I've recently come across so many misconceived notions (and outright lies) about automated blogging that I thought it best to share my white hat perspective on the subject.
So, what is automated blogging?
Also known as automatic blogging, autoblogging, splogging and scraping; automated blogging is the process of using software to “scrape” content from other blog feeds and repost it automatically to your own blog.
Sellers of automated blogging software and plugins scream the praises of the magic ‘set it and forget it' phenomena — being able to set up a blog that self-generates content and requires no work, i.e. “If you can copy and paste, you can do this”. They claim that because Google loves regular infusions of content, your automated blog will get ranked high and you will make piles of money.
In other words, automated blogging software is the lazy blogger's dream tool.
Proponents will argue that autoblogging is valid because:
- Grabbing content from an independent blog owner is no different than re-posting an article from EzineArticles or other article directory.
- Republishing a blog's feed is entirely legitimate.
- It is a good SEO technique that brings HOARDS of traffic.
- “the whole point to syndication is the “fair exploitation” of information for the greater benefit of the reader without claiming ownership in exchange for being an authority and/or recompense oof some kind?!!”
- You can build a subscriber list.
- It makes money.
- The post benefits the original writer by linking back to the original post.
- Builds reputation as a ‘curator'.
All of the above statements / assumptions are SO very WRONG!
Here are 10 reasons why you should NEVER engage in autoblogging.
It's STEALING – Part 1
Reposting other bloggers' content without their permission is STEALING. If a blogger has a copyright notice posted on their blog, you may NOT simply copy their content. Read my DMCA notice for example.
No part of this website may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, or otherwise, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, or transmitted by e-mail, or used in any other fashion without the express prior written permission of the website owner.
That means NO One has permission to republish information from my site, feed or otherwise without my permission… and I DO give permission to those who request it… but certainly not to autobloggers.
BTW, I find it entirely laughable that certain ‘gurus' post the same copyright and DMCA notices on their autoblogs.
Autoblogging creates duplicate content
Read Matt Cutt's post about search engine spam which states “we’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content”.
It's STEALING – Part 2
When you create duplicate content you are STEALING from the original poster.
Here is a comment I received recently from Cynthia Carpenter, a REAL blogger, on the subject of duplicate content.
I've had my stuff stolen and republished that cost me points with Google and far too much time in rewriting because of it.
One article has been linked back several times but you couldn't organically search it for awhile, I assume this is because of the number of times it was re-published (ie stolen) and not credited.
It was originally made popular by Stumbleupon with over 4K hits and then dutifully stripped naked by thieves.
Although it seems like I have been somewhat forgiven for the sin's of others it still doesn't rank like it should.
You'd think this would have been a boon but it worked the opposite because the plagiarists claimed credit so I think I just got painted with the same brush and the ones that did credit me didn't count. (the circle of doom)
I too have had similar experiences, where the duplicate content has ranked higher than the original post.
I do NOT blame Google – I blame the thief.
Automated blogging is lousy SEO
Google's focus in 2010 / 2011 shifted to “content farms,” which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. In 2010, they launched two major algorithmic changes focused on low-quality sites (splogs, automated blogs) to reduce the likelihood they'd ever rank in the search engines.
It's STEALING – Part 3
I BUY stock photography from iStockphoto that is used in my posts. When autoblogging software uses that photo in their post, that webmaster is stealing from iStockPhoto and the original photographer.
For example, here is a screenshot of my High Comment Count = High Google Ranking post on Affaholic, which steals photos from me everytime I post. (They do NOT have my permission to repost my articles, BTW.)
You Won't Build a Brand or Reputation
Ultimately, your goal as an internet marketer is to build a brand name with a good reputation.
Autoblogging makes that impossible.
Without adding YOUR own thoughts and comments, you become just another ‘traffic redirector'. You have no authority. No credibility. No one will ever visit your site again unless by some fluke they find your site in the engines… which of course, is NOT likely to happen.
It's STEALING – Part 4
Reposting photos that link to the photo also steals BANDWIDTH from the original poster.
BANDWIDTH is money.
How do you feel when someone steals YOUR money?
Remember how Affaholic was stealing my photos?
Well here's my antidote. I just replace the photo that they stole with a notice…
Autoblogging will RUIN your Reputation
A so-called ‘internet guru' recently try to convince me that his autoblog (which stole content from my site) was in fact a ‘curation' blog.
This is a CURATION AUTOBLOG that gets content from other sources which allow content to be shared. That’s the whole purpose of content right, and why you’re also writing and optimizing them.
He obviously doesn't understand the term “curation”.
Imagine a museum piled high in archeological artifacts with no explanation.
Now enter the curator who categorizes, organizes and adds descriptions and now the presentation makes sense.
REAL curation involves adding your own thoughts and commentary to the original poster's article snippet.
Doing anything less is being a lazy spam blogger.
No traffic – No subscribers – No money
When you read between the lines of an automated blogging software seller's salespage, you'll discover that each blog may make $1 – $2 per month – most likely with Adsense. You'd therefore need 100's of these blogs to make a real income. If you use good hosting which costs $6.95 a month and an autoresponder service to build subscriber lists for each of these blogs, you'd be spending money.
Waste of Money
All of the reasons above should convince you that buying and using automated – scraper – autoblogging software is a complete WASTE of money and I'm quite sure that wasting money is NOT your ultimate goal for your internet marketing business.
Want to make money online over the long-term?
Don't be fooled by scammers' ‘easy, automated solutions'. There aren't any. You gotta do it right and ‘doing it right' means investing time and effort.
If you're willing to do that, I'm willing to teach you how it's worked for me over the past 15 years. And I didn't have to scam a single soul out of a single dollar in the process..