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I'm starting my own web design company, and I've partnered with a local business directory that needs a website redesign. The directory owner has connected with a guy who does SEO, and he's created a WordPress plugin that generates landing pages based on user inputs of content and cities.

So, for example, a plumber in the Oklahoma City area could have landing pages generated for the cities of OKC, Edmond, Moore, Norman, etc. The content on each page is broken into blocks that are human-written with 2-3 variations. As I understand it, the content is refreshed automatically after a period of time so that Google sees the page as fresh or updated.

I'm concerned that this automatic content regeneration could be something that Google red-flags in the future, if not now. At the end of the day, my client has built her business on integrity and authenticity, and my goal is to wield integrity myself to preserve her brand, including in Google's eyes.

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  • Sounds like you're concerned primarily about the automatic content refresh: What exactly does the plugin do to "refresh" the content? Is there anything in particular which has made you think it's a potential problem? – GDVS Oct 16 '20 at 11:54
  • My understanding is that the plugin accepts 2-3 chunks of text for the same paragraph/section on a page and switches them up at a regular interval. My concern is that Google would see the repetitive "updates" and might consider this a "fake update", either now or in the future. Does that make sense? – mrb Oct 19 '20 at 17:33
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I understand your concern. Presumably the automated refresh is intended to exploit the "freshness algorithm", so the plugin goes against the spirit and the letter of Google Webmaster Guidelines:

Basic principles


  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don't deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. […]

And more specifically:

Automatically generated content


[…] In cases where it is intended to manipulate search rankings and not help users, Google may take actions on such content.

Either way I suspect the risk of Google acting on this is quite low. Nevertheless, it may be the owner doesn't want to take that risk.

If they do, I suggest they insist the SEO consultant provides a risk assessment and mitigation plan. They should also agree who bears any potential costs (including losses) incurred as a result of action by Google.

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    That's what I suspected, but I appreciate someone way more informed than me weighing in. Thank you! – mrb Oct 21 '20 at 23:59

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