Comments on: Why is Seeking Alpha paying its contributors? http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Tyrell Flocco http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/comment-page-1/#comment-55352 Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:55:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6961#comment-55352 tou kayac set up this car owner becausr that to get oprating technique xp certainly not several can i receive vga motorist to get lg electronics xnote for eye-port xp You should provided me personally vga new driver fof the lg xnot rd400 succeed xp in my email username my very own digital video disc range of motion will be proven while ejectable harddrive what exactly unwell complete? could you assist me to Hey there coming from Carolina! I am uninterested to be able to passing away in the office so I made a decision to look at your internet site in the new iphone 4 through lunch break. I love advantage an individual provide right here and also aren’t hold out to adopt a deeper look once i get home. Now i’m surprised at exactly how quick your website packed in the cell phone.. I am not just utilizing WIFI, just simply 3-G.. Anyways, fantastic blog site!

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By: kirisame http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/comment-page-1/#comment-46455 Fri, 29 Mar 2013 05:02:58 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6961#comment-46455 SA’s agreement may not be worthwhile for someone with their own blog and thousands of followers, but for someone who is just starting out and trying to write articles for fun, the monetary incentive is great. It allows me to share my ideas and get modest compensation while doing so. Sure, the compensation is roughly equal to or less than minimum wage, but since I’m doing it for fun, that’s not a huge issue. I certainly think that I get a lot more views on SA than I would by starting my own investment blog and trying to drum up followers that way.

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By: kawola17 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/comment-page-1/#comment-37900 Sun, 15 Apr 2012 07:10:19 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6961#comment-37900 Hello Insider Monkey,

I don’t think your comment is entirely accurate. You say that “sharing your article with anyone actually costs you in terms of Google visitors.”

I think this defies all business logic and common sense.

It may be so that when you published your article on SA, your own article didn’t appear in the search engines. This one is obvious why. You’re competing with yourself.

In this case, obviously the article on SA would come up first since it’s a much more reputable site then yours. However, if you published the article only on your site, I’m certain you would have seen better rankings. Why? (There’s no other competition.)

You may think that $700 for that one article is a good deal. However, what you fail to realize is what more you could have gotten if you utilized other distribution channels.

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By: kawola17 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/comment-page-1/#comment-37899 Sun, 15 Apr 2012 07:10:15 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6961#comment-37899 Hello Insider Monkey,

I don’t think your comment is entirely accurate. You say that “sharing your article with anyone actually costs you in terms of Google visitors.”

I think this defies all business logic and common sense.

It may be so that when you published your article on SA, your own article didn’t appear in the search engines. This one is obvious why. You’re competing with yourself.

In this case, obviously the article on SA would come up first since it’s a much more reputable site then yours. However, if you published the article only on your site, I’m certain you would have seen better rankings. Why? (There’s no other competition.)

You may think that $700 for that one article is a good deal. However, what you fail to realize is what more you could have gotten if you utilized other distribution channels.

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By: InsiderMonkey http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/comment-page-1/#comment-30360 Wed, 31 Aug 2011 19:38:04 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6961#comment-30360 Felix,

Your argument is flawed in two ways.

1. A new website couldn’t get ranked in Google when they share their content with any of the reputable websites such as Seeking Alpha. For example check out the following article:

http://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/2010/1 2/03/7-stocks-insiders-are-buying-like-c razy/

We published this article on out website on December 3rd and we republished it on SA on December 4th. When you search the title of the article SA article ranks #1, our article isn’t even among the top 10 results. So sharing our article with anyone actually costs us in terms of Google visitors.

2. The same SA article had 69,500 visitors since its publication. If they were paying at the time, we would have received $700 for a single article. When Seeking Alpha told you that an average article gets about 4000 pageviews, they weren’t lying. Forty dollars per article isn’t a bad deal and it is much better than sharing your content non-exclusively with them.

Insider Monkey

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By: GlobalObserver http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/comment-page-1/#comment-23598 Sun, 30 Jan 2011 18:06:38 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6961#comment-23598 Well, it has become clear what has happened.

Google has been targeting spamming content farms that recycle/copy content from other sources.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/g oogle-search-and-search-engine-spam.html

What seems particularly disingenuous of Seeking Alpha is trying to square these 2 facts:

1) Seeking Alpha has an editing team that essentially approves content. That is, it deems the writer worthy — somewhat of a trusted source.

2) Despite considering the author worthy, it inserts a ‘No Follow’ html tag within all posts. This means that nothing that an author writes will be credited in Googles search algorithm other than to Seeking Alpha. No links or words will count.

