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Content quality on the internet

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on PainScience.com are updated regularly over the years (see updates page).

The internet is serving us surprisingly well during the pandemic. In many ways, it’s living up to the potential we always knew it had.

But content quality online is in free fall, especially in health care — it was never good (see Starman), and it’s getting worse. The web is increasingly dominated by corporate content mills that pump out thousands of shallow pieces tuned to maximize Google search rank. It’s like if you went into a library and 80% of the books were advertorials. And of course its not like the private stuff is all solid gold!

Fortunately, there are still a few independent publishers working extremely hard to produce high quality, useful articles optimized for people rather than search engines.

We do worry about how long we can keep it up, though. Now much more than ever.

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