Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sites powered by "Article Friendly"

While clicking on the search results (see the previous post), I noticed that many of the sites have similar layout, menu links, service pages and even "favicon" :-).
Compare, for example http://come-and-read.com/ and http://articlepile.com/

My first thought was: they all belong to the same owner, just with different "skins". I could not confirm that by checking their IPs, DNS and WHOIS records. There were some matches, but most of the results differ.

Then I noticed "Powered By: Article Friendly" at the bottom. Search by that phrase revealed a hundred more "article" sites. (Google said there were more than two thousands pages having the phrase, but refused to show more than twenty actual results, for some reason). Yahoo and Bing gave slightly more.

I manage to receive additional results by searching for a quite unique phrase from the "Sign Up" page:
"Please submit your site in this manner: http://www.yourdomain.com, and NO Affiliate links. Your account will be deleted for this"

What I learned so far about Article Friendly:

(Excerpts from http://www.articlefriendly.net/ - Jan.30, 2010)
  • Article Friendly is an Enterprise Class article publishing script for php & mysql.
  • You too can easily join the content goldmine that draws users to your site(s) and can increase your Adsense $ dollars $, and join the ranks of admired article publisher sites!
  • Authors, you may submit your quality articles for article submission to hundreds of Article Friendly, Article Dashboard, Article Beach & ArticleMS sites! All these script site owners can sign their sites up for our Free Article Submission Service, and have quality articles delivered directly to their databases!
  • How do I get articles? Very easily! Besides the ton's of live authors you will soon be seeing submitting articles on your site, there are three major FREE article submission services, and the scripts to accept those articles directly to your database are included for FREE with your Article Friendly purchase.
  • Get two free bonuses with your purchase of Article Friendly Pro! You'll also get a pre-filled AF Pro database with over 4,000 authors and nearly 40,000 Articles! And along with that, your other free bonus is many hundreds of PLR articles that you can rewrite and submit to article directories as your own! That should get you on the fast track to article publishing...
So, the business idea is: purchase a web application that will "enhance" your site with a constantly growing set of pages. Place Google AdSense (or any other Pay-Per-Click ads) on those pages - and go play golf :-)

That reminds me the PPC boom a few years ago. Remember "GoTo", "FindWhat", "Ah-Ha", "Kanoodle", etc, etc.? Google was flooded with pages having no content, just PPC links. It was virtually impossible to find a real commercial website (hotels, cruises, and so on) because first 10 pages were all "PPC content" clones.... Until Google developed an algorithm of finding them and banned them all!

Is this a new way of flooding Google? I'll continue the research and will find the answer. Stay tuned.