Do Article Marketplaces Have a Future?

Since the early days of internet business, savvy individuals have been creating utterly useless websites for users, yet filled with unique content. Nowadays, almost every second internet user can recognize these sites, often referred to as “crap sites” (CS). But where does the unique content on such resources come from?

Initially, webmasters manually edited other people’s texts and posted them on their own sites, but this process was slow and impractical, especially when managing a dozen such resources. This gave rise to the concept of article marketplaces.

An article marketplace is a specialized platform where unique texts are sold. These texts are written by copywriters who upload their articles and earn a small fee for them. In theory, this is a perfect system. The texts are suitable for both search engines and buyers; they get indexed, are readable, and are cost-effective. However, this was only in the beginning.

Then came the concept of rewriting—simply rephrasing text by replacing words with synonyms. This is where things started to go downhill. First, auxiliary programs for rewriters, known as “synonymizers,” emerged, making it possible to “uniquify” a text with just two clicks. Soon, rewriters began selling these two-click, completely unreadable articles.

What has this led to? Firstly, webmasters started using synonymizers themselves, thereby reducing the profit of article marketplaces by at least half. Secondly, the marketplaces themselves became cluttered with nonsensical articles for which they still charged money. Thirdly, honest copywriters significantly raised their prices to distinguish their work from these garbage articles.

In short, it’s a complete mess. Out of curiosity, I recently visited one of the most popular article marketplaces and bought a text marked as “Automatically Checked” and “Manually Checked.” I started reading it and nearly threw up. Below is this masterpiece (unedited):

If you need Apple and Mac equipment, then welcome to

Google Has Its Own Steve Jobs Moment

This was a rather radical decision by Apple since nearly every PC sent out at the time had a floppy disk drive, giving users the choice to store files for easy backup and transport on 3.5-inch media.

But Jobs declared the floppy era over, noting that the iMac included a USB port for external storage devices such as thumb drives. The iMac was a hit, and criticism of the floppy disk drive decision faded as other manufacturers followed Apple’s lead.

Fast forward 12 years to Google’s announcement this week of the Chrome OS laptop, which relies primarily on internet connectivity to function efficiently. In response to criticism of the earlier preview, Google said it is working to restore offline access to Google Apps. Moreover, new applications built for Chrome OS will run in offline mode. But above all, just as smartphones become less useful when not connected, these new laptops will shine brightest online. It’s a bold decision, though not nearly on the level of Apple’s gamble. If the iMac had flopped, it would have been a massive hit to Apple’s prospects and potentially impacted the viability of the company’s wildly successful product line (iPod, iPhone, and iPad) that followed. Google doesn’t face such a risk.

A year ago, the company projected that new Chrome OS laptops would be available during this year’s holiday shopping season. But on Tuesday, Google announced that commercial availability had been pushed back to mid-2011, causing the company’s stock to dip. Google, of course, makes the vast majority of its billions in profit from search-related advertising. Google can also afford to lead in areas like this, where there is no risk of cannibalizing existing products; the biggest downside of failure would be to its reputation rather than its cash reserves.

And while Google is on the cutting edge, Tuesday’s announcement was also a “Back to the Future” moment for President Eric Schmidt, who was part of the team at Sun Microsystems that promoted the ill-fated Network Computer idea back in 1983. “Why should you believe me now?” Schmidt said at Tuesday’s Chrome OS event. The Network Computer failed for several reasons, with slow dial-up networks often cited as the most common. But Schmidt said that in light of the success of the iPhone, iPad, and Android-based devices, his company’s OS sees a different shortcoming in the earlier strategy.

“We couldn’t create great applications at the scale and power of desktop applications,” he said.

“Now we have reliable networks, we don’t care about the disk, and the whole industry is working on spreading the cloud computing platform,” he added, predicting that Chrome OS will emerge as a viable third option to Windows and Mac.

With Chrome OS, Google shows, much like Apple, a willingness to go against conventional wisdom. They will also have one feature that Steve Jobs would likely never endorse.

As Sundar Pichai, Google’s Vice President of Product Management, noted at the launch event: “Jailbreaking is built-in. You can even install another operating system.”

Such “masterpieces” are cluttering all article marketplaces. So, the question is: Do article marketplaces have a future?

The Future of Article Marketplaces

The initial concept of article marketplaces was promising, offering unique, high-quality content that benefited both search engines and users. However, the rise of automated rewriting tools has significantly undermined the quality and value of these marketplaces. While there will always be a demand for quality content, the proliferation of poorly rewritten articles has tarnished the reputation of article marketplaces.

To survive and thrive, article marketplaces must adapt by:

  1. Implementing Strict Quality Controls: Ensuring that all articles are not only unique but also high-quality and readable.
  2. Promoting Ethical Writing Practices: Encouraging original content creation over automated rewriting.
  3. Enhancing Verification Processes: Using advanced algorithms and human editors to verify the authenticity and quality of the content.
  4. Offering Competitive Compensation: Attracting skilled copywriters by offering fair compensation for their work.

By focusing on quality and ethical practices, article marketplaces can regain their credibility and continue to be a valuable resource for content creators and webmasters alike.