WidgetBaiting Free Automated Content Generation Software

Apr 14th

If you are worried about people giving you "crap" for your recent posts, you might want to "stiffen" your back a bit and write what EVER you feel is RIGHT.

Else, you're just a non-payed Google employee.

That is part of a recent email feedback I got from a person after I told them I was going to lay low on mentioning aggressive SEO software for a bit.

Mentioning that blogspam script a while ago got me a few hate comments, but I knew that was expected (although I think some of the haters may have been a bit hypocritical, but that is for another day).

It seems as though the script is no longer offered for sale. Most likely some bloggers saw it and complained to 2Checkout or his host. I can't fault them and I was fairly certain that would be an eventaul side effect of me mentioning it. But he probably sold a few more when I did mention it.

I have not much used any software that:

  • blog spams -or-

  • creates automated content -or-
  • cloaks

I don't necissarily think that one needs to use many automated tools to do well. I do well enough with this site without using any of those tools, but it does not mean someone is a bad person if they use a tool which may not comply with the search engine's TOS. Search engines do not always comply with publisher's TOS, either.

With all that being said, I do realize that if search engines no longer appreciated my site, if they chose to remove it from their index, that could likely eventually have a long lasting effect on my livelihood, or at least until I created other revenue streams.

There are large groups of people who move from business to business and person to person claiming how unethical they are and how right they are when a site eventually get penalized by Google. Now sometimes these people are right, and other times they rely on Google to tell them what is good and bad, right and wrong.

There is a ton of fraud on the web. It is a rather tiring experience trying to create a helful business model that is both honest and profitable while not spreading yourself too thin. I probably could have took on a half dozen clients today, but that would have made little sense. And my blog software was down a large part of the day :(

I think the web as a whole would do far better if on average we each looked for ways to do better ourselves than to point at the flaws with others. It is human nature to say that others are cheating if they are doing better than you or I. Controvercy also builds linkage data and attention, which is a must for blogs.

Now granted the fact that I have this blog makes me a bit of a pundit of sorts, but the point of this post is that generally the biggest gains are in improving our own sites, offerings, and marketing methods rather than wasting efforts on thinking about how unfair or unethical some idea may be.

When you were doing exceptionally bad and go to doing rather well in a short period of time it is easy to take it for granted. I do realize that some people expect certain things from me and from time to time my ideas or links or words will disappoint a few people.

My buddy Jason Duke recently created Widget Baiting, which is a free tool that can be used to mix content.

The tool can generate near matches of a seed article, allowing you to:

  • set article length

  • recreate at random or using Markov chains
  • set the change percentage
  • quickly change various words
  • quickly regenerate up to 100 mutations of any article
  • regenerate future generations from those articles

Two things that would really improve this tool would be to let people change conceptual word groups and to allow people to move the location of a word or wordset within a sentence.

This tool is most likely used for spamming purposes and could probably do well when combined with things like Yahoo!'s autolinker, but is not something I would recommend using on sites that you had long term goals with.

Having said that, this tool can also be used by professional SEOs to create similar mutations of pages to understand how conceptually related pages can be before they are hit by duplicate content filters and how some various search technologies may work.

Published: April 14, 2005

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Comments

April 14, 2005 - 1:09pm

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for the blog entry on the tool.

[quote]
Two things that would really improve this tool would be to let people change conceptual word groups and to allow people to move the location of a word or wordset within a sentence
[/quote]

That's a damn fine idea and I'll see what can be done about that. Thanks for the suggestion :)

I agree that the auto generation of content is not something that you would want to use on a long standing, high ranking quality web site. But the Evolve function may be something to think about in trying to de duplicate content that you use elsewhere. You don't want to be hit for duplicate content when it's yours to start with although you don't want to lose the meaning of that text either.

Using the Evolve functionality you have the ability to make a choice as a person.

If (and it is an if) you wanted to create lots of lower quality content then the 2 options available give that too.

Mr. Andrei Markov was a very very clever man indeed and defined an algorithm based on [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markov_chain]chainsets[/url]

The principle behind these it to look for normality in anything, define a ruleset (chainset) and use those rules to produce normality. We use it on bits of text, but it can (and I believe is) used on link patterns etc.

The quality will go down as we, as humans, are cleverer than computers and can pick up subtle nuances but the output can be pretty good.

Check out [url=http://www.strangelogic.co.uk/romeo.out]this text[/url] based on the Romeo and Juliet play. It definately has the feel of William Shakespeare to it but doesn't "quite" make sense.

The alternative is an automated version of the Evolve function. Instead of you, a person, making the choices of what words to change the computer does. Lower quality sure, higher quantity definately!

When all is said and done this is a tool, no more and no less. How you use it and for what intent you use it for is your decision.

Aaron is right though. It does seem to work well with some adverts on it and the spiders seem to like this kind of bait!

April 14, 2005 - 9:22pm

Aaron -

Saying that the only reason blog spamming is "unethical" is that Google says so, is a total cop out, imho.

You know, kidnapping babies and holding them hostage for ransom is only unethical because the US and local government says so, right? Why not get into that racket too.

(Just kidding about the above, but hopefully the point will not be lost on some.)

I should note... if you think blog comment spamming is "victimless" - go read all the threads about webhosts shutting down blogs because they are being overwhelmed by comment spam.

I think you're right to point out long-term vs. short-term goals. If you have only short-term goals, and you don't care about the karma of your actions, sure, spam the heck out of whoever.

You know what the real test should be:
Ask yourself - how will this effect my cosmic karma?

If the answer to using any potential SEO technique is "this will lower my cosmic karma in the universal sense of the word," and you care about your long-term success, then don't do it.

Kinda obvious, but maybe someone had to say it.

April 15, 2005 - 2:09am

Shanti -

It's lost on me. Spamming really is "unethical" only because Google says so. Ethics is a code of conduct that differentiates positive behavior from negative behavior based on how it will impact your fellow humans, environment, etc.

Spamming doesn't impact anyone negatively (neccessarily). Like all tactics involving marketing, it simply serves to push a product in front of more eyeballs. Ethics would only come into play when discussing the reasonings for the push, the scruples of the product, manufacturer, distributor, etc.

Spamming, in and of itself, is the same as website construction, or TV ad buying or a sign for a garage sale. It's a marketing tactic. The "ethics" are simply based on the medium's (in this case the search engines') designs - artificial medium created by artificial machines = artificial ethics.

Neilson
April 16, 2005 - 12:30am

>> Spamming really is "unethical" only because Google says so. Ethics is a code of conduct that differentiates positive behavior from negative behavior based on how it will impact your fellow humans, environment, etc.

I agree totally, like with the blog spam tool, just 'cause you're link dropping it doesn't mean you're spamming, if the link is on topic it can benefit the readers of the blog and heighten communities. Also, if a link is on topic, it highlights Googles core objection - to index the web.

Neilson

April 18, 2005 - 8:18pm

Yeah - just because you take a site offline because you're spamming it so hard, doesn't make it unethical. If you aren't aware of this phenomenon, do a few rudimentary Google searches.

It's obvious this blog is read by tons of black-hat SEO experts. Makes me feel kinda icky.

February 27, 2007 - 4:03am

I agree that a tool is a tool no matter how one puts it. It is the person using the tool who gets to decide wether the tool would be for good or for bad.

I have worked with a friend once to write a good article. We did some research and was able to get the thing done after a while. When she posted the article on her blog and did some submissions to popular bookmarking sites, they took her article because it had such good content.

At first, she was able to get a lot of links for her site. After a while though, (when her site gets past the hundreds mark for that article), google started on their dup content filter.

The result was that she did not even rank first for the keywords on her article even if she was the one who wrote it.

Was it any of the blogger's fault? I don't think so.

Ethics on the web is just getting a little to intangible. The line between what passes as acceptable and not thins by the minute. Is this something to worry about? I don't think so in the least.

I don't think web surfers are dumb. Eventually they will know what passes for good content and not. Spam may be here to stay. The best thing to do i guess is to not let G tell us which ones are important and not.

That is quite hard to do given that they monopolize the net at present. Still, I think that once we have quality content even google will follow suit.

Article bot has a lot of potential. Honestly, if those who would be blogging my articles will mix my story up and keep my link when they blog my post. I'd say thanks. What better compliment is there. If they come up with something better, that rocks more.

John
February 26, 2006 - 10:38pm

Is this site still working? I get page can not be displayed every time I got to it.

John

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