Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, recently covered the topic of stitched content. Stitched content is where you copy snippets from multiple articles or sources, make one article from the snippets and call it your own. One of the things I really like to hammer home is to focus on writing original, quality content. On the surface stitched content seems like it’s original content, but not so fast.
Google has a pinpoint focus on making sure the sites in their index provide value to Google users. According to Matt, an article created with stitched content does not provide that value. It makes sense too. I know I wouldn’t find much value in an article that contains five snippets from other sites as the author tries to pass it off as their own original article.
Now some sites like Wikipedia can get away with it because they are creating significant value for their users. Generally Wikipedia takes complicated topics and condenses everything into a tight knit (no pun intended) article. This is a bit different because Wikipedia’s goal isn’t to automate their content creation to try and rank higher organically.
When it comes to tactics like stitched content, I would always first look at what the intent is. Is it just automating and making content faster so a site can rank higher? When in doubt on how to create content for a site, don’t take short cuts. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. I would always recommend that you write one quality article each week instead of 5 substandard articles. In the long run your readers and visitors will appreciate it, and you will reap those gains.