Matt Cutts: Don’t Stitch Copied Content from Multiple Sites

While many marketers and site owners understand the importance of quality, original content in their marketing plans, there are still those who are testing the boundaries of what that actually means. In a recent Google Webmaster Help video, Matt Cutts talked about the line between spam content and original content, once again.

The question was: Can you copy small portions of content from multiple websites and combine it to create one new web page, and compete in Google with that?

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“I fear you may be heading for heartbreak,” Cutts replied in the video. He added that if this is something you’re considering, you should really be asking yourself why you’re doing it in the first place. For example, are you trying to automate?

Cutts began explaining the practice in question by talking about Yahoo’s distaste for it in days past. Yahoo referred to this tactic as “stitching” and “they really considered that spam,” said Cutts.

But does Google say it’s spam? “If all you’re doing is taking quotes from everyone else, that’s probably not a lot of added value,” he said.

He did give an instance of where multiple resources with bits of information work well in an article, citing Wikipedia as an example. In Wikipedia, several resources come together as citations to support the main topic, but do so in a way that reports on and summarizes the information to create a new, unique web page on the matter. 

While many may be fuzzy on what original quality content is, when in doubt, know that any time you’re cutting corners in your content, you’re likely not producing the best content you can for that website.

About the author

Jessica Lee is a marketer specializing in web content strategy and B2B/B2C writing. Since 2005, Jessica has been in the business of content and communications, with the past several years focused on the web marketing space.

Prior to launching her consulting business, bizbuzzcontent, Jessica was responsible for content strategy, development and marketing for Bruce Clay Inc. – a global SEO firm, where she served small businesses and Fortune 500 clients. Jessica's background also includes positions in traditional marketing, communications, broadcasting and publishing.

Jessica has a bachelor's in communications and public relations from San Diego State University. She also contributed to the book “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies” 2nd edition.