Auto Generated content is programmatically created content via code for the purpose of publishing and indexing large amounts of pages in SERPs. Not all auto generated content is inherently "black hat".
What Types of Auto-Generated Content are Harmful?
Google have listed a few examples of what they consider auto generated content. These examples include:
Content that has been translated automatically by a machine without being reviewed by a human eye prior to publishing
Bringing together content from a range of sources and publishing it without making it unique or different to its original form
Content that is generated automatically from scraping RSS
‘Markov chain’ generated content, named so due to it following the 'Markov property' rule. This content is auto generated using content that already exists and creating new variables based on probability. It's a bit like the auto-predict function on your phone.
The Impact of Auto-Generated Content on UX
Google values content that is useful, original and unique, in order to provide a good UX (User Experience). Auto generated content conversely provides end users with a poor UX.
They usually contain recycled information which makes for difficult, robotic reading.
Additionally, this content is usually of low quality, and poorly optimised.
Therefore, while websites may use auto generated methods to pad out thin content and boost ranking in SERPs, it can have the opposite effect.
If a searcher is unimpressed by your content, and finds it lacking, they are unlikely to stay on your website. This leads to higher bounce rates and lower dwell times.
What will Happen if you Automatically Generate Content?
Using software, tools or programs to create auto generated content can land you in trouble with Google’s Panda algorithm which tackles low-quality content.
When this happens, your website is penalised at domain level, leading to a significant drop in rankings, resulting in less organic traffic.
Let's be clear, not all auto-generated content is harmful. Depending on your business, a mix of naturally created and auto-generated content may be the ideal way to create and publish content.
For example, a finance comparison website which scores products across a wide range of criteria and aggregates the data needs some auto generated content to act as the skeleton where everything else sits on.
How can you Avoid Using Auto-Generated Content?
Don’t be lured in by mass auto-generated content as a quick fix. Instead utilise white hat SEO techniques to create high-quality and valuable content.
1. Create High-Quality and Valuable Content
Focus on creating content for the user, not bots. Fill your pages with well researched content that provides useful information to the searcher. Remember, quality is more important than quantity.
Produce content that is error free and easy to read to ensure it is accessible to a broad audience.
2. Create Original Content
Zone in on what makes you different from your competitors. What is your brand? Capitalise on this and embrace your originality. Can you provide a different perspective to a well-known topic? What is your unique selling point?
3. Create Content With Targeted Keywords
Websites with great content have conducted in-depth audience research, topic research and keyword research and incorporated targeted keywords into their content.
Doing proper keyword research ensures you reach the right audience, helping you to rank higher in SERPs for your niche
4. Make Your Content Visually Appealing
Searchers are more likely to engage with a site’s content if it is aesthetically appealing. Incorporate images and video into your content to improve its appearance and professionalism.
Grammarly is a grammar-checking, spell-checking, proofreading and plagiarism-checking tool rolled into one.
After analyzing a piece of text, this tool offers feedback covering over 150 grammatical errors including spelling and punctuation errors, passive voice errors, poor sentence structure, run-on sentences and wordy sentences.
In addition, this tool provides an easy-to-understand lesson on why these changes should be made. It can also scan your entire document to find instances of plagiarism, which can keep content creators from publishing unoriginal content.
With Grammarly, writers can personalize the suggestions and feedback they receive by adjusting their text settings based on intent, audience, style, emotion and domain.
This software provides browser and desktop app extensions that enable writers to analyze their content easily.
Developed by Mangools, KWFinder is a keyword research tool used for finding suitable long-tail keywords with low difficulty and high search volumes. When a seed keyword is plugged into this tool’s search bar, a list of related keywords is generated.
The interface shows the search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC and PPC of each listed keyword.
KWFinder has a SERP analyzer feature where you can view metrics like the domain authority, page authority, citation flow, trust flow and link profile strength of the competitors that are currently ranking on the first page of Google SERPs for your target keyword.
AnswerThePublic is a keyword research tool that pulls queries from search engines like Google and Bing and presents them in a categorized keyword image.
Once a topic, keyword, brand or product is put into the search bar, AnswerThePublic immediately gathers all the data about that keyword in a visualized form. This image contains questions people ask using your keyword.
This tool provides you with multiple forms of data based on: questions (who, what, why, where, can, which, how, when, what, are, will), prepositions (with, to , is, for, without, near, can), comparisons (versus, vs, and, like, or), alphabetical and related keyword combinations.
This gives writers credible insight into the kind of questions people ask about certain topics, and how to answer those questions satisfactorily.
How Can We Help?
Considering using auto generated content? Do your due diligence and proceed with caution.
Get in touch and we could pair you with a team recommended by us to overhaul your site and its content.
Whilst you wait, you can check out our training courses to get a head start on some white hat SEO techniques that will generate residual organic traffic which compounds over time.