Top 5 Programmatic SEO Problems and How to Solve Them

Top 5 Programmatic SEO Problems and How to Solve Them

In this guide, we’ve identified the most common programmatic SEO problems you might encounter while implementing on your blog or niche site and how to solve them when they eventually appear.

And if you’re looking for a programmatic SEO software, SEOmatic is an option worth exploring. Simply signup for our free trial.


  • Common programmatic SEO problems include slow Google indexing, duplicate content, thin content, keyword cannibalization, and manual penalization.
  • To solve slow indexing, consider using Google's indexing API, manual indexation with Search Console, or a tool like Foudroyer.
  • Duplicate content can be avoided by using tools like SEOmatic or article spinners like Smodin.io.
  • Thin content should be avoided by creating comprehensive and valuable content pieces that provide new insights.
  • Keyword cannibalization can be prevented by choosing one variation of a keyword and focusing on that in your content.
  • Manual penalization can be avoided by prioritizing a human-first approach and creating content that answers readers' questions.
  • Programmatic SEO, when done right, aims to find easy-to-rank long-tail keywords and create well-optimized, helpful content.

Common Programmatic SEO Problems and How to Solve

1. Slow Google Indexing

Google indexation is a sign that Gooogle’s crawlers have visited your site. And your page will be served to readers on SERPS. But sometimes, that will take time to happen.

For sites that implement programmatic SEO, that could be down to one of these reasons:

  1. Low domain authority: Most brand-new sites have a < 30 DA score, and Google bots won't crawl it on time because they still need to trust the site.
  2. Many site URLs: Most programmatic SEO projects often give birth to 1,000 pages. The downside to that is that Google won’t be able to crawl all pages.
  3. Slow site speed: If your site takes a long to respond to requests, Google will reduce its crawling frequency on that site. But when's a site's load time considered to be slow?

According to Google, the ideal page load time is between 2 -3 seconds. Bounce rates are higher on sites that load slower. You must first identify page load time to optimize page load speed. And how do you do that?

Google provides a free tool called Page speed insights, which allows you to enter your site URL before conducting a comprehensive load speed analysis.

So, can you get Google to index your site faster? Yes! you can, and these are the 3 options we recommend:

  • Use Google’s indexing API - With the API integrated into your site, you can notify Google when a new page is published, and they will schedule time for a crawl. However, this option requires a lot of technical details, and it's most suitable for developers. This post from Backlinked simplifies the process.
  • Manual Indexation with Google’s Search Console requires submitting your URL manually and requesting Google to index it. While this will speed up indexing, you can’t do this if you have thousands of pages on your website.
  • Use Foudroyer- Foudroyer is a no-code page indexation software that uses Google indexing API to help you index pages on Google within 24 hours. What is the difference between the first option? Fundroyer takes the stress of coding off your shoulders. Making it the best choice for site owners with zero programming knowledge.

2. Duplicate content

If you have a location-based website that runs on Programmatic SEO, creating content around the best restaurants in 1000 cities in the Netherlands, for example, will generate over 100,000 pages.

The problem with that is there's likely to be a repetition in the texts generated. For Google to rank your page, content uniqueness is analyzed. Hence, the need to come up with different variances for each page you create around different keywords.

When you use a tool like SEOmatic, duplicate content when doing programmatic SEO are automatically handled. We use GPT-3/Open AI to rewrite sentences to avoid repetition. If your programmatic SEO tool lacks this feature, you run a risk of creating repeated content, which leads to penalization.

Another option outside SEOmatic is to use an article spinners like Smodin.io. It will help you rewrite and spin sentences to avoid duplicate content.

If you want to avoid the stress of doing so manually, you might want to take a shot at SEOmatic. Sign up for a free trial and generate thousands of unique pages in minutes.

3. Thin Content

Content pieces lacking depth and quality are often labeled "thin". But how do you know if your content is thin or not? The best way to know is to ask yourself this question:

“Does my content provide all the answers, or will the reader need to return to SERPS to find more answers?”

Thin content could be anything from duplicate content: content copied from another website and pasted into yours (hopefully, you never have to do that) or content that regurgitates existing info without providing new insights.

Google's August helpful content update means there's no way back for thin content. You have no choice but to create high-value content pieces, even with AI generators.

To avoid getting penalized for thin content, here are a couple of things to keep in mind when creating content:

  1. Go deep: Search engine crawlers are getting smarter, and if your content merely scratches the surface of a topic, it might be labelled "thin". The goal is to offer comprehensive info around keywords while offering new insights.
  2. Target one keyword per content- Ensure your pages target one unique keyword. It’s bad practice to create multiple content around one keyword (more on this shortly).
  3. Mismatched search intent: There are 4 types of search intent - Informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional. Find the one your keyword falls under and frame your content around it.
  4. Avoid keyword stuffing- Write for humans and not search engines. Mentioning your keyword a dozen times makes for a bad reading experience.

4. Keyword Cannibalization

Keyword Cannibalization is when you create multiple pages around one keyword.

For example, in the image below, “Search engine optimization” has up to 7 similar variations, and they all mean the same thing.


A good example of keyword cannibalization would be creating 7 separate content pieces around each keyword. In situations like this, choosing the variation with more search volume and less competition is best.

5. Manual Penalization

Manual penalization can cause a bad on-page experience for the reader. It could be anything from keyword stuffing, user-generated spam, thin content or unnatural links.

To avoid unnatural penalization and a Google penalty recovery process, you need to have a human-first approach. That means creating content to answer readers' questions instead of optimizing wholly for search engines.


Unlike what most people think, programmatic SEO doesn’t in any way encourage duplicate or thin content. On the flip side, the main goal of this programmatic SEO is to figure out easy-to-rank-for long-tail keywords, which extensively minimizes keyword cannibalization.

And if you opt for a programmatic SEO tool like SEOmatic that has a built-in AI writer, there’s a higher chance of creating well-optimized human-first content, since SEOmatic was created with Google’s “helpful content” requirement in mind.

Want to give SEOmatic a shot? Please take advantage of our free trial account today!


👨‍💻 Took my first leap into SEOmatic.ai today.

🖊️ It was simple to use & generated 75 pieces of unique content using keywords + some prewritten exerts.

⏳Total time cost for research & publishing was ≈ 3h (Instead of ≈12h)



Founder, Salespitch

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