What is Considered Original Content in the Eyes of Google?

By: Daniel Imbellino
Updated Jan 14, 2013

Scenario, you wrote a new article for your site, in your own words, image of human eye with binary symbols so it must be original content right? Not exactly! What you consider to be original content may not be what search engines like Google also consider to be of an original nature. Google differentiates between content that is original and regurgitated using a whole slew of algorithms and techniques that are geared towards defining what content is valuable to users and what is not. They do this by analyzing content for similarities, and the system works well!

While you may have penned your work in your own words, just because you wrote about a given topic doesn’t mean you’ve added any valuable information to your content that sets it apart from everyone else. Its value added information that Google and the other search giants are actively looking for, and if your article presents the same or widely similar ideas as many other articles on the net, you won’t score any brownie points in search results. For instance, if you wrote an article about on page SEO that just spells out the same tactics as every other article encompassing the same subject, then why should Google give you any special treatment? After all, you’ve effectively added no new valuable information for users to build upon.

Besides actively looking for similarities and dissimilarities between content, Google uses many other tactics to gauge the value of our content to users. Social signals are beyond important today. If people like your stuff they will +1 it, share it, and comment on it, on a wide scale, and Google looks at social engagement very closely these days to help them determine what people think of you and your content. Original, ground breaking, and value-added information is often engaged on a high level within social networks, which effectively sends signals to Google giving them reason to believe that particular content is worthy of being placed in their search results. So the question is, is the content you are writing about returning new and useful information to users, or is it just the same old thing being spun around for the thousandth time? I’ve probably spotted more than a hundred articles on Google+ alone that are nothing but the same ideas, principals, and information that was simply reworded to make it look original.

Research Drives Innovation and Originality on the Web:

In the real world there’s a huge difference between working in a field, and being an innovator in a field! Research is what drives technology today, it is the back bone of innovation in information technology, and the more research you do, the more problems you can solve, and the more valuable and original content you can produce for users as a result. If you want to produce content online that is useful to users and smells good to search engines sniff tests, then research should be a major part of your content strategy. Virtually everything I write for instance is based on some form of research I conducted on a given topic. It’s what drives my sites today, and without it I would be lost with everyone else.

Performing research related to your work is not always an easy task I must admit, but the benefits make all that analytical problem solving worth the effort. I sometimes spend days or even weeks working on a single web design tutorial, and some of them score spot number one on Google today, and not without cause. I take what I already know to the next level. How can you take something that already exists and make it better? That’s a question all content creators should be asking themselves.

Many have been given the perception that unoriginal content only pertains to scraped content on the web that many publish to their sites as if it were their own. This simply isn’t the case however, and if you are just producing content for no purpose other than to make money from your site, or accelerate your business online, then you are truly lost because you’ve forgotten about the users, which are the one’s you should be creating content for. One good content creation strategy is to conduct a number of hours of research per week on the current topics you are writing about. In the end your research not only helps those who follow your content, but its helps to make your job as an IT professional a lot easier since you understand the technologies related to the web on a higher level than someone else who has not invested the amount of time in researching the topics you did. There are two different types of content creators in this world, the true ground breaking innovators, and the regurgitators, which would you choose to be?


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