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I need to create about 15,000 articles consisting of 300 words each. The content is for a so called location template (place in the world). For each location, I would like to have some generic content regarding the location.

I've got about 81 original sentences (written by me) that I would like to use to spin content and create 15,000 (sort of) original articles. Of course, everyone knows that it's near to impossible to create 15,000 original articles from 81 sentences.

The big questions: how important is it that your articles all be original for Google SEO? Is it a big problem if some articles have duplicate content? And what about the use of synonyms? Would you get penalized for spinning your own content and trying to make your content more original? And what about keeping in mind 'page objective'? Sure Google understands that some pages are not meant to be read but that the process of taking action is more important that the written content itself?

Of course, if someone has any tips of how I could create 15,000 original articles (except by method of handwriting), please let me know.

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    if you're more worried about SEO than about what to put on your website, do not make a website. – Eevee Dec 22 '19 at 10:45
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    What exactly are you trying to achieve? Whoul would be interested in visiting a website full of randomly generated articles? – Tomáš Zato - Reinstate Monica Dec 23 '19 at 10:34
  • Well the main objective is to attract customers and hope they make a purchase. The goal of the page is not to read the content per se. In fact, most customers landing on the page, I would expect that they would arrive to make a purchase. After thinking a while, I think it's fair to say that there's no way to spin 15,000 300 word articles trying to fool search engines that your content is original on each page. I'm considering not spinning at all and just have static content on all the pages. In the mean time, I pay writers to create real relevant content while the business grows. – Mike. D Dec 23 '19 at 20:02
  • Are you sure you wouldn't rather have a table of facts instead of a 300-word article? You can make 15,000 distinct and useful tables quite easily. You could also write basically-tabular content into paragraphs ("The capital of $COUNTRY is $TOWN. It has a population of $POP.") and still get vaguely useful pages, even if they all read very similarly. – interfect Dec 23 '19 at 23:31
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It is critical! If it's not unique in some way you become another of the useless, pointless, needless web sites that are among the millions thinking they can make money repeating what others do but, instead, should be thrown on a dung heap and make me think the internet needs to be regulated to prevent such sites from existing.

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    Unfortunately, they don't just think they can make money this way, they DO make money this way. Scraper sites (content aggregators is the polite but inaccurate name) may come and go, but behind the scenes, the same people have already collected their profits and started the next crappy site farm with the next SEO algorithm by the time Google reacts. – barbecue Dec 22 '19 at 1:39
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Let's be upfront about this. This is blackhat.

The very concept you are pursuing is what I call "city-state spamming". That is, creating "content" (to use the term loosely) for every possible of something -- localities, postal codes, area codes/prefixes, ports, iPhone apps, you name it.

You have no interest in generating bona-fide original content for each locality, genuinely aimed to help users. You don't even care if the user reads your stuff; your payload is adverts, a sales funnel, or a flat-out redirect to something you can monetize.

This is textbook blackhat.

The trick with synonyms and sentence rotation is something I've been seeing for at least 12 years. It's not new or original, just an obvious approach a blackhat takes when approaching the problem of mass producing "content". There are a variety of ways that search engines can detect this.

If someone is paying you to do this, get the money up front :) It's not going to work out for them :)

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You need original content for each page of your site. Even 300 words sounds a light to describe places in the world. There are entire guidebooks written about different places in the world.

Furthermore, your original content can't be re-used, warmed-over, or spun. Google considers machine generated content to be very low quality. Using machine generated content is viewed as a "black hat" or forbidden SEO technique. See Article Spinning - What Bad SEO Looks Like.

The best way to create massive amounts of original content is to ask your users to create it for you. User generated content (UGC) is the backbone of huge database driven sites that wouldn't appear in search engines without unique original content.

You can solicit content in the forms of:

  • Comments
  • Discussions
  • Reviews
  • Wikis
  • Q and A

Then your job becomes one of a moderator. You need to figure out how to highlight the best content, bury the inane content, and delete the spam.

There is also a chicken and egg problem. You can't appear in search engines without original content. It is hard to get users to write content for you unless they can find you in search engines. You'll certainly need to seed your site with content you write yourself. You'll probably want to prevent indexing of pages that don't have original content until you get it. You'll need to figure out how to entice users to post in locations where there is no content yet so that those locations can get indexed.

Another way to seed content onto your site is syndication. Republish content (with permission) that is already published somewhere else. Duplicate syndicated content isn't good for SEO, but it can be good for users. You won't be able to attract users from search engines with it, but you may be able to use it to start discussions and get your own content collection off the ground.

