There's been a ton of debate over the value, or lack thereof, of "content farms". The company Demand Media has served as a lightning rod in the debate drawing both ire and praise from media pundits and investors. If you're not familiar with Demand Media and other content farm operations, the model is based on generating cheap content and stressing optimization to drive search results. The approach requires a large amount of traffic, generates questionable audience loyalty and demographics and obviously lives and dies based on the ability to consistently game out search engines.
Huffington Post and other AOL sites are in the discussion too, as some people see them as nothing more than dressed up content farms. It's a fascinating debate. At the core of it is the value of content; to audiences, to media companies and to search engines.