Auto-Generated Content on Your WebsiteIt’s no secret that Google is always updating their algorithms to provide a better end-user experience, and they’re after crappy content like nobody’s business. I know I’ve blocked sites that come up in search results because they’re spammy and obviously machine-spun — and Google’s own Content Guidelines say that if you use “text generated using automated synonymizing or obfuscation techniques,” you’re a violator.

What’s Synonymizing?

Back in the day (and still today, if they don’t know what they’re doing), people used to pay for “article spinning” software or hire companies to turn one original article into five, 10, 20… you get the picture. What they’d do is replace words with synonyms to make each piece different — but it’s kind-of like playing telephone. Once you get past the first one or two pieces, it stops making sense altogether.

Here’s the gist of what an article spinner would do to one sentence:

The dog ate the begonias and promptly threw up on my porch; I had to clean it up while wearing rubber gloves.

Spin 1: The canine ate the begonias and quickly threw up on my veranda; I had to tidy it up while wearing latex gloves.

Spin 2: The mongrel consumed the begonias and rapidly emitted on my loggia; I had to reorganize it up while wearing latex ornaments.

Spin 3: The pye-dog spent the begonias and in haste produced on my gallery; I had to regroup it up though carrying gutta-percha knick-knacks.

Spinning software simply replaced words with synonyms, going down the list of whatever works (and usually, it didn’t work).

Crappy, Old Content: What to Do?

If you have crappy, old content on your site, you’ll have to take the time to comb through and delete it or update it (or you can pay someone to do it for you… cough, cough). Google’s latest-and-greatest is that you need content that’s written for users, not search engines. Since that’s the way to really connect with your customers and make sales anyway, it’s probably a good idea to fix what you have.

What you’re looking for:

  • Content that doesn’t make any sense
  • Content that can’t connect with your readership
  • Content that doesn’t reflect your company’s values
  • Content that doesn’t reflect what your company really does

Sure, it’s a bit of a pain. But the sooner you fix it (or get rid of it), the less chance you have of Google punching your site in the face. And ain’t nobody got time for that.