CLARIFICATION: Duplicate content, Domain Sandboxing, Footprints, and the resulting Google Slaps

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Google isn’t interested in penalizing webmasters, instead, they are interested in providing useful results for their users. When you put auto blogging into perspective, you have to ask “do Google searchers want to find Autoblog content in their search results?” I think that the answer to that question is generally “no.” The exception might be when the auto-generated content is put together in a way that it is truly useful to searchers.

The point I’m trying to make is that auto-generated content is not always useless, but the way auto-blogging is typically done is both self-serving and useless to users. If you devise a system that truly offers a benefit to users then I think you should expect that type of content to perform well in the search engines.

Now to your questions, you ask common questions that are frequently asked and answered almost daily on this forum. The answers come from different viewpoints, some credible and some not. I believe we can break down the answers into three groups:

  • Answers from people who have researched or tested to find reasonably accurate answers, often citing credible sources for their conclusions.
  • Answers from people who tend to regurgitate things they have read or heard, but never challenged the accuracy or credibility of sources, or they just made up something that sounds plausible.
  • Answers from people who have no idea, they are just saying something to be part of the conversation or to get their post count up, or get their signature link in the thread (spammers).

I think the reason we are seeing the same questions asked over and over are in part due to spammers just copying and pasting common questions to get their profiles indexed. And then there are those that are truly seeking answers, yet they don’t know how to discern credibility or they were too lazy to search for the answers which have already been repeated in dozens of threads. And finally, there are those that are looking for a consensus or who aren’t happy with the correct answer and insist on asking the question over and over until they get the answer they wanted.

Which type of questioner are you? :confused:

Here are my answers which you will find repeated over and over on similar threads where I cite credible sources that collaborate the answers:

  • There is no Duplicate Content Penalty
  • The mythical Google Sandbox for SEO is a figment of imagination
  • A Footprint is any pattern that is repeated. Typically used to find content generated from a common source, tool or method.

The interesting thing about footprints is there is no reason to fear them unless you are doing something unscrupulous and hoping to avoid detection. The paradox of this approach is that the whole point of SEO is to achieve maximum exposure. “Maximum exposure without detection” is a silly, oxymoronic notion in my opinion.

Google engineer Matt Cutts has stated “the Google Sandbox doesn’t exist”, however, there is a part of their organic algorithm that some webmasters “perceive” as a “sandbox effect”. It’s a problem of perception, not reality.

Most webmasters “perceive” the so-called “sandbox effect” after they see the temporary boost from QDF wear off of their newly indexed web pages. QDF applies to individual pages, not websites, its a temporary boost awarded to fresh content for the benefit of users, not a penalty to a website as it is typically perceived by webmasters.

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