Going forward, however, the story might be different.
As Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici notes, there is a newish benefit to having lots of original content on your site: It prevents Google’s new algorithm from penalising you for being a content farm.
Instead of seeing its traffic fall like Demand Media and others, the Huffington Post is more visible since the changes.
Bercovici speculates that the reason is HuffPo’s mountains of original content.
“Huffpo also has a vast army of bloggers — 9,000 is the number that gets thrown around, though the number of active current contributors is surely much lower — who for years have been churning out what is undeniably original content,” he writes. “It may not be what people are flocking to Huffpo to read, but at long as it keeps the site in Google’s good graces, it plays an important role in ensuring Huffpo’s SEO-driven strategy doesn’t backfire.”
From that logic, you can almost make a case the bloggers deserve some advertising revenue going forward. Almost.
But since the changes to Google’s algorithm only recently came about, it would be stupid to apply that logic backwards too far.