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I personally agree with JohnW on this one.

While it’s something I keep harping on about, Google’s entire existence relies on the relevancy of its search results.

For example, this article points out that Google has started to devalue business directories – their own local search is becoming more relevant.

I predict the same will happen with article sites. By contributing to them, you’re not contributing to your own site’s weight of SEO material. The articles are all there to provide backlinks to the authors – and typically are cut-down versions of something they’ve written for their own site.

In reality, they’re a cynical ploy to horde content which generates massive PageRank and therefore traffic, in turn allowing them to see huge returns on advertising.

The content is created by others for free in the hope of getting a smattering of traffic back and some trickle-down PR. If these article aggregators didn’t exist, authors would get much more value for their effort by having greater PR and more traffic directed to their own sites.

Worse, the article aggregation content is never as comprehensive as what you’ll find on a ‘genuine’ site. If I inadvertently find myself at an article site, I click away, click away….

I don’t think I’m alone.

If I’m not, Google will then begin to devalue the PR of article aggregators and those of us who’ve spent time building our own content will be rewarded.

It may not happen that way, but I don’t care. Some things I’m stubborn about – I just don’t like article aggregators. :)