A site’s value is dependent on the usefulness of its pages, and it’s important not to lose sight of this when creating new content. Just as a human has no interest in unoriginal, low value content, neither does Google.

Note: If you want ideas for engaging content that works, we have ideas on the different kinds of content you can use, content ideas to increase traffic, and content ideas specifically for small businesses.

What is automatically generated content?

Automatically generated content, or auto-generated content, is content that is produced programmatically. That means it has little human involvement and is compiled using a set of rules or scripts that can consolidate text into an article and publish it at a given URL with the explicit aim to rank in Google and drive you to a conversion page.

What are examples of auto-generated content?

To better understand automatically generated content, here’s a list of some examples you might come across.

Text translated by an automated tool – This text will have been processed by a tool and have had no human review, generally resulting in inaccurate, nonsensical translations that are of no use to anyone

RSS scraped content – Content taken from RSS and republished on another site

Stitched content – combining content taken from other existing pages without any addition of new value. Many affiliate websites fall into this category if they fail to display any original content

Search query scripts – Scripts on a site that automatically pick up search queries and make a page about it. E.g Googling ‘benefits of HIIT training’ and finding a page stating “We have no articles for HIIT training” with spammy adverts

Markov chain content generation – A tool which uses special algorithms to combine words in ways which evade spam filters but come out as complete Pig Latin to users

Why shouldn’t I have auto-generated content?

Naturally, humans aren’t interested in unoriginal content that has been automatically translated or stitched together using existing copy. If a site isn’t engaging or user friendly Google won’t like it either as these types of sites don’t offer any original insight or value. Instead, sites with high quality, unique content rank better. Makes sense.

So if your site is made up of affiliate adverts, product descriptions provided by another site, feed displays, and other unoriginal content, it’s likely you won’t rank well in Google results. Google deems these forms of content not valuable to users and so won’t rank it in their search results.

What’s the best content to have?

Ranking in Google isn’t a dark art, despite what your SEO consultant might tell you. the best content is content that has been written by a human and is easy to read and simple to understand. There is no set length that content has to be and Google values quality over quantity. Automatically generated content is being improved all the time but it’s something Google has its eye on as poor results mean a poor search experience for a user, which will taint their opinion of Google as a service provider.

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