Ghostwriting, Content Farms and Google’s 2014 Update

Ghostwriting can offer many advantages. Since not all experts and professionals have the ability, skills, or availability to write high-quality content, ghostwriters are used to bridge the gap between experts’ knowledge and their target audiences. However, the reality of today’s online content world has drifted far from these practices.

The Creation of Online “Fluff”

In an attempt to draw audiences to their websites and boost their online presence and pagerank, many companies and organizations turn to ghostwriters, SEO experts and content farms, to create articles. However, with the writers detached from the knowledge source (i.e. the experts), the odds of creating high volumes of quality content in a short amount of time are slim. The content that companies tend to receive back and then publish is often completely unreliable, inaccurate, and worst case scenario, just plain wrong.

Last week, TechCrunch published a column entitled The Army Of Ghostwriters Behind King Content, written by blogger and former ghostwriter, Aimee Millwood.  Millwood’s column seems to hit the nail on the head in regards to the current widespread practices involving the usage of ghostwriters in the online content community.

Reading Millwood’s descriptions of how she found herself turning to Google to research and then write “expert posts”, made me realize how ludicrous the system has become. Writers are trapped in a cycle in which they are using misguided, inauthentic information that they find online, in order to produce more inauthentic content designed to make it to the first pages of a Google search. This content may not be based on any valid practice, fact, knowledge, or science; it may merely be a distant echoing of something that was once of value, or may hold no original thought or added value at all.

Google and the Importance of Added Value

One of the main reasons companies turn to ghostwriters and online content is their desire to expose their product. What they need to ask is whether the content that’s being produced is original, accurate, reliable, and based on knowledge, as well as if it provides the reader with added value.

Up until the last couple of years, editors and content creators were working with commonplace SEO guidelines for keywords, anchor text, links and backlinks to manipulate Google, boost their content, and get audiences onto their money pages. These practices have yielded fluff content, and have put Google’s search values to the test.

In an attempt to cut out the fluff, Google rolled out a series of tools designed to help fine-tune their algorithm performance and deliver better search results to their audience. One of these tools was Google Authorship which was supposed to give a heavier weight to content sources, recognizing experts across the web and giving them greater exposure. Then came Penguin 1.0 and Penguin 2.0, which targeted the usage of “black hat” practices (such as link purchase) and overly optimized anchor texts. According to web strategist, Rohan Ayyar, Penguin 3.0 follows the same line as its earlier editions, deepening its scan for unnatural links, and this time, also putting a special emphasis on the practice of backlinks via guest blog-posts. This will further move the focus from text designed by SEO guidelines to original content that is based on knowledge, and holds an added value.

Experts, Bloggers and Writers

With that said, ghostwriting doesn’t have to be a negative concept or equal fluff content.

As Millwood points out:

“Ghostwriting in itself isn’t bad – in fact, far from it. For one, it allocates talent where it belongs. There are plenty of talented and respectable ghostwriters who have made their careers off of using their writing skills to help bring ideas to life that otherwise may never see publication. Ghostwriting for companies can also be viable. Many CEOs may not be the best writers, just as many writers would not necessarily make the best CEOs. Ghostwriting can be done in a way that is both sustainable and beneficial”.

The reason IamOnDemand’s quality content services are beneficial and sustainable is that the content we produce, and the unique editorial system we developed, are based on a fundamental recognition: we are not the experts; we are those who empower the experts.

Our unique editorial system utilizes 3 main players: the expert (i.e. the knowledge source), the blogger, and the writer. Once an article’s topic has been decided, the blogger conducts a formulated interview with the knowledge source, and then turns to bridging the gap between the acquired knowledge and the writer. The blogger escorts and guides the writer in the creation of the post, ensuring a well-packaged, knowledge-based, coherent story. This process not only spares the expert from having to deal with a labor-intensive writing process, but also ensures that the expert’s knowledge and authorship are at the article’s core. Our fundamental recognition is at the core of our work, and is what utterly differentiates us from the army of ghostwriters that’s currently wreaking havoc on the online content world.

For more information regarding our process and the unique services we offer, please contact us at

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