Eric Holmlund responds

June 30, 2006

There’s been some interesting debate and discussion in the comments here at in relation to my trips inside the Joel Comm Made for Adsense program. I’m always suspicious when people go on the attack and don’t actually try to defend their products, which has been the case now for several days..however Eric Holmlund has responded in the comments and to be fair to Eric, he has a much different take on what they are doing. I’m not going to pass judgment on his arguments, but as he went to a reasonable effort to explain some of what they are doing, I’ve republished the comments below so Eric’s side is clear for everyone to use in making their own decisions, and thank Eric for at least coherently trying to explain what they are aiming at. Food for thought as they say….

From Eric Holmlund:

As I stated, the purpose of the templates is to help people build their own websites with their own content. My philosophy on PLR content is that it’s a viable media to use in the creation of unique content.

We’re NOT encouraging people to upload the pre-built sites as-is. I knew this would be misinterpreted by some people (who havn’t bought the product), and for that reason, we contemplated not including the PLR content.

However, I feel it is worth including it, because it provides a good jumpstart particularly for those who are building their first websites. Instead of writing (or hiring out) content from scratch, they have something to work with.

Here’s another way of looking at it Duncan. I happen to know that you use “free” articles on some of your sites, because I saw a post about it on another blog. For example, articles from Okay, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, because people write the material with the intention of lots of people publishing it. It’s called syndicated content. It’s a big part of how the web works.

Nevertheless, it’s duplicate content. In some cases those articles are published well over 1,000 times and I can give you some examples if you need it.

PLR articles are similar, for the fact they were written for the purpose of being republished (by license holders). The difference with PLR content is you CAN change it and make it unique.

And when I say PLR content, I’m talking about real articles or other content that is legible and written by human beings, not auto-generated stuff. I’m also NOT talking about scraped content. Generally PLR content is ghostwritten.

I’ll give you an example of its use. Let’s say I create a reasonably fair quality site, and I fill it with PLR content, making some changes to keep it unique. The site is built in such a way that users can find the content they’re looking for, or click on ads that they are interested in. And we’ll assume I choose to monetize the site with AdSense and/or affiliate programs.

Web users may find that site when searching for certain keyword phrases in the search engine. When they click the listing, they are brought to a page of relevant content. They can read the content or click on an ad. There’s nothing “black hat” about it. I’m not trying to trick the visitor into clicking onto the site, and I’m not trying to trick the search engine into indexing it.

That’s NOT a spam site. It’s providing value to the end-user.

Also in regard to your claim that the sales pitch is all about the content getting clicks?ɬ¢?¢‚Äö¬¨?Ǭ¶ I think if you re-read it you would find that the parts that talk about the pre-packaged content only account for a small percentage of the product description.

Alas, I am well aware this will not please everyone, and there will always be critics.

I take comfort in knowing that we’re helping people with their online business. This is a product that has taken literally 1000’s of man-hours to create, and we’re selling it for a more than fair price, which will allow many people to start or increase their online business.

If Joel’s AdSense templates end up being the Pandora’s box of the internet, maybe we’ll have more to talk about. I personally believe they will do much more good than harm, and only the test of time will tell?ɬ¢?¢‚Äö¬¨?Ǭ¶

2 responses to Eric Holmlund responds

  1. Eric … this is interesting. I hadn’t heard of PLR content before. I now understand it stands for private label rights.

    You said:

    “The difference with PLR content is you CAN change it and make it unique.”

    How many people will do that with the product you’re selling? Seriously. One would think that if someone pays that amount of money they are going to want to run with it out of the box regardless of the advice you’ve given them.

    Even when you suggest to make it unique, how unique can you make it? I pointed out several pages that used the same terms of the articles with just keywords changes. How is that supposed to help the end user? It’s not. It’s meant to help people create MFA (made for adsense sites).

    Is it spam? Probably. Are you responsible for it? Probably not, just as a gun make isn’t responsible for someone who uses the gun illegally.

    It smells, though.

    And that is why I paid attention to this. I’d never heard of you prior to this. I have heard of Joel Comm. I’ve understood him to be a pretty stand up guy, offering tools that were constructive and truly helpful; not something like this, which is why it was surprising.

    Thank you for explaining more about the program.

  2. Here’s the thing Patrick…

    First of all, the price has nothing to do with people changing the content or not. The price we are charging could be the price of one template from a web designer.

    Likewise, content is not typically cheap. I regularly pay ghostwriters $5 per article, and that’s cheap.

    We’re not targeting kids here. We’re marketing this product to business owners and those who are looking to invest in the startup of their online business.

    At the price we’re charging, people CAN afford to take the time to make their sites unique, and many of them will. People DO listen to Joel’s advice and some people even listen to me 😉 Check out the page linked from my name if you’re interested.

    The reason SOME people won’t take the time to make their site unique before uploading it, is they’re lazy.

    Is this going to hurt the internet? Probably not. While it may not be creating a unique experience for the user, it’s not creating a negative one.

    The only person it’s hurting is themselves. It’s only going to result in smaller earnings and less traffic.

    As far as not helping the end user, I think that’s a matter of opionion, and only the actual end users who find those sites can be the judge of that. I could argue that 99% of all websites on the internet do not help the end user, including most legitimate blogs.

    As far as MFA (made for AdSense). People build sites to make money, period. Sure there are other reasons for building websites, but if you’re building it for business purposes, then your intention is to make money.

    AdSense is one of many ways to monetize a website. What we’re doing is helping people get their sites on the web, optimized for AdSense.

    The technique that I recommend is building one site at a time. This is not some sort of a spam-site-generator that pumps out hundreds of sites a day.

    If you’re looking for the AdSense spam villians you’re looking in the wrong place. The guys who are really making an impact are churning out MASSIVE quantities of spam daily. I’ve personally heard of one guy that’s launching 5,000 sites per day, and others who are doing 1000+ blogs per day.

    The thing that I think our critics are ignoring is the fact that Joel and I are teaching how NOT to build spam sites. I honestly believe our efforts will win a few people over from the dark side who have been dabbling in spam-generation.