Recently, Matt Cutts, who works in the Search Quality team at Google, released a new video that detailed the risks of reposting content from other websites in order to increase the search engine rank of your website.

We believe strongly in the value of posting relevant, unique content, so we are delighted to see that websites that use automated scripts to crawl websites and feeds to gather "related" content to post to their websites may be risking their search engine rankings in doing so. We thought we'd offer our opinion on the video's topics, but first, you can watch Matt's video below.

SEO by example: New York Times

Cutts refers the New York Times throughout the video and mentions how the journalists on the reputable news website post unique and well thought-out content and articles on a regular basis. By doing this, they not only increase the spread of their material through social networks by offering visitors exclusive content that they can't find elsewhere, they also demonstrate to search engines that they run a useful and trustworthy website, worthy of a high rankings in search engine results.

Google rewards good content and actively penalises websites that post duplicate content, so the NY Times approach to content is a great example of what websites should be doing - writing their own content and linking to related articles, not duplicating those articles in order to give the appearance of original content on their website.

Alternatives to reposting content

It's clear that using automated processes to repost content from other websites may be tempting to some publishers - we'd all love to be able to draw visitors to our websites without having to do any work or write our own content - but in the real world it's vital to offer real content to your visitors and to give valuable input to the World Wide Web.

Instead of duplicating entire articles from other websites, bloggers should instead find articles they enjoy and include links to them in their own unique articles. This way you're still benefiting your website's users as they can still find the original article easily, but at the same time you're creating great and SEO-friendly content for your website. It's a win-win!

If you write it, they will come

If you've thought about automating the process of adding data to your website by scraping other websites, then we recommend rethinking your methods and finding a better solution.

Ask yourself - do you want to risk your website's search engine rankings just to get more content on your website? Wouldn't that be defeating the purpose of grabbing the content from other webpages in the first place?

The solution is simple:

  1. Research the topics you're passionate about
  2. Write and publish unique, timely content for your website
  3. Repeat!

Do this and you're set. Your website's visitors, search engines and the Internet will thank you!