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Residual income on the Internet is dead: Panda killed it

Online writers used to hope for residual income in the future.
Online writers used to hope for residual income in the future.Morguefile

The changes in Google's algorithms in recent years have gradually phased out user-generated content sites or "content farms," as they are often disparagingly referred to by critics. According to a Wednesday article on Goodreads.com, Yahoo Voices, formerly Associated Content, has now announced that it is also falling victim to the trend, making it one of the last to go. The final blow was struck by Google Panda, the name given to Google's latest changes in their search engine rankings. As this type of site goes by the wayside, there also go the hopes of many work-at-home online writers for residual income in the future.

Residual income is a term that was batted around the Internet with great gusto during the last decade. People discovered they could not only make a nice monthly stipend for their amateur attempts at writing, but by building a library of content, they could earn money on this content in the future. In other words, the content they created now would garner income now and later.

In its heyday, online content creation was a chance to earn some serious money. EHow.com was considered the top dog, the site with the potential for the most in income and residuals. They spent some time trying to clean up their site and weed out the junk to improve their search engine rankings, but eventually closed down the EHow content creation platform. They did accept a small number of writers to their elite Demand Studios. Bukisa changed their formula for compensation from a set amount per view to requiring writers to sign up for outside advertising: Adsense or Chitika. There were people in Bukisa who had recruited and mentored large networks for which they lost all compensation. Eventually, the writing platform provided NO compensation at all of any type.

With every change instituted in the search engine algorithms by Google, whether Panda or Penguin, there were online fatalities. Freedom with writing.com reports that there are a few sites left for those wishing to continue with content creation. It has become quite clear, though, that only writing that is truly good quality and not targeted purely to SEO will be successful. The cream is rising to the top, so it seems.