So basically, Seeking Alpha uses the editing team to deem someone worthy — but not worthy enough to allow outgoing links.

Most financial bloggers are clueless when it comes to Search Engine Optimization and fail to understand the ‘No Follow’ — Seeking Alpha will claim this is to stop ‘comment spam’ — that is, people posting links within comment sections for spamdexing purposes. But actually, nofollow applies to the authors article as well.

By the way, Demand Media (DMD) just went public and uses a model that pays writers $10 per story. This way, the site gets original content that it can then try to monetize with advertising. Magically, during the Demand Media IPO roadshow, Seeking Alpha made this move to $10…

You can see what is going on here — Seeking Alpha didn’t do this so that authors could make money, they HAD to do it to adjust to the realities of the world — that ‘content farms’ are getting a free ride to advertising dollars for content that actually belongs to the writers.

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By: RaviNagarajan http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/comment-page-1/#comment-23334 Thu, 20 Jan 2011 21:25:39 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6961#comment-23334 Felix, Prior to the change in the leader boards, I was somewhere near #50 (around 6,200 followers). I looked at my statistics and came away underwhelmed with the prospect of selling my best work for the implied amounts. My most popular article (http://bit.ly/98zBVg) and a very actionable one at that, generated 8,142 page views and would have earned $81.42 if the premium program existed at the time.

Over the past year, all of my articles generated a total of 336,000 page views. Had they all been under the premium program, that’s $3,360 for selling exclusive rights to hundreds of actionable original ideas.

As you mentioned in your article, a “meaningful amount” of money for professional investors contributing to Seeking Alpha is a heck of a lot more than a few thousand dollars for that kind of volume of work.

The non-exclusive model provides exposure for the authors, content for Seeking Alpha, and permits the author to retain all rights to the work. There is no way I would trade that for a few thousand dollars a year, it’s not even a close call.

I am afraid that the type of author who *would* be excited about this type of revenue is exactly *not* the kind of author who is going to write meaningful investment articles. To the extent that the new program crowds out better work, the overall site quality could surely decline.

I don’t mean this to be overly negative but I think there are serious flaws in the way the program was designed. Having said that, I did submit a “test” article into the program yesterday just to see how the process works. They have done some nice work on their submission process and author feedback on publications, so all is not negative.

Ravi Nagarajan

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By: Scottsinvest http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/comment-page-1/#comment-23270 Wed, 19 Jan 2011 04:29:45 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6961#comment-23270 Hi Felix, I am a SA contributor and was ranked around 70th in the top 100 before the list was removed (Scott’s Investments). For my most popular “actionable” articles, it could be a tough decision. Below are the 30 day stats for my most popular articles and as you can see, the most popular articles with an “action” tilt could be worth my time to make exclusive to SA (I would currently need at least 9-10k pageviews to make it worthwhile).

However, there is a significant question/issue which I don’t think anyone has addressed: How will authors know which articles have 10-20k+ pageview potential? When SA features them on the mainpage or in their “Must Read Articles” email, pageviews skyrocket. Author have no prior knowledge as to whether this will occur and could have a major impact on our decision to make an article exclusive. The uncertainty will in all likelihood lead me to not grant exclusivity to any article.

26,265 11 High Yield Stocks to Consider Now
9,565 Highest Yielding, Highest Momentum Dividend Champions
9,476 11 High Yield Stocks With Staying Power
8,013 Ranking the 2011 Dividend Aristocrats
5,289 10 Top Ranked Dividend Champions
4,292 11 High Yield Stocks to Consider Now
3,874 31 Low Volatility, Dividend Growth Stocks
3,452 Evaluating 2010’s Top Stocks Two Ways
2,869 11 High Yield Dividend Champions With Staying Power
2,607 10 Small Cap Stocks With Positive Earnings Surprises
1,242 Highest Yielding, Highest Momentum Dividend Champions
1,030 ETF Portfolio Update: December

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By: EliHoffmann http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/comment-page-1/#comment-23250 Tue, 18 Jan 2011 09:02:08 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6961#comment-23250 Hi Felix,

I’m glad the change to our Terms & Conditions satisfies your ethical qualms. Thank you for pointing it out; it was a case of overzealous legal wording. Our intent has always been to allow contributors to earn cash in exchange for “free web” exclusivity; we have not asked for any other kind of exclusivity, including allowing contributors to host their content on “for-pay” subscription sites.

