Matt Cutts Talks Content Stitching In New Video

    December 4, 2013
    Chris Crum
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Google has a new Webmaster Help video out about content that takes text from other sources. Specifically, Matt Cutts responds to this question:

Hi Matt, can a site still do well in Google if I copy only a small portion of content from different websites and create my own article by combining it all, considering I will mention the source of that content (by giving their URLs in the article)?

“Yahoo especially used to really hate this particular technique,” says Cutts. “They called it ‘stitching’. If it was like two or three sentences from one article, and two or three sentences from another article, and two or three sentences from another article, they really considered that spam. If all you’re doing is just taking quotes from everybody else, that’s probably not a lot of added value. So I would really ask yourself: are you doing this automatically? Why are you doing this? Why? People don’t just like to watch a clip show on TV. They like to see original content.”

I don’t know. SportsCenter is pretty popular, and I don’t think it’s entirely for all the glowing commentary. It’s also interesting that he’s talking about this from Yahoo’s perspective.

“They don’t just want to see an excerpt and one line, and then an excerpt and one line, and that sort of thing,” Cutts continues. “Now it is possible to pull together a lot of different sources, and generate something really nice, but you’re usually synthesizing. For example, Wikipedia will have stuff that’s notable about a particular topic, and they’ll have their sources noted, and they cite all of their sources there, and they synthesize a little bit, you know. It’s not like they’re just copying the text, but they’re sort of summarizing or presenting as neutral of a case as they can. That’s something that a lot of people really enjoy, and if that’s the sort of thing that you’re talking about, that would probably be fine, but if you’re just wholesale copying sections from individual articles, that’s probably going to be a higher risk area, and I might encourage you to avoid that if you can.”

If you’re creating good content that serves a valid purpose for your users, my guess is that you’ll be fine, but you know Google hates anything automated when it comes to content.

  • http://www.aditmicrosys.com/ Hemang Shah

    This thing is absolutely right thanks for sharing this article.. Well I understand whole the things and concept is simple “Content is king in SEO”.

  • https://plus.google.com/110826622201196466178/posts Nick Stamoulis

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with pulling in multiple sources to build your content from, but you can’t call it your own. Wikipedia articles cite every single source they use, and oftentimes it’s not just a direct quote after direct quote. You still need to tell a story.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      I think it’s probably mostly just common sense.

  • PenguinPoo

    Good content certainly does not secure good ranking. Nothing secures good ranking anymore. Unfathomable is the new word related to googles algo. If they want you down, your down. Just accept it.

  • https://plus.google.com/+JigarGondalia Jigar Gondalia

    I think when i started learning seo then i read first line for content that “Content is King” and it is. Still the value of the content is there in SEO. Google is trying to give best to their visitors and they are making sense. Where they smell a good content they give priority to them. Copying content from here and there will not solve the problem of good ranking.

  • https://plus.google.com/+Solwininfotech/posts Sanjay

    That’s fine if we copied someone’s content and mentioned them as a resource from but what if somebody use most of our contents without our permission and not mentioned us as resource? There might be something for this type of issues in Webmaster Tools. what says???

  • http://www.kjohnsonnz.blogspot.com Keith Johnson

    There is another side to this issue. We should be fearful about the threat to free expression on the Internet from Business Establishment and Old Media [especially newspaper] interests. Here in New Zealand there are already serious attempts by these entrenched interests to characterize all Internet publications by individuals as inherently trivial and unreliable – and therefore open to centralized control. Kindly bear in mind that the free expression that we have been given is an enormous privilege that we need, as far as possible, to safeguard it by providing original and creative content presented with integrity.