Bad Panda

I hate when I do a Google search on a topic of interest and find nothing but crap. Now that Google has improved the quality of our search results with its recent algorithm change, known as the “Panda” or “Farmer” update, we can all rest easier knowing that my low-quality Associated Content articles will never be viewed again.

“Low-quality” and “Associated Content” are synonymous, says King Google, and who am I to disagree? I’m a lowly Associated Content from Yahoo! contributor, sowing words on a filthy “content farm.” Should I even be called a “writer”? I’m nothing but a lazy, content-copying, keyword-stuffing slob. I’m a low-quality-content machine, churning out useless AC articles at an alarming rate of two or three per month. Google thinks they can slow me down by making my Associated Content articles invisible? HA! They’ll never stop me!

Okay, that’s enough sarcasm. Here’s the truth of the matter: For almost three years, I’ve counted on Associated Content (Yahoo! Contributor Network) for a number of things: a bit of extra money (enough to buy gum, at least), a lot of laughs, helpful advice, and remarkable support from the community of Y!CN/AC contributors. I’ve read hundreds of good articles on Associated Content; true, I’ve also read a lot of keyword-stuffed crud and poorly-written “news” stories that I wish I could delete. I didn’t join Associated Content to criticize other people’s AC articles, though. I joined because I love to write.

I’ve connected with a lot of talented writers here. I think the Yahoo! Contributor Network is especially blessed in the humor department. Read some articles by Frank Mucci, Eric Hetvile, Donna Cavanagh, and Nancy V Canfield, and then decide for yourself if every article published on Associated Content deserves the “content farm” label. Many Y!CN/AC contributors work very hard to provide original content and valuable information.

I appreciate the opportunities Associated Content has given to me. I have an English degree, but I had no experience publishing articles online before I joined AC. I’m proud of the PMA award I won last year. Most of all, I’m thankful to have met so many kind, smart, creative Yahoo! Contributor Network/Associated Content contributors-people who have supported me throughout two of the hardest years of my life. This is a special community, no matter how Google labels (and punishes) us.

Here’s a little poem that I wrote all by myself. Do you hear my heart breaking, Google?

Ad space
Spewing content spewing content spewing content

Is that all I’m good for?
I thought I was different
Where do my words belong?
Gotta write and breathe

My page views have disappeared but I’m still here


Related articles by Maria Roth:

My AC Testimonial: I Wanted to Earn Money Writing Online, and Found Something Even Better Than Money at Associated Content

One Year on Associated Content: What I’ve Learned About Writing for AC

My 2009 People’s Media Award Acceptance Speech: Content of the Year

Read more about Google’s Panda/Farmer Update:

If you’d like to let Google know what you think of the recent algorithm change, go to this forum:

Here’s an infographic that illustrates how certain sites were affected by Google’s algorithm change on February 24, 2011: