I still see a lot of people looking for quality information about auto blogging and the different types of content-generating software that is out there. It seems that most of webmasters or soon-to-be webmasters are scared off by Google’s recent changes in their search engine algorithms and content requirements for ranking placements. Google has stated that their focus is to rid the SERPs of any “spam” or “duped content farms” type of websites and make sure the original authority sites are seeing their efforts be rewarded. Unique content is truly a large factor of 2011 Google search engine rankings, but it isn’t everything.
Plain and simple, auto blogs are not dead.
But, they are being targeted by Google as a common format that is used by spam and other unwanted websites who are only there to steal content, possibly copyrighted or protected, from other authority and well-intended domains. Google is trying to reward the original authors who deserve the credit for their writings and efforts to help the readers that are now visiting these duped sites.
So this may sound like Google is really hammering on auto blogs and it would be suicide to employ these methods on your WordPress or Joomla content management systems.
But there is still a good use for auto blogs and there are a lot of sites doing very well using these tactics.
Auto blog software provides excellent “buffer content”.
Google has made it clear that they will de-index and ban any website that is only copying and using duplicate content from other authors and sites. But it is obvious that many websites, even high page rank sites like CNN or MSNBC, will have “some” duplicate content because of the similarities in reporting, eyewitness accounts, news events, etc. This can also work for your blog, because you want your readers to be aware of other useful information from professionals in your field or news that they need to hear. The key is to add the buffer content in a manner that keeps it at a moderate ratio with your unique content and also to give credit to the original authors/posters of this information.
Auto Blog SEO Tips:
Buffer your unique content with < 40% duplicate content
Keep it relevant to your niche/market
Give credit, if not backlinking directly, at least list the domain in a non-html format
The added duplicate content can help you find more visitors in long tail keyword SERPs
Make a designated area of your website for this content i.e. “outside news” “market news”
Double your indexed pages quickly and become an authority faster
Now there are still many auto blogs running off only 100% duped content, but since we have seen a lot of recent activity from Google to de-index and ban these sites it is not recommended at this time. If you feel you can “spin” or rewrite the content well enough that it is unique, you may want to see the post about Google N-grams and make sure your aware on how duplicate content is being found and penalized.
Current State of Google SEO
Speaking with a handful of associates in the SEO world, I wanted to make a quick blog post to reiterate something that seems to always be true in internet marketing.
No one REALLY knows how Google values websites and sets search engine rankings.
Its true that we all have some great ideas and opinions on how websites get ranked. From link wheels to Xrumer, web 2.0 building, networking domains, high page rank paid linking, etc; we may have success here and there but then you’ll hear about someone who has copied your methods and still cannot reach the top rankings.
Of course its not just on-page SEO or backlinks we need to be concerned with in the 2011 world of Google. Your content needs to be unique and accurate to reap those benefits, are you building one-way links or deep link structures that are relevant?
SEO Tips Overview for our Current Google “SEO Climate”
Page rank 3 and lower backlinks have greatly decreased weight (meant to lower quality of “spammed” blog/forum based backlinks)
Irrelevant backlinks may be de-indexed and no-weight given eventually
Unique content holds weight bonus (more content = more authority)
Deep link structures are good (web 2.0 sites w/backlinks + pointed at your main site = good quality weighted links)
Exact match domains are still very strong
Google wants to see updated content atleast once a month (weighs in more and more as site matures/gains rankings)
Heavier weight toward site quality/loading results (w3c validation is required!)
Unique html tags for descriptions/titles/keywords are important, keep it natural but targetted
Google SERP Changes:
Content farms/Duplicate content websites de-indexed or de-valued in rankings (autoblogs, article directories)
Unique content sites pushed up rankings even though lower backlinks/seo efforts
EMD domains still strong
Domain age and reputation helping hold websites on top rankings
So that was a bit of an overview of what we’re dealing with and seeing currently with Google rankings. There’s definitely some increased opportunities for webmasters who have smaller but unique websites. A lot of the top rankings have opened up due to the falling of article directories, even Ezine and Articlesbase have taken big hits in traffic and SERP results due to Google’s last changes.
Last advice: Focus on building quality websites and getting your domain to age, during this period steadily increase backlinks through relevant sources and additional content-based links. Deep linking strategies through web 2.0 sites is a good strategy currently, I’m sure you can think of a few ways to reinvent the link wheel.
Google Algorithm N-Grams: How does Google identify duped content?
So everyone is always telling you that you’ve got to write unique content to make the most of backlinks and search rankings, but it takes a lot of time to write 500+ word articles, blog posts, and intelligent blog comments. And we are all lazy, so you look for another route to take.
Then you read online about autoblogs, scrape programs, article re-writers, and all these really cool SEO toolz that dominate the world. Quickly you start spending a few $100 on these programs and blasting backlinks and flipped content everywhere on the net. Soon you have some success and see traffic starting to grow, rankings being upgraded and your moving up. But then, after using these tools, all of a sudden you see your beloved 1,000,000 page scraped site de-indexed.
How? You were spinning your content!
Google was able to match a very large % of your content to copyrighted content already published on the internet through N-grams. No one is really sure how much of your content would need to be identified as matching, but due to the inaccuracies of N-grams, it’s suggested that it would be well over 80%.
What is a N-Gram?
any 3+ word phrases that hold the same meanings
different words but matching concept/meaning
matching word count in phrase
Examples of N-Gram phrases:
“seo software downloads” = “seo program downloads” = “seo tool downloads”
“backlink building strategies” = “backlink building techniques” = “backlink building tips”
Now using this technique, we could see how Google could evaluate a spun page of content and see it’s duplicate. If you only spin adjectives and single words in your article or blog, when looked at through the N-Gram lens the content will have matching conceptual phrases/meanings throughout the paragraphs and phrases. Different words yes, but matching meaning/definitions in such high % that it cannot be ignored.
These are not EXACT matching word phrases BUT the meanings can be identified as extremely similar or exact matches. This formula for finding duped content can be used by Google, locating high % matches in phrase meanings in content that is from the same niche/market/industry. Then they can manually review certain sites that may be generating high ad-sense performance or generating thousands upon thousands of pages on the search engines quickly. We all know how easy it is to read spun or duped content, you can identify this immediately.