I also appreciate you trying to poke holes in the program. While I’m sure it has flaws, and we will work to address those flaws as we perceive them, I don’t believe those you cite in your updated version are relevant:

1) ** We’re asking for exclusivity because we know most of our contributors won’t take us up on it. ** WADR, this is absurd. We would LOVE for all of our contributors to take us up on this. No one forced us to roll this out, and I think it caught quite a few people by surprise. We actually have very ambitious internal goals of what percentage of our articles we’d like to be exclusive by year-end.

I understand that the amount of money involved based on current pageviews is far from a full-time income. I also recognize that for many “professional bloggers,” our proposition probably doesn’t make fiscal sense, at least at this stage (see below). But professional bloggers are not the majority of our contributors.

I also believe that this initiative (and many others we’re working on) will allow us to grow our audience over time, meaningfully. That means that people who develop a dedicated following on SA stand to earn more money over time – I hope much more. Could this emerge into a full-time-plus income for really smart and engaging authors? I truly hope so.

Anecdotally, when discussing this with a number of people ahead of the rollout, I found that some of the smartest people were also most enthusiastic about this.

One extremely intelligent and engaging author (who does not currently submit to SA told me (paraphrasing)):

“I think this is totally game-changing. I am paid by the article now, the same as all other contributors, and that frustrates me, because I know that my articles are consistently more profitable for the company. What writers care most about is writing something that people are interested to read. No one wants to write things that no one reads, even if it’s great. So a meritocracy that allows authors to earn money based on audience engagement is something that is likely to appeal to authors – especially the best ones.”

2) ** This is all about SEO. ** That is certainly one consideration, but it’s not particularly high on our strategic list. It’s about making SA the bar-none best site to read about, discuss, and research investment ideas and news. And it’s about creating an environment in which we feel we have a much stronger organic relationship with our contributors (those for whom this appeals); one in which they’re enthusiastic about being SA contributors, and one in which they feel SA is trying really hard to make our partnership profitable for both sides.

So why ask for exclusivity? None of us knows how all of this plays out, but we’ve put an offer out there for our contributors that we hope will resonate with many of them: Park your financial identity on SA. Help us make this the most awesome investing site on the free web, and we’ll make sure you share in our success.

3) This will result in contributors linkspamming us to drive traffic to their websites; a million posts that start with the number 10. I think this is where SA’s unique editorially-driven business model allows us to go where others can’t. We don’t post a single opinion article to our main site that has not been approved by our editors. Clearly this initiative presents us with a number of editorial challenges, including these two. But that’s why we hire smart editors; to set our agenda and make sure we’re raising the bar on quality and not lowering it.

As you can probably tell, I’m quite enthusiastic about this initiative. In business everything is ultimately a bet. You want to be sure you’re betting on projects that have a reasonable probability of success, and that have the potential to be game-changing for your business if they succeed. I think the Premium Partnership Program satisfies those conditions.

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By: Krasting http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/comment-page-1/#comment-23236 Mon, 17 Jan 2011 19:37:49 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6961#comment-23236 I am a Seeking Alfa contributor. Have been for two years now and I am appreciative for that opportunity. The idea that they are now offering to pay for my efforts is a sweetener that will bring about some changes in the blog world.

I wrote a piece on 12/28 about my thoughts for 2011. It got 2,100 reads at SA, so it would have been worth about 20 bucks. Better than a sharp stick in they eye, but not a paycheck that changes much. Would it be worth it to me to consider the SA deal? Absolutely not. The other numbers:

Zero Hedge ran the piece. I got 20,200 reads and 237 comments. As a wanna be writer this is very nice to see. That this many made a comment means to me that I hit a nerve or two. Exactly what I hope with every piece I write.

Several other re bloggers/emags copied it/stole it or just used it without permission. Another 8k reads from that. This pisses me off, but there is not much that can be done about it. If it’s “out there” it will be copied.

The E-edition of the Wall Street Journal picked up the piece and lumped it with 12 other “must reads”. This has not happened to me before. The exposure is great, and to be honest, every once in a while an ego boost is not such a bad thing…

The WSJ linked to my blogspot address. So I broke some records at my own site. A total of 12,400 reads (prior high 5,700). I have AdSense on my page and this one story generated $31 in revenue.

As a result of the article (and the link from the WSJ) I have been invited on two radio talk shows. This is what I hope for every time a write. The chance for some kind out “breakout”.

SA pays me $20 or I get:

-40k readers that I would not have gotten.
-250 comments that I thrive on.
-$31 in my pocket.
-An opportunity of getting a link in the WSJ. (Admittedly small)
-A shot with the radio shows that I would not have had without the WSJ link.

Not a hard choice for me.
bk

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