Adding fresh content to your website is one of the most recommended ways to achieve higher rankings on search engines. It is little wonder then content farming is a big business, even though the companies in the business of content farming are not much appreciated. One reason for this is the questionable quality of web content produced by writers for improving search engine rankings, which has led Google to crack down on such farms.
However, people are now finding content from perhaps even more controversial source and that is the computers themselves.
A report published in The New York Times points to a growing number of publishers who are now using technologies and not professional copywriters to produce content: According to the report, “[Narrative Science’s] software takes data, like that from sports statistics, company financial reports and housing starts and sales, and turns it into articles. For years, programmers have experimented with software that wrote such articles, typically for sports events, but these efforts had a formulaic, fill-in-the-blank style. They read as if a machine wrote them.”
Most of the articles produced by the computers are simple in that they take data and put it in a format that is easy, though not engaging, to read. Over time, we may see more sophisticated attempts to improve the quality of these articles; as of now, they take data present on the computer and turn it into human-readable form.
Coming back to content farming, the companies producing such content often rely on authors who usually do not have the expertise to do justice to the subject. As a result, readers lured into reading these articles end up disappointed because they are little more than fodder meant for the search engines.
Which then leads to the question: Is computer generated content better than content-farmed content? Going by the above, there is a good argument in favour of both.
It goes without saying that SEO is the main motivator for both content farming and computer-generated content – the former uses humans, though may be not experts, to write the articles, while the latter takes raw data and turns it into human-readable form.
Computer generated content is of great value to the readers who would otherwise have to decipher data on their own. Content farmed content, on the other hand, is of great use to the publisher, if not the reader, and in current incarnation, may have limited longevity. Even though it may help a site achieve higher rankings in search engines, but may or may not achieve higher conversions.
With this said, ultimately a professional SEO copywriter, who is an expert in the required field, can do more justice to a subject – that is produce an article which is informative, engaging, relevant and leads to conversions and at the same time keeps the search engines happy.