Google’s Cutts: Auto-Generated Content & Search Results In Our Index Violate Our Guidelines

google-search-quality-guidelinesIn a recent video from Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, Matt discussed a pretty obvious spam tactic that Google will take action on.

The question was Does Google take action on automatically generated pages that provide no added value? The answer is, yes. Of course, Google is not perfect and if you see examples of auto-generated content that is found in the search results that do not add value, such as search results pages or scrapped content, Google wants you to submit a spam report.

In fact, Google has a document specifically about this webmaster guidelines violation named automatically generated content and the examples of content like this include:

  • Text translated by an automated tool without human review or curation before publishing
  • Text generated through automated processes, such as Markov chains
  • Text generated using automated synonymizing or obfuscation techniques
  • Text generated from scraping Atom/RSS feeds or search results
  • Stitching or combining content from different web pages without adding sufficient value

Here is the video:

Related Stories:

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | SEO: Spamming

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Shayne Catrett

    yeah except when auto-generated pages have Google Ad’s embedded on a very high trafficked site, pages re-generate themselves periodically (when search algorithm updates), sorry don’t have time to whack-a-mole with spam reports…..URL structure (entire new section of e-commerce site) should alone be red flag…..

  • http://jobappplus.com/ Alex Miklin

    What about sites like answers.com, that take information from third party websites and repost it on their own? It’s still relevant content to the user but it’s obviously not original.

  • natfinn

    What about blog tags? That would fall under what , “stitching or combining content from different web pages without adding sufficient value.”

    Specifically, WordPress tags.

  • natfinn

    What about blog tags? That would fall under what , “stitching or combining content from different web pages without adding sufficient value.”

    Specifically, WordPress tags.

  • http://www.keshkesh.com/ Takeshi Young

    Yeah, WordPress tag pages are not very high quality content. Best to noindex them with a plugin such as All-in-one-SEO or Yoast.

  • haicharlie143

    What about Yahoo.com and msn.com they pay to third party sites and display the same content which will be in the third party website. Is it ok but medium or large scale sites shouldnt do anything! Instead of using the word scrapping there are sites which publish small quantity of words approved by the original site. What google will call this?

  • kylegraham

    Isn’t Google News an auto-generated site? If it is, by this logic, their pages should disappear from their own search results? Or are they the exception because it’s ok when they do it? If I’m wrong, someone, please educate me.

  • ChennaiBala

    All the top sites in each category have auto generated keyword pages and especially sites like quikr.com have millions of auto generated pages (site:quikr.com has 10,600,000 results) and more importantly they run Adsense and they have been ranking on top for all irrelevant keywords..for many years…. Google is the mother of all Spam engine, promoting unworthy sites in its index and sharing revenue with them… Keep up the good (evil) work Google !

  • gowrinathan

    All the top sites in each category have auto generated keyword pages and sites like quikr.com have millions of auto generated internal search pages (site:quikr.com has 10,600,000 results) and more importantly they run Adsen** and they have been ranking on top for all irrelevant keywords..for many years….

  • Mikeski

    It’s really matter to be counted as duplicate content like if they are the same post but different url of my site, since the other one is the link from category and the other one is the direct link directly from the blog post?

  • Abhinav Narry

    Yeah.. Even i have the same question..

  • Abhinav Narry

    We have tried for our free wordpress blog with the yoast plugin. But we didnt succeed. Please provide assistance

  • Ryan Mattson

    Does it going to effect No Follow Content or Links as well ???

  • Vishal Chaudhary

    what about various tags that link back your site. I got my site links through thousands of tags to only couple of pages. Is that not unnatural link building?

  • rachit

    Will indeed.com or simplyhired.com (a google funded website loose traffic now ?

  • DoNoEvil

    AND if they’re paying for their traffic via Google Ads in the first place… Take Ask.com, who must be spending a fortune, they just send traffic to their results pages which are powered by Google. Then again so are the ads they’re serving!

  • lloyd

    Google News is a kind of search engine in its own right, and its results pages don’t appear as separate pages on Google Search. The original source articles may, but Google’s index pages themselves don’t.

  • http://www.teamaguilar.com SanDiegoRealEstate

    I would love to know how real estate sites like Trulia, Zillow and a site like my own personal real estate website would be affected. The MLS generates IDX feeds that are updated hourly from the MLS which is auto generated content. This content is relied on heavily by local agents like myself to help generate leads, etc as well as provide fresh new home listings for clients to view on the website. Any thoughts or opinion on this?

  • Christian Noel

    In a previous life I had a client that was a Real Estate company which did exactly that. We would hit the database with a flat file update at like 3 am everyday and load the new MLS updates up to the web site. I had a similar question when I read this. I imagine Real Estates will be fine, as will other type of “dynamically generated content” job search results. I think Google is going after sites hat deliver empty pages, door way pages or 404′s from SERP results or to auto generated content that is of no value or spammed up with ads. Dynamically generated content in some ways works, particularly for very large sites

  • Darragh McCurragh

    Yep – you had it right: “scraPPed content” ;-) Anyways, if search results are to remain (or again become) meaningful, weeding out duplicates, plagiarism and auto-aggregates is a must. The problem is that most people are in a hurry and won’t bother reporting. Google must try and strengthen their automated detection mechanisms while making sure they generate near zero false positives.

  • http://www.designandpromote.com DesignAndPromote

    Cheap, easy or automatic SEO is really going to cost you in the long run. There is no shortcut to success that I have ever found, just long hard work that pays off in the end is how you are going to win.

  • http://www.designandpromote.com DesignAndPromote

    Cheap, easy or automatic SEO is really going to cost you in the long run. There is no shortcut to success that I have ever found, just long hard work that pays off in the end is how you are going to win.

  • Boycottgoogle

    Im not violating anything because i didn’t agree to anything. Not my fault if google is to dumb to analyze a website properly.

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