Scraping Content

There are times when shortcuts make sense. Content creation is not one of those times. You absolutely, positively never want to scrape content from another website in order to try to bulk it up.

The process of “scraping content” has been outdated for some time. The idea is this: take content that someone else created and put it on your website. It actually used to work way back when, but today it’s a big no-no.

According to Google:

Some webmasters use content taken (“scraped”) from other, more reputable sites on the assumption that increasing the volume of pages on their site is a good long-term strategy regardless of the relevance or uniqueness of that content. Purely scraped content, even from high-quality sources, may not provide any added value to your users without additional useful services or content provided by your site; it may also constitute copyright infringement in some cases. It’s worthwhile to take the time to create original content that sets your site apart. This will keep your visitors coming back and will provide more useful results for users searching on Google.

Syndicating content can occasionally have benefits. When you grab content off of a feed and use it as a value-add to your pages that already have their own unique content, this is acceptable. It’s not ideal, but it can help to give your visitors something that can benefit them. As long as it’s tempered with unique content as well, there’s nothing wrong with this. There are very few circumstances when it can be effective for car dealers, but they do exist.

Customer reviews, for example, are an acceptable form of content syndication that has benefits. If you have a feed from Dealer Rater or even a widget, this can give your visitors an opportunity to see how you’re treating your customers with hopes that they will receive the same treatment.

Other types of content scraping, the types that are intended to boost your search rankings, no longer work. In fact, since the Google Panda update of 2011, scraped content can actually hurt your search rankings. Avoid it like the plague.