Wouldn’t it be great to set your blog on autopilot? If you’re running WordPress on your blogs then you may have heard of plugins that can auto generate your posts for you. That should sound great since you won’t have to bother with creating your own manually produced content.
But you have to wonder how these plugins and other programs auto generate blog posts, right? Well, some of them use article spinners. They take articles from the web and reword them (i.e. create a new spin out of the original content).
The blog posts don’t really need that much time to create. It also doesn’t take a lot of effort to create a blog that auto generates content. Heck, you already have a computer program doing all the hard work for you.
However, that is of course some form of cheating. And that is something that Google isn’t keen on. In fact, the algorithms that the Google search engine uses doesn’t take kindly to blogs with auto generated content.
Auto Generated Content Defined
There are two types of content on the internet—well, roughly speaking. On one hand there is auto generated content and on the other there is user generated content. Well, user generated content is very easy to grasp. It’s content that was created by an actual person.
On the other hand auto generated content is one that Google describes as content that has been created “programmatically.” It sounds like a newly coined word, doesn’t it? When you say “programmatically” it refers to something that was generated by a computer program.
Sometimes it works and a lot of times it doesn’t. It’s just so hard to mimic human cognition especially when it comes to copying human creative powers. If Google’s search bots or spiders discover such content then they take action. That basically means your site or blog (the whole of it) is de-indexed and taken out of database. Ergo it won’t show up in any of the SERPs.
So how do you know, and as an extension of the idea, how does Google know if content is auto generated?
Here are a few key characteristics of such content:
- Stitching – this refers to the combining of the content of two or more web pages without actually adding any amount of sufficient value.
- Text that is generated from scraping search results, RSS, and Atom feeds.
- Textual content that has been generated by using obfuscation techniques or auto synonymizing. This refers to creating a new article/blog post by simply using the synonyms in place of the words (or some of the words) that were used in the original content. That may work sometimes but most of the time synonyms don’t fit squarely into the context of the original sentence that is why synonymized content doesn’t make sense.
- Content that is generated using Markov chains or other similar automated processes
- Content that is generated by machine translation from one language to another. You know how well Google translate and other online translators work, right? These programs can translate words and sometimes they’re good for phrases—well, on most occasions that is. These things still slip up in spite of how well they were programmed.
However, translator programs and systems aren’t that good at translating entire sentences.
Again, part of that is the complexity of each language and other factors such as the unique linguistic elements that may be present in one language but absent in another.
Simply put, to correctly and accurately translate from one language to another, one must know and understand these linguistic properties and have sufficient know how with regards to the application of these elements from both languages (the original to the translated). And that is something that you just can’t teach to a machine.
That is why you need human intervention whenever content is translated from one language to another. Let’s say for example a web page written in Norwegian is translated to English (and vice versa).
Word for word translations without human editing will sound like gibberish and of course will make no sense and thus lack value to users.
Content that is created and designed for search engine bots/crawlers/spiders and not for human users. These web pages or blog posts will contain keywords and they often are very easy to spot by web crawlers.
These were the type of content that made it to page one of the SERPs before Panda, Penguin, and all the other algorithm updates that Google implemented.
They made no sense to a human reader, and that is why they are heavily penalized today since they offer no real value to users.
So What Else is Wrong with Auto Generated Content?
So, to help you understand what else is wrong with auto generated content, here’s the official statement from Google’s Adsense team:
Fact: We don’t allow sites with auto-generated or otherwise unoriginal content to participate in the AdSense program. This is to ensure that our users are benefiting from a unique online experience and that our advertisers are partnering with useful and relevant sites.
The bottom line here is that auto generated content is not original. It’s actually plagiarized content. Well, it has been plagiarized using creative (can we call it that?) and highly technical tools but at the end of the day they’re still someone else’s content.
Some might think that hey it’s content curation, right?
Wrong. Content curation is something different altogether. Content is usually scraped from the web and spun, which practically doesn’t offer anything new or useful to users.
Sometimes the problem is in the source of your content. Well, we are going a bit off tangent here, but please bear with me.
Sometimes you hire content mills to produce your content for but the guys writing your content don’t even speak English as a native language. Sure it saves you money but it does your site a lot of great damage in the long run.
How to Avoid Getting Penalized?
The best way to avoid getting penalized is by creating genuine, useful, and valuable content. Now of course that will take a lot of time and man hours to get the creative work done.
The recommended solution is to hire your team and apply the principles of delegation and accountability. You brainstorm about topics you like to cover on your blog or site.
Collaborate on the details. Some guys will do the writing, others will do the editing, and you will provide direction for all the work being done.
Will it cost you money?
Yes. It will.
But you can cut costs by having one or two other people in your team and distribute the content creation tasks. You don’t have to write all the original content yourself.
You can also hire ghostwriters who are actual experts on the subjects that you want to cover. The important thing is that you are making something original and useful.