Web-traffic used to be organic. That is to say, people used to "stumble" onto websites naturally via comments, links and advertisements that were for and from individuals and small businesses. Now, it becomes increasingly hard to find anything but the "giants" of whatever you're searching for. Why? Because people have started paying close attention to what gets them high search rankings in popular search engines like google and bing.
To assist with this issue there are websites like StumbleUpon which, based on your interests, will bring you to fairly random (yet interesting) webpages.
Unfortunately, StumbleUpon has yet to help with research. Now when I do a search on a disease, condition, food, or plant... I get the same results thirty times. Not the same webpage, but the same content. Why?
Websites like LiveStrong contain basic information about a lot of health-related topics. It is kinda like a mini Wikipedia for health-related things, except that the information is fairly sparse. Often the information is quite good, it is simply incomplete. But what other people do when they want their article on the health benefits of celery to be one of the first search results is the go and read websites like LiveStrong. Then they include all the information from LiveStrong (or just part of it), add a paragraph of their own experience, and then create a new highly-searchable webpage.
That's somewhat okay, until fifty other people do it. Then google just keeps finding the same information about celery over and over again. What if I wanted to find out something new about celery? There may be hundreds of fascinating tid-bits on the web about celery that I can't find because the web is becoming more and more diluted by this repeat-content website style.
This brings me to my point. Why is this happening? It is happening because these websites want more traffic so that they can make more money. They can make money through more traffic via advertisement banners, through selling their own products or through selling products of their affiliates. In my case, I have no advertisements, but I do offer a variety of services (including illustration and book editing), ebooks and board games.
Websites want more traffic to make money. If they wanted only because they had a message, then they wouldn't put a bunch of duplicate content on their website. They would have very unique and dynamic articles, where only a few tidbits would overlap with others. Instead of copying the content, they would simply link other relevant articles.
In a world where our needs are met and none of us are worried about survival, information would be free. Nobody would be selling courses or creating duplicate websites. Instead, teachers would teach for free, all websites would be free and mostly unique and everyone would be more educated (not to mention less domesticated). Sounds miraculous? Maybe. But I believe in this dream. Learn more about this topic and sign The Free World Charter.
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