In December, Slate's Farhad Manjoo called
the online publisher Associated Content "a wasteland of bad writing,
uninformed commentary, and the sort of comically dull recitation of the
news you'd get from a second grader." Obviously Yahoo, the Internet
giant that just purchased
for around $100 million, disagrees. Associated Content gets a bad rap
for flooding the Internet with hastily-written articles by an army of
freelancers paid around $5 per piece. It's a quantity-over-quality strategy on steroids, with over 50,000 pieces of content churned out each
month. Clearly, some business and technology bloggers were troubled by
- A Push for Quantity Over Quality, writes Jolie O'Dell at Mashable: "In the
past, Yahoo’s content strategy has been focused on creating
high-quality, more expensive content, such as original online video
programming from former NBC president Ben Silverman and news coverage
from the Associated Press. While the user-generated media on Associated
Content represents a marked step down from these other sources, it also
represents a long-term strategy that will pump Yahoo’s network full of
more content at much lower costs."
- Yahoo Is Jeopardizing Its
Brand, warns MG Siegler at TechCrunch: "Yahoo has
skewed towards the quality end of the spectrum in terms of online
content. it is a brand other brands can trust. But Associated Content
operated in another realm, that of non-premium content and related
display advertising. It is closer to the performance-marketing end of
the scale. More content on its site means more ads, but Yahoo does best
on its home page and main portal pages where quality content is expected
by consumers and advertisers alike."
- This Stuff Is Crap, writes
Frank Reed at Marketing Pilgrim: " It
is widely recognized that Associated Content was the master of
‘craptent’ generation for search engine gain... This technique is
concerned about search traffic and advertising money with journalistic
integrity being pushed to the back of the bus if it’s given a seat at
- Integration Is Key, writes Ryan Tate
at Gawker: "By buying Associated Content, Yahoo added 380,000
contributors and 16 million unique monthly visitors. Now let's hope the
company can integrate the acquisition better than it has with the other
startups it bought."
- Smart Decision by Yahoo, applauds Henry Blodget at Business Insider:
"The deal will allow Yahoo to Produce a vast number of
owned-and-operated pages cheaply, many (most?) of which can be hosted on
a Yahoo sub-domain, sell ads directly on these pages and keep 100% of
the revenue (instead of sharing it the way it would have to with an
ad-network content partner) [and] Improve its SEO relative to Mahalo and
dozens of other SEO farms that have been inserting themselves in the
search value chain.
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