Ever since Google launched its massive Panda algorithm update back in 2011, we’ve known that one of the search engine’s primary focuses is to ensure it promotes those websites which offer high quality content to its users. By doing this, they hope that they are improving the level of sites which appear high up on its search results for the majority of keywords and phrases which people search for. Keyword plays an important role in ranking of site as if you have good ranking keyword relevant with your website then you can get success in business and achieve top ranking as well.
Panda has evolved many times over already, and now it seems that Google are looking at other ways to ensure that poor quality content is penalized. This is certainly the case if the latest Google Webmaster help video, which was posted by the search engine’s Head of Web Spam Matt Cutts, is anything to go by.
Cutts discussed how websites with auto-generated content would be actively targeted moving forwards, with a Google penalty being implemented on any sites found guilty of the practice. This would likely mean a significant drop in rankings or even complete de-indexation from the search engine altogether.
What is auto generation?
Sites that have auto-generated content usually have a script built into them which takes/duplicates a snippet or either a web page from elsewhere that is well-optimised for that keyword, or from the search results page itself. They don’t offer any actual information, and they won’t offer the user what they are looking for following their search query.
Often, what a searcher will find when they click through to that page will be a message saying that what they were looking for is not available. There will then be a series of AdSense adverts carefully positioned on the website to try and entice the visitor to click on one of them, rather than hitting the back button to return to find an alternative result.
In the Webmaster video, Matt Cutts gives the example of someone searching for ‘risks of drinking caffeine’, only for the site they click through to give them a message saying something along the lines
of ‘Sorry, we have no articles on DRINKING CAFFEINE’.
Why is this frowned upon?
Google has always tried to position itself as giving searchers a good user experience, by returning sites to their search queries which would give them exactly the information they were looking for. This has certainly been even more of a focus since the Panda algorithm was introduced.
The search engine views auto-generated content, and websites which have this type of content on them to be producing a poor quality user experience, which in turn means they are highly likely to be penalised if they are caught. Instead, websites should be producing highly informative, original content which gives the visitor what they are looking for. A good level of information should be placed above the fold on the site for best results.