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    +1 for making good use of the crowd to create actual content. That is basically how 800notes.com started with a model that would've been pure city-state spam, and instead created an oughta-be-#1 public resource. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Dec 21 '19 at 23:01
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Your questions as I understand them:

  1. Is duplicate content a problem? This has been extensively discussed by Google (going back to 2008). Here is a quote from Susan Moska from the Google Webmaster blog: "Let’s put this to bed once and for all, folks: There’s no such thing as a “duplicate content penalty.” At least, not in the way most people mean when they say that." Here is the link: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2008/09/demystifying-duplicate-content-penalty.html?m=1

If you are concerned that this information is outdated, here is a more recent article from SearchEngineLand that discusses this very issue (the conclusion is the same as above, I am linking it in case you want to read further): https://searchengineland.com/myth-duplicate-content-penalty-259657

  1. How unique does content have to be? This is difficult to answer. Fundamentally, remember that Google strives to add value to users. As long as "you are helping someone answer a question" you are ok. A good way of thinking about this is Rand Fiskin's concept of Pogo Sticking (worth googling if you aren't already familiar with it). Assuming you are already familiar with his work on this topic, you can use this concept to sanity check your content "will a user pogo stick if they click on this?" As long as the answer is "no", then you are satisfying the first criteria of helping a user answer a question.

To look at this from a different angle, you can look at automated content generator tools (contracts for these are typically in the tens of thousands of dollars) like Quill (used by Forbes), and Wordsmith (used by the Associated Press). These tools help these news outlets generate thousands of articles on things like quarterly reports and minor league baseball commentary automatically.

Relevant to your situation, an aspect of Wordsmith is its use of if/then statements to programmatically create content as dictated by the state of different variables.

Here is an article from Search Engine Journal that explores this from back in 2018: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ai-vs-human-seo-content/268629/

Tldr:

  1. duplicate content will not penalise you. This is a widely perpetuated myth (much like eating carrots will improve your eyesight).

  2. Are your articles answering a question? If yes, then they should exist.

Finally, there's a lot of commentary in the answers to your question on creating unique content. I think it is useful to remember, there are many pieces of content that are not unique in nature, and are very easy to generate programmatically, that are very useful to users. Examples include: summaries of quarterly financial performance, opening hours, distances to major landmarks and tourist attractions, products and brands sold by a given store location, conditions treated by a given doctor's practice, and so on.

I hope that this helps.

**Sorry for formatting. On mobile.

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    "duplicate content will not penalize you": If Google detects two pages are nearly identical, it will choose not to index one of them. That is a clear URL level penalty to me, especially if it is your page that is not chosen for indexing when your competitors page is chosen. Duplicate content only causes site wide penalties in the very egregious content scraping cases. See What is duplicate content and how can I avoid being penalized for it on my site? – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 22 '19 at 20:24
  • @StephenOstermiller What does anyone gain by having duplicate pages indexed, instead of just directing everyone to one of those pages? – user253751 Dec 23 '19 at 12:39
  • Spun content and indeed machine generated content can easily be sniffed out using linguistic semantics. These pages are discounted in search in favor of naturally curated content. Almost all of search spam is machine content, spun content, or just plain stolen. These sites are quickly hit in the algos. Google sees original content as better user experience which is good for google. Junk sites must create many millions of pages to make pennies in advertising. While quality sites can see double-digit dollars on just a few pages. – closetnoc Dec 23 '19 at 23:29
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Not so many years ago, I would have given answers like the ones that you have already gotten. They are true, correct, valid and proper answers.

But in the last few years I have seen spintax content rank.

A word of warning: The SEO practitioner I know that has done it, has told me that the latest Google algorithm has made it very hard for him to rank (but I think that was due to his use of tiered link building and private blog networks, more than the content).

Since you're asking about black hat SEO techniques, it might serve you well to research this subject on Black Hat SEO forums...

I'm not advocating this, it still astounds me that such crappy content can rank and that users don't bounce as soon as they come across it...but apparently people don't read, they skim and/or they assume the company simply outsourced content to people that don't speak English very well.

I have seen it work but this is the wrong place to get information on how to do it.

If you choose to go that route, keep in mind that competitors might report you to Google for manual review so any pages that start to get much traffic should be reviewed and edited/updated manually.

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  • Guessing why a blackhat isn't ranked is an exercise in futility. The ones I deal with fixate on a conspiracy theory about reason X, but are completely oblivious to reasons Y, Z, A, B, C, D, and E. They just presume "but I can't avoid doing all those, therefore Google doesn't see me"! Uh huh. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Dec 21 '19 at 22:31
  • Even if sites are getting spun content to rank today, it isn't a technique that I would recommend. Google has clearly stated they don't want spun content in their index. I would expect sites that are doing well with that now not to be around once Google catches on and updates its algorithms. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 22 '19 at 20:21

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