Mountain View, California–Matt Cutts, the distinguished engineer at Google charged with fighting webspam recently explained in a Webmaster Help video that there is a fine line between original content and so-called “stitching” content.
In the video, Cutts answered the question, “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)?”
Cutts says that “wholesale copying” parts of articles from sites and then stitching content together to create a new article does not provide enough added value to the internet. Cutts insinuated that such content production will negatively impact a site’s SEO and runs the risk of incurring a penalty.
Stitching Content Bad SEO
Cutts stated that stitching content was a bane of Yahoo and that as far as Google is concerned, such practices don’t offer any added value. He goes on to give an example of television viewership in which he explains that people don’t tune in to watch a show that just takes clips from other television shows, and internet users prefer not to see a hodgepodge of sentences.
Cutts states that some sites do republish bits of information, like Wikipedia, but that is surrounded by high value, original content. The bits are merely there to support the topic and give the reader more insight into the entry, but serve as just references.
Different Question, Same Answer
The bottom line is search engines are in the business of promoting the most relevant, highest quality content for user queries. Content remains the most valuable and powerful aspect of SEO and should be taken seriously. Cutts’ opens his answer to the question with, “I fear you may be heading for heartbreak,” which in itself, is very telling.