More Yahoo Contributor Network Drama

An hour before close of business on Friday, February 8, 2013 many YCN writers got emails saying that some of their beats had been discontinued. Beats didn't pay that much -- from $8 to $10 each article -- but it was steady income for a lot of YCN writers. Plus, beat articles were more likely to be featured, which could lead to some great Page View bonuses.

Home Improvement and Gardening beats are now gone as well as Shine beats. It seems a lot of education and home schooling beats are also gone. So far, health beats have not been taken away, which I don't understand because I never did as well with those as I did with the Home Improvement and Gardening articles.

They say there will be more targeted assignments in the future, but that doesn't help a lot of people if they are keeping the same system. Only those who have time to sit around waiting for assignments to appear will actually be able to pick up those articles. From what we've been seeing of assignments lately, they pay poorly if at all. 

No one knows what the future holds, but I think that maybe all upfront payments will be disappearing from YCN soon. It will be just another place you can write for Page View bonuses, or it will be closed or sold. Closing it would be the most profitable move, since there will be no upkeep cost and they will continue to get advertising profit without having to share it with writers. This seems to be the way most of the content farm sites have gone since Panda and then Penguin slammed into them. They have all this content, but can't really afford to add more or manage it, so they just close down to new submissions and take what money they can make from it. The staff remaining at these sites adds just enough content each month to keep them indexed so they can keep receiving the adsense dollars.

What I'm seeing is people starting multiple niche and micro-niche blogs, sometimes hundreds of them. These are also known as "adsense blogs," and they used to be 20-50 page blogs with static content loaded with keywords. Now they are updated weekly so as to avoid being slapped down by Google's algorithm changes. It won't be long before Google catches up to them too, though.

The only content farm still showing up regularly in search results is eHow, and we all know that they made some deal with the Google devil to keep their rankings, because let's face it, 99% of their content sucks. I used to write for them, and while I tried to turn out good content, I know hundreds of others were just trying to meet the minimum word counts. eHow is a perfect example of how corrupt the internet search system really is. There is no way they are staying on top without something going on behind the scenes.

Of course, Google admitted that Panda was aimed squarely at Associated Content (now YCN) and Suite101, so those two sites will likely never recover.

As for me, I'm in flux right now just trying to line up a couple more eggs for my basket, but I'm doing pretty well with CrowdSource and will continue to learn more about Mechanical Turk and how to make decent money there. Yahoo was a backup site for me at the best. I did make good money there one month, but then it just crashed, so even if I do still contribute there from time to time to keep my foot in the door, they are at the bottom of my list for real income. It will always be a sentimental favorite, though.


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