It’s common knowledge that there is little love lost between the two search engine giants Google and Yahoo, but in recent months when Google modified their search engine placement algorithm, it seems that among the sites that have taken a huge hit is Yahoo.
Google’s claim is that it is trying to lower the relevance of “Content Farms” in it’s search engine, but if like me you are a writer on the Yahoo Contributor Network (or YCN for short), you will have seen traffic to your articles drop as much as 70% in the last few months.
It’s easy to see that Yahoo articles are either not listed, or listed low in the list of pages, if you search on Google for the exact phrase “News From A Weird World”. This is a series that I have published on YCN every Wednesday for the last 15 months. If you look at the domains that are showing up in Google, it’s places where links to my articles have either been added manually by myself, or have been added through RSS Feeds.
The first site that I see is Redgage, where I manually added a link to the article.
Then there are 2 links to Delovesto.com, my main blog, where I also add links to these manually.
Thirdly, we have my blog on Blogspot, where I sometimes add links manually.
Next, She Told Me, which is an Adsense Revenue Sharing site where I share many of my articles.
Then we come to The Laughline, my humor site, where you guessed it, I manually added a link to my articles.
Are we seeing a picture here?
Next comes Zimbio, where links to all my articles are submitted via RSS Feed.
After this is a Squidcast (news item) that I sent out about my Squidoo lens that is an index page for News From A Weird World. Google does by the way love Squidoo.
Finally, a single entry for YCN at the end of the first page of Google, and it’s for an older article published in February.
The second page on Google lists 2 entries from Digg, 2 more from Zimbio, one from Stumpedia (manual submission), and then one from Qondio, another writing site where I had written an article about Offbeat News items and linked to my News From A Weird World lens on Squidoo.
Another entry for Delovesto.com and one for Redgage.com completes the second page on Google.
But where are the remaining 60+ News From A Weird World articles that I published on YCN?
The third page on Google begins with my Squidoo lens Offbeat News, the predecessor of News From A Weird World, then Zimbio, Redgage, and several sites that copy the introduction to articles but do at least link to the main article instead of plagiarizing them.
Finally on this page, a ca.news.yahoo.com search page that no longer exists. Bizarre! All of these come before all but one of my original articles on YCN.
The good news is that there are 2 more listings for News From A Weird World from YCN on the fourth page of Google, but who is going to look that far down? Also on that page are what looks like more plagiarized versions.
In total, only 3 or 4 out of 60 of the original articles seem to be included on Google, which is really poor.
Many other writers are experiencing the same thing, so maybe it’s time to look at writing elsewhere, somewhere that my articles do get well listed on Google, and I think that this list shows very well which some of these sites might be.
There are more ways than one to earn money from writing. You can get an up front payment (nice to have), payment based on traffic (which is what I have mostly been getting from YCN), and you can earn from Affiliate links and advertising like Google Adsense (which I do on my blogs, as well as on other sites where my articles are to be found.
At the end of the day the key is TRAFFIC! Without traffic you aren’t going to see earnings, and traffic is very much dependent on search engine placement.
If the site that you are writing on is getting penalized by Google, then no matter how good the SEO is on your articles, traffic will suffer.
I would definitely be interested to hear feedback from anyone else who is a writer and who is experiencing similar problems. It’s always good to know places to write where search engine listing is good, and where earnings are generally better.