Matt Cutts: Not A Good Practice To Create Articles By Combining Content From Other Sites

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Matt Cutts: Not A Good Practice To Create Articles By Combining Content From Other Sites

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, answers a question about content in his latest video where a user writes in to ask:

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 all, considering I will mention the source of that content (by giving their urls in the article)?

Matt is fairly straightforward in his answer by saying this is not a good practice. Yahoo especially used to really hate this technique and coined a phrase for it, calling it “stitching.”

Stitching is taking various sentences from different websites and combining it all into one article that essentially includes none of your own unique content.

Yahoo considered that technique spam, and after listening to Matt’s answer in this video Google doesn’t seem to think too highly of it either.

There’s not a lot of added value in doing this, Matt says. He suggests taking a step back and asking yourself why you’re doing it in the first place. Matt compares it to watching a clip show on TV; people would much rather watch original content.

Matt says it is possible to pull content from different sources to create a good article, giving Wikipedia as an example of a site that does it well. Wikipedia does a great job at this because the rewrite a lot of the content rather than just copy and pasting sections from different websites.

Creating articles by stitching content together is a high risk practice, and Matt encourages content creators to avoid doing it.

You can hear Matt’s full response in the video below:

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
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  • James Halloran

    Isn’t this kind of a no-brainer? As long as you don’t plagiarize, scrape or stitch from other sites, you should be okay. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a Web site? If you can’t provide your own thoughts, you don’t deserve to rank.

  • Souvik mallick

    Isn’t it obvious that it would be treated as duplicate content and is not good for the site itself. Content has always been the king and will be.

  • Wesley

    Fresh content has always been King. I like the way Matt Cutts uses the word ‘synthesise’ content. Wikipedia is an amazing example of pulling in content from all over the web, but rewording it to make it more cohesive. I think for quite a lot of people, it is quantity over quality of content that takes over. Wise words.