I have to admit that I’ve always found the concept of the autoblog to be really slimy. In essence, an autoblog takes content from blogs all over the web and dumps it into a central blog. This way, you get a regularly updated blog with no effort whatsoever from you. The catch of course has always been the duplicate content issue. Now, the question is, did Panda further kill the autoblog? In some ways, yes; in other ways, no. Here’s what you need to know:
The Copyright Issue
Before I continue to discuss autoblogs, I want to make clear I don’t support the whole idea of autoblogs. Not only do such things clog the Internet with worthless junk, but they also steal content that someone else spent a lot of time and effort to write. I regularly file reports of violations to Google and web hosts when I find people who have stolen my content (this seems to happen with alarming regularity – I guess my stuff is popular).
Autoblogs Were Dying Before Panda
As anyone who knows anything about SEO is aware, duplicate content is a serious problem in this business and one that will kill your rankings faster than almost anything else. If you have a blog which is made up entirely of duplicate content, you will find many of your pages aren’t indexed at all and those that are indexed often have very low rankings. This is as it should be for lazy people who steal work from others.
What Panda Was Supposed to Do
Now, when Panda came out, it did something which further helped to put autoblogs in the grave. Panda is about quality and autoblogs largely have very poor quality content. That’s because the better blogs will take steps to protect their content and so the autoblogs often pull junk from poorly written blogs.
They also don’t have the sophistication of Google’s algorithm to be able to find the content which is really relevant as opposed to the stuff which just happens to have a couple of keywords in it (for example, if I were to put in New York Real Estate in this blog post, an autoblog might well pick this post up and place it into a real estate blog even though this post has nothing to do with that subject).
The result has been that autoblogs, which were already having trouble with rankings have been dropping ever lower in the SERPs, thus causing them to largely crash and burn.
How Autoblogs Can Survive
Now, as I said, I’m generally against autoblogging. However, what I’m going to suggest could be just fine and could potentially let your autoblog survive in a Panda age, though it won’t be as hands off as it used to be.
In essence, what you can do is to set your autoblog only to pull content from specific sites which you know have quality content (again, check with the site owners if they want you to do this – I hate content thieves). Then, you’ll have to manually check to make sure that the content being pulled is actually appropriate. Plus, you’ll have to manually make changes to the content so that you don’t cross Google’s duplicate filters.
The days of easy money from autoblogs are largely gone. However, it is still possible to make money from them if you are willing to put in a little more work.