When I originally did a review of Article Forge, it was in it’s 1.0 stage and I criticized the program for various things such as scrapping content. Since that review, I’ve debated the creator of it and his newer, 2.0 version is much better.
In this review, I’m going to cover the good things about Article Forge, the concerns I have about using it and my own approach to content creation which has made me good money in this business.
Quick report on Article Forge:
Price: There’s 3 options.
1) You can join for free (a 5 day trial run).
2) $57 a month.
3) $27 a month if you go yearly.
Overall Rating: 3 out of 10 stars.
I never believed in these types of programs for helping you get good SEO stats. This particular program does produce some good content, but in my opinion, this type of approach may very well be a new approach to black hat marketing, or at the very least grey hat, which I have learned to stay away from since those types of things destroyed my sites in the past.
But I’ll explain that later…
Recommended? No. I personally avoid tools like these and I’ll tell you why shortly.
What is Article Forge (2.0)?
I want to explain it a bit backwards (And it’ll make more sense that way, you’ll see)…
In the world of SEO, there are certain terms and strategies of ranking sites that are considered risky and can involve SEO penalties. Those are called black hat techniques.
People who understand SEO generally stay away from them because of the danger they cause to our websites. The danger can be receiving a Google penalty in most cases, which can mean the total annihilation of an online business in many cases.
Some examples of black hat tools include content spinners and backlink packages. And tools like WP Auto Content are examples of similar programs like Article Forge, which you can probably guess, also get a bad review from me, due to the same exact reasons.
Now let’s get to Article Forge and how it relates to what I just said:
It first seemed to me that Article Forge wasa content spinner, which is a program that takes pieces of info from multiple sites pertaining to a specific topic and lumps it all together. And by the owner’s own word, it was when it first came out (version 1.0).
This was when I first found out about this program and like I said before, heavily criticized it for that. The problem with content spinners in general are a few things:
A) Content spinners by their own structure take content from other sources (And usually the original content creator doesn’t know about this, nor do they even consent to it if they did know), which in both the offline and online world we call plagiarism and…
B) Even if that doesn’t bother you, then consider the lumped up content you get from these programs is hard to read and understand.
Now all of that which I just explained applies to the typical, LOW quality content spinners.
Article Forge 2.0 however claims to be different. Here’s how:
On the homepage itself, the explanation behind this program is different. Apparently, Article Forge’s creator claims that this program is not a content spinner or a content scrapper.
No, instead the sales page which I assume is made by the creator of it goes on to say that the content Article Forge has an advanced type of system that creates high quality content on it’s own and all you really need to do is enter a keyword of a certain subject you want content produced on and literally, within a few seconds, it will.
If this is really true, then Article Forge is a legit program. And in fact, Alex, the owner of it and I have had discussions and his case for Article Forge 2.0 not being a content spinner makes sense, so I will give it that benefit of the doubt (and it’s why I increased the rating of the software higher in this review).
I took a look at sample content produced by Article Forge 2.0:
Thankfully they feature some of the program’s work on the sales page so you can have a preview of what it says and decide this for yourself.
Truth be told, the content I saw looked quite good, BUT a BIG problem I noticed was that the content didn’t segway correctly from 1 paragraph into the next and often mixed up topics together, thereby making the content less high quality based on my opinion.
Have a look at this screenshot. Please read it and let me know if you agree:
This was a sample text Article Forge 1.0 delivered and when I read it, it made me very hesitant to suggest this software:
The text looks nice, but it looks like someone else wrote it and secondly, the topics mix up and don’t really blend in together, despite being on one paragraph. That’s my personal opinion based, but again, you should decide this for yourself.
Now this is a HUGE deal because if I am right, it indicates that this tool is doing the same stuff I said content spinners do in that it lumps other source’s content together. This is my personal conclusion.
Update: Article Forge 2.0’s sample:
Since Article Forge 2.0 had an update, they also have a new sales page up which shows another sample work, and here is what that looks like (this is a screenshot):
Here is where you’ll find this sample and more.
Compared to the first sample I saw with the original Article Forge, this is a vast improvement in what type of content it produces, but I can still see certain things within the content that was produced that are questionable.
The 4 main concerns I have with Article Forge explained (cons):
I’ve had multiple people, including the owner of this program leave a comment on this site claiming the program does not scrap or take other people’s content (look below at the comments for proof) and that there is some sort of new type A.I system in this software that creates this amazing content out of nothing.
As I told the owner of this program, the other skeptics of my position and you, the reader, I do NOT believe this at all and I say this respectively.
The reason I don’t is because of the following reasons (these are the cons in my opinion):
1) My experience on such topics dealing with auto content generators.
In my 15+ years of doing internet marketing (about me) and coming across various types of content spinners and content scrappers, most of which claim to be unique, they never have been such.
I will say that Article Forge 2.0 once again does not appear to be a content scrapper, but still, one of the cons I’ll talk about is the whole idea of auto content generation and how it’s very risky in my opinion to use.
2) In my opinion, such an advanced A.I. system can’t exist.
I do not believe in an A.I system that creates great, high quality content from nothing when you enter in a keyword.
In my opinion, there’s just no such thing. Content that ANY software creates HAS to come from some kind of third party source.
There has to be content reference for any type of software program to use, in order to create it’s own version of it. Otherwise, such a program will have nothing to take info from.
The owner (below) mentioned the content is written uniquely, but I just don’t believe it. To have 100’s of words of high quality content produced in seconds, in my opinion means there has to be existing content to be leveraged of.
3) If con 2 is true, then this is the other issue:
There’s 2 scenarios (one is good, and the other is not) in my opinion:
If the content Article Forge uses as reference is from a third party and without the consent, then no matter how much it changes the words to make it unique, will change that it’s still plagarism. This is the bad scenario.
If however, the content Article Forge’s software uses as reference is from it’s own database of articles it OWNS, then it’s a different story and that is the good scenario.
Note: After my dialogue with Alex (see below), it appears that this is in the good scenario category.
My position is that if people use this software and type in various keywords of all sorts, then its pretty much impossible for Article Forge to have a database of articles to fit everyone’s search queries, which would tilt my position and opinion more to the first scenario being likely.
4) SEO and automation tools just don’t mix well in my experience.
I already said, I had experience with using black hat tools and grey hat ones when I started in SEO and how that destroyed my sites. I’m not saying it will happen if you use Article Forge and there’s a chance you may get good rankings, but it is still a type of automation tool.
Automation tools in general when applied to SEO generally do not get good results because the content produced by the automation tool is sub par compared to what someone writes with their own work.
In my opinion, auto content tools, even the good ones also make people lazy because they easily start to depend on content production via the automated way and less on their own hard work and this makes them focus less on decorating their site with the right images, content, internal linking and other important aspects that go into good SEO and that can actually hinder their own rankings, even if they use a system like this.
I always advise people write their own content or pay a competent writer to do it and I never advise they use automation tools because if they are borrowing content from third party sources, that can lead to SEO penalties.
5) This con was addressed by the owner and removed (thanks Alex):
There WAS a 5th con which involved me testing the sample content Article Forge made and Googling it to see if there were duplicates. There were MANY and this made me think that Article Forge was just using the same content from those sources and copying it.
Alex, the creator of Article Forge claimed this was not the case and that the original content was produced by his software and then duplicated by other people, whose results I saw in Google.
To be honest, his claim makes sense so I decided to remove that con and I do thank him for being polite about it, I know nobody wants to have their program and hard work be criticized (and I don’t like doing it either unless I have no choice) and certain owners don’t exactly retort these types of reviews as well as Alex did.
But I do however believe that no content, used by a software like this or people who duplicate that content (this part has nothing to do with Article Forge), would rank well in my opinion.
Final Rating: Article Forge.
Yellow flag (Caution).
3 out of 10 stars. Can you produce a lot of content with this program? Sure. But will it rank high? That depends and honestly, I’m leaning to saying no. If you want to get good first page rankings in Google, then you need to learn how to make your own content and put in the work.
Automation tools for SEO are generally very risky to use for rankings, so I stay away from them and never advise using them either.
I will personally stay away from this program…
My final thoughts:
Again, I do not believe after having done research that this tool and combining it with the mass experience I have on this, that this is as “advanced” of a tool as the people who pitch to me say it is.
Because I have done SEO, incorrectly and correctly and now make a living through it, I know about the most straight way of doing it to ensure you can make good money in it without risking Google penalties in the process and I explained how that works in con #4.
In my opinion, using Article Forge can be very risky for your site. I personally would not use it on ANY of my existing pages, not even to try and experiment with this theory.
And again, in my opinion, you will be FAR safer and better off writing you own content and/or hiring a real human to do it.
Article ForgeFree-monthly options.
- If the content produced by this software is from a consenting source, then it MAY work.
- I do not believe this software magically creates high quality content out of nothing.
- I stay away from SEO automation tools like these because I know about the risks they bring to website rankings.
18 thoughts on “Article Forge Review. Does it Really Work?”
Have you tested Article Forge 2.0?
Hi Lily, I didn’t test the 2.0 version of Article Forge or the original one, but I did go to the site to check the updates and the demo video showing how the “new” Article Forge works did not convince me it’s any better. If nothing else, it seems to have evolved in how you can generate content with it, but that content is still coming from somewhere (it is in my opinion still plagiarism) and so the biggest core problems I discussed with my original review remain.
And it won’t matter if any future update of this program makes it “better”. It’s still going to have to scrap that content from other sources (likely without the other people’s consent) and that core problem will always be the reason I will never recommend it.
The new version of Article Forge says it doesn’t do any scraping at all. Have you checked Article Forge 2.0?
Hi Jim, I just answered this same question from another person. Basically I find it hard to believe Article Forge 2.0 doesn’t scrap content.
When you enter a keyword and it “creates the article”, where do you think it gathers the content from? I don’t believe it’s some magic “AI” system they are pitching, but simply the same sort of scrapping content article spinners are known for.
As a test, I took another block of text on the new site which showed this program creating content from the keyword “bitcoin” and found numerous results of sites with this same content. Now this can mean that many people are using this software to generate content, but I’m telling you, this is a risky and lazy approach to content creation and I personally will stay away from it.
The best content is original content you make and it is a practice that you will get good at. I often tell people to read my article on what to blog about to succeed at this business vs using tools that try to “cut corners” and possibly risk your site’s rankings.
I will say it again, I do not believe in Article Forge, nor it’s 2.0 version based on what I saw. I really do believe the owner is legitimately trying to help people with this software and probably worked hard on it, but the foundations of this software are things I personally believe to be an issue.
When this software pulls up content, it is not out of nothing, it HAS to be out of existing content on the internet and that is the BIGGEST problem I see.
This product is not a magic “creates content out of nothing” software in my opinion.
This is the owner of Article Forge again. Each article generated by Article Forge 2.0 is completely 100% different from the one before it. There are no similarities in them at all, and they are all written entirely from scratch.
When you search the block of text on the new site and see other results that is because OTHER TOOLS are scraping Article Forge’s website and stealing our content. This is the same issue in your original blog post (that I had brought up in a comment here a couple years ago) and what you are claiming about our tool is simply factually incorrect. Once again look at the “post dates” for all of those articles and look at the date Article Forge 2.0 went live and you will see that they were all posted AFTER that article was posted – meaning once again other people are taking our example articles and putting them on their website.
So once again, that content is not from other Article Forge users, or content we scraped. Rather, those other articles are from people who are using OTHER tools that are scraping OUR example content and putting it on their website.
Unfortunately we cannot stop people from copying our content on the internet, but each and every Article Forge 2.0 article is generated with absolutely no scraping and each article is completely unique from the next one.
If you generated an article yourself using Article Forge 2.0 and started searching with those blocks of text you would find they do not exist anywhere on the internet, since they are all original creations from Article Forge 2.0.
Considering what you are saying is factually inaccurate I think this blog post should be removed until you actually test freshly generated articles (that other people haven’t had the opportunity to scrape from our website) and check the uniqueness of that before making misinformed claims about how Article Forge 2.0 works.
Hi Alex, thanks for leaving this response and addressing my concerns about your program. I appreciate you being polite about it and I am more than happy to make adjustments to my review. There were 2 main concerns I had/have with the program:
1) The duplicate content I see on Google of other people using the same content as seen on your sales page.
Now you addressed this issue in your comment above and to be honest, it makes a lot of sense from my point of view, so for that particular concern, I am more than happy to adjust the review and will be doing so as soon as possible.
2) The issue I have with scrapping content software in general.
You’re claiming your software does NOT do this and it’s written up uniquely. Let’s say this is the case, but here is where I have additional concerns. Allow me to explain…
If you go to your main sales page and watch your introduction video to Article Forge, you’re typing in a keyword to show your software working and that keyword is “bitcoin”. You then add a few more details about what you want Article Forge to generate.
You then click the button to get the software working and within SECONDS, the article produces several 100 words of content out of “nowhere”.
In my experience, there has never been a software program that produces unique, high quality content in seconds out of NOTHING. It is simply impossible in my experience and opinion and this is where I strongly believe that content HAS to be taken from another source.
Is it really not the case that your software finds content on whatever keyword you typed online and then generates it’s own version of that content through it?
I just simply do not believe you have some sort of advanced A.I system in place as there is no such thing in the world of internet marketing in this particular field of it.
Auto generated content of any sort in my experience has always come from taking it from other sources and that is in my opinion scrapping.
I am very anxious to hear your position on this concern and if you can explain it as well as you did the first concern I had, again, I’d be more than happy to update my review of your program.
Overall, my thesis on writing your own content being the superior way to go vs using software programs and how they can negatively impact SEO stands, but I totally understand that you’re trying to run your business and am very open to having a polite dialogue so we can have a middle ground understanding and possibly an update of the other issue in my review of your program.
Hi Vitaliy – likewise, I appreciate your respectful tone as we discuss this.
1) It is really not the case. That is how Article Forge 1.0 and 1.5 worked for sure and it is how every other article generation software works. It is, however, NOT how Article Forge 2.0 works.
I can confirm that Article Forge 2.0 takes a keyword as input and generates an article entirely using its deep learning neural networks. When we did the Article Forge 2.0 release we canceled all of our proxy subscriptions as they were no longer necessary.
Our current neural networks are extremely smart – it learned by processing millions of articles of text and has billions of facts stored that it draws from when writing Article Forge 2.0 articles.
In short, the algorithm works in the same way the human brain works when it is asked to write an article from scratch from memory. We use all of our pre-existing knowledge, and what we know about structuring and writing an article to write something completely unique from scratch.
I think this is hard to believe because we are the first tool to ever offer this. The work we are doing is cutting edge. And as we mention on our homepage, this is the exact area of research that companies like Google are also focusing on – in fact you can read one of their newer research papers if you want to learn more about the types of strategies companies like Google (and like us) are utilizing to better understand and write content. Google is using it to write many of their summaries for their newer snippets (as well as for things like translation) while we are using it to write high quality articles.
I hope that helps alleviate your concerns and confusion over our approach and the fact that we do not do any scraping.
Lastly, I understand your opinion on automated writing vs human writing. Even if you do not want to use 100% automated content yet, I would also encourage you to consider Article Forge as a tool that can help quickly create a first draft to help better assist humans write content faster.
Hi Alex, I understand a lot better now. Your current 2.0 takes the masses of gathered content your 1.0 and 1.5 Article Forge did and uses that for it’s new content creation. It makes sense and it is different than content spinner or scrapping.
However, despite this newer approach to content creation, I still think that places like Google and other spots may see holes in an approach to automatically writing content like this and still think that personal content creation via human creation is better