Auto-Generated Content is a No-No, Says Google
Matt Cutts, chief of search spam at Google, is back with a new video in a series in which he answers questions from SEOs, web developers and site owners looking for clarification on exactly what Google does and doesn’t want to see when assigning ranking to a web page.
In the latest video, Cutts takes on the topic of automatically generated content, and ultimately says that if you want your site to rank, you should avoid this type of content like the plague. Although this is pretty obvious, it’s a good reminder of just how important fresh, original content is to the search visibility of your site.
Automatically Generated Content: a “Bad User Experience”
The question in the video comes from Walter in the Netherlands, who asks:
“What does Google do against sites that have a script that automatically picks up the search query and makes a page about it? Ex: you Google [risks of drinking caffeine], end up at a page: “we have no articles for DRINKING CAFFEINE” with lots of ads.”
Cutts gets right to the point, calling this a “bad user experience” and saying that Google has no qualms about taking action against these types of sites. Cutts also mentions that if you find this type of content, such as if you search for a review of a product like a DVD player and end up on a page that just shows more search results or a message saying the content doesn’t exist along with spammy advertisements, it’s a good idea to contact Google on the Google Webmaster forums or submit a spam report to make them aware of it.
Other Examples of Auto-Generated Content
While the types of content Cutts discusses in the video are clear-cut examples of automatically generated, spammy content, you can see other examples auto-gen content here within Google’s content guidelines. A few examples of content types Google will penalize you for include:
- Stitched-together bits of content from various web pages that doesn’t add up to anything original and valuable
- Content automatically generated using RSS feeds
- Text created using automated processes
- Content generated using “article spinning” or automatic synonymizing software
- Content translated from foreign language text using automated software, minus any human interaction
In short, Google wants to see original, high-value content made by human hands and not machines on your site. Anything less will likely result in a penalty.
You can watch the full video below: