Ending up on the Google naughty step isn’t that difficult these days – but Matt Cutts has recently issued yet another warning surrounding auto-generated content. Auto-generated content is defined by Google as being any content that is generated through automated processes. This includes content scraped from RSS or Atom Feeds combining content from a variety of web pages to create poor low quality content, or copy that is translated by an automated tool without any human input. This is managed by translating content into a different language, before translating back to the original, changing it sufficiently to avoid plagiarism. AKA article spinning.

Another trick has been to use auto-blogging software, which uses scraped content to generate blog posts – often used to create ad-sense revenue. Obviously, these create poor quality low value goobledy-gook – not a great strategy for anyone, so it’s a good thing.

In other news, a not-so good thing Google have done is to replace the Adwords keyword tool with the new keyword planner. Sentiments surrounding the change amongst the SEO community have not, so far, been positive. Users are complaining of it being difficult to use, the annoyance of having to log in to an Adwords account to access the tool, only receiving data for exact match keywords, and the demise of helpful information such as device specific and local versus global search results. However, new features include the ability to analyse city specific search volume information and categorisation tools. This may turn out to be better for targeted audiences, so as always, give it time and we may learn to love it after all.