use article sites to build good quality backlinks. This means he needs fresh content which is relevant and ideally specially written for the website he is promoting.

All this content needs to be written, and this is where we come in.