Did you ever see a trending article or video and thought “Oh my God! What non- sense. Why on earth is this ever created!?”. This is the DEFINITION of Internet Noise?
The Internet and online platforms made it easier for anyone to create and publish their content, without a quality or credibility check.
While this made it easier for unestablished creators to find a larger audience, it also resulted in large amounts of low-value, false and misleading content.
Earning money by providing free services?
The Youtube videos you see, the apps you use like Facebook, WhatsApp, the website content you read online, take consistent effort and resources to build. But it is mostly free.
If all the content on the internet, social media platforms, and blogs are available for free, how are the owners paying their employees and earning money?
They earn by selling ad spaces on their apps or sites. Some also trade user data and information for money. The more their web- traffic increases, the more money they generate.
A visitor can simply increase the money earned by a site by visiting it; if the audience clicks on ads they’ll get more money and if the visitors buy something shown in the ads, they’ll get the most money.
This is how the time you spend on their site helps them earn. There is nothing wrong with earning a little while they provide free- high-quality content.
But creating high-quality content needs more effort, time, and high salaried professionals. So some content makers, don’t care to create good original content and resort to stealing and upcycling content they find on the internet.
They only care about creating catchy, clickable, and addicting content. To them, content quality is secondary and ad revenues are primary.
Let me explain how this happens with the example of a businessman’s life story. Let’s call him Jerry.
Jerry decides he would make money on the internet, he has a step by step plan.
1. Deciding the core content of the site:
Jerry researches on what current trending topics are. Examples: LIC insurance advice, Quotes sites, Video game cheat codes, etc., He would choose a topic that would help him ride on the tide of its popularity.
Jerry runs too many sites at a time. He spends as little money, time, and resources as he can to develop the content in each site with SEO tricks. These tricks will ensure his content shows up at the top of search results.
He will most likely develop these sites for a while and sell it off for more money than his investment, sell a product, or earn through ads. If the site tips and becomes a brand- earning very good returns, he might invest more.
With little practice, one can clearly tell the difference between a site that is carefully created and one which is only made to earn quick money.
2. Logistical decisions:
To ensure he spends the least amount of money trying to earn; Jerry establishes his office in a country where he can pay less for the workforce, like countries in South Asia or South East Asia.
Hiring employees for lower wages is not a sin unless it borders on workforce exploitation.
Tim Ferris in his book: The Four Hour Work Week also wrote about this concept of hiring consultants from economies with lower currency rates to cut down operational costs.
Behind the scenes
These employees (let us call all of them Joes) are supposed to write on topics that are given to them by taking results from a Keyword research tool.
Statistics in 2018 show that the word length of articles that grabbed reader attention ranged from 1000 to 1200 words. So, Joe is expected to write three to five 1000 word articles per day.
Ever noticed the long, boring introduction filling the first and last few paragraphs of an article with Keywords on a job site? Joe was just trying to reach the 1000 word target, alright?
If you wanted to read about Oprah, don’t you wish the one who wrote the article knew what they are writing about? I once saw a Joe working about an Oprah Winfrey book, on a book review site. The site earns its revenue from running ads and through Amazon links.
Interestingly, she thought Super Soul Sundays is a book Oprah wrote. I personally knew Joe. So I know she was smart. But, the stress of having to finish 5 articles in so less time doesn’t allow her to understand what she is writing about.
Yet, you read it and believe it like it is the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Because Joe needs to finish 3 to 5 articles in a matter of 9 hours,
- Joe does a quick google search
- Collects relevant data from 3 or 4 sites
- Rephrases the sentences
- Finishes and posts the articles as quickly as humanly possible
- Moves onto the next article to repeat the above steps.
Jerry’s administrative strategy is to employ low- cost labour. Can you guess the gender of all fifteen Joes who wrote for one such company I know? Female. All 15 of them.
Well, Jerry believes it is convenient to hire female employees for low paying jobs; according to him, men wouldn’t work for 9 hours for the low pay.
Practical man and a bigot? Check.
The writers who create their work as an art, read, write, edit, and improvise constantly. They spend time, energy, effort, and money to train themselves to write. Not every work of these writers is necessarily a masterpiece, but they sure try.
On the other hand, there are so many Jerrys who won’t mind creating many sites out of mediocre content just to earn money.
As most of Jerry’s staff is inexperienced, non- expert, and overworked, the content is generally uninspiring, stolen, rephrased, ungrammatical, and curated in a hasty way.
What you can do about it:
Start by realizing your every action has power, especially on the Internet.
- Next time you enter a low- value site, do yourself a favor and close it immediately. It gives Google and other search engines a clue that the content is not up to the mark.
- If you continue using sites with poor content for longer durations, you are essentially improving their domain strength and ranking them up. Aka, your next google search for the topic will return you more results from this site instead of better sites with High- Value Content.
- Simply don’t open content that is not worth it.