At Pocketables I’ve attempted to provide some useful information on how to use your phone and connected devices since I started writing root articles 12 years ago. Every now and then we’ve got a how-to article, which I noticed several were being re-published by other Android sites recently. I’m not claiming they took mine, I’m saying they’re the same how-tos I wrote in the past (and many others wrote their own,) now other sites are pushing them like it’s going out of style.
Oh hey, little note here here – you don’t know me, you might not understand that I’m not yelling or standing on a soapbox here. I’m really not. This is just what I managed to find and you know, maybe it doesn’t apply to your favorite site that’s suddenly started posting how-tos after not really for several years.
What looked like a large “let’s start from the beginning” to me initially turns out it’s an attempt to take sites that are primarily review and sales oriented and make them more appealing to Google as search results for review-only sites are now being depreciated with the latest Google algorithm changes.
Yup, a site with an article “how to wipe your Android’s ass” that has people sit on a page for a couple of minutes now will rank higher in general when people are searching “where can I click a link on a bad review so that someone will grab 6-10% commission for a shoddily written fluff piece?” Let me rephrase that…. sites that offer something other than reviews and give perceived value to the readers will rank higher even if the review content is generally worse.
Yup, I post a thing about how to take a screenshot on a protected screen on a non-rooted phone, this makes my review of a bidet suddenly more valuable in the almighty SEO’s eyes.
The result as of this last change is now everyone’s started reposting the things we all scraped together for years. All at once.
Once again, I’m not claiming other people stole my work. Many many sites wrote the same things over the course of years and they’re mostly re-churning out the same stale content, even if one does have the same order I posted some how-tos in – looking at you Daily Android Tofu! Just as I’m looking at updating some things I ran across the answer to why there are pages of how-tos on websites that make most of their income off of sales.
Got this off a SEO group’s blog post on review sites on FB, which unfortunately there’s no good way to share as it’s a private group.
Anyway, I’m not putting other sites down mind you. Everyone needs to run their site in such a way that they can survive. The only reason I went fairly heavy into product reviewing was that was the only way to pay for the website because let me tell you, my total donations on root articles and how-tos are in the $50 a year range for the past decade for a site that costs about two and a half times that a month to run (don’t balk, Disqus, SEO package, couple of plugins, the mob, etc.)
It’s become rare where a site can just be its own thing and work without chasing the Google SEO strategy and reinventing again and again… just weird that it’s coming back to this.
So yeah, enjoy our perceived value in other things other than product reviews, and you know… keep on.