AOL's Big Plan: Robot Traffic WhoringS

The internet needs more hot search keyword-driven advertorial "content" about as much as the internet needs AOL. So, welcome to the "linchpin" of AOL's growth strategy: Hot search keyword-driven advertorial "content" crap!

AOL's dynamic vision of the future: Flood the web with content designed to pop up high in Google search results, with editorial ideas generated by an algorithm based on what stupid people are looking for, on the internet. In our business we call this "stealing post ideas from Google Trends." Getcher Tiger Woods Mistress Pictures here! Tell us, WSJ, how will AOL improve the life of me, an average Park Slope Parent?

AOL says its new system determined that the most popular topic on the Web last Tuesday was "crib recalls," following news of a massive recall by Stork Craft Manufacturing of Canada. AOL had only one story on its sites on the recall. But, if the new system had been live, editors would have geared up to supply stories on the subject from a number of angles, the company says.

So not only is AOL basing its entire dismal future on the most base sort of styrofoam traffic-whoring; it's not even whoring in a new way. Demand Media, for one, has long been doing the exact same thing, with an algorithm-plus-sweatshop editorial production line that makes Gawker Media look like Aristotle's School of Taking Your Sweet Time Thinking About Things.

Ah well. Neither useless crap on the internet nor AOL sucking is anything new.