Hi. This is an old, unmaintained blog. You may find these sites more to your liking:

Carson Brackney: This is my primary site.

Ad Astra Traffic: Content production/article writing service.

Ad Astra Traffic Team: For those who'd like to get writing gigs with Ad Astra.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Making friends with content robots...Articlebot and writers...

Not too long ago, I wrote a post about Articlebot. It is a tool that will rewrite a single piece of conent over and over again, creating distinct versions of the same message. The primary value of the software is that it allows webmasters to quickly create gobs of content for their sites quickly.

I argued earlier that Articlebot isn't really competition for a freelance content writer. My point was that those who need a gazillion articles in a hurry for the sake of bumping SERPs probably wouldn't hire a content writer under any circumstances. It just wouldn't be economically feasible.

That becomes even more clear when one realizes that the primary motivation for generating Articlebot-style articles is to seduce Google into providing better ratings (though it is used to populate some Adsense sites, too) and not to impress readers with your fascinating and informative content.

So, on that level, I don't compete with the Articlebot. It does one thing, I do another. Yes, we both make articles. The differences, though, are so pronounced as to render me and apple and Articlebot a mechanized orange.

You may not be able to compare apples to oranges, but you can combine the two in a fruit salad.

If Articlebot and other "automatic" content generators are not competitors but do exist within my overall field and seemingly have a growing loyal base of support, I suppose I should find a way to cooperate with the robots instead of either incorrectly railing against them or simply ignoring them.

Can freelance writers make use of Articlebot's apparently increasing popularity? Can we make the robot who churns out articles in seconds into an ally?

If one can learn to write for Google, can they learn to write for Articlebot in a way that helps the robot write for Google and human end users?

Whether a webmaster uses Articlebot or some other non-human device to generate content, the software has to be fed up front. Articlebot can manipulate, rearrange and substitute. It cannot, however, compose. The writing--the original work--has to come from somewhere.

Maybe an articlebot user won't be interested in ordering 500 articles on payday loans. Instead, she might just need two or three to run through the software. What can I offer her in terms of writing those few articles that will make the end results more valuable after the bot is done with them? That is an important question.

The trend toward automation is going to continue until or unless the entire search engine industry is turned on its head and adopts different means of site assessment. It only makes since that writers should find a way to co-exist and even profit from this trend.

The Articlebot people left a comment on the last post about their product. The comment indicated that there was some agreement with my position and some disagreement. I thank them for their response and am curious as to how they feel writers can best compliment what Articlebot does.