Of great interest to SEOs, a recent study has found that the day of the online content mills driven by users content to provide content for low pay and/or page views may be numbered. After polling a number of former and current content providers for the major aggregate sites, it was found that many felt the content mills no longer provided a viable means of generating income and suffered from flawed business models and hierarchical problems they cited as critical.
Demand Studios has been widely criticized for their fickle content editors and seemingly random standards of quality that make little sense from editor to editor. They were still rated better than yahoo Contributor Network, and Yahoo as a whole, which was criticized for even worse pay and few opportunities to generate significant income – along with their arbitrary closure of accounts with warning or reason and no communication between users and actual staff.
Helium was cited as the worst due in large part to foreign born editors, slow/late payment to top earners and a significant drop in pay for content which was worsened by a decreasing ability of users to retain their rights while the content is fresh. Of the three, Helium’s editors were cited as the worst and their community development team was rated as unresponsive or only providing canned responses that often did not address questions. With more venues opening that pay more for content and more writers turning to AdSense and other programs, many of the content mills have lost their best talent and are left to rely on English second language writers providing what has been described as “Disappointing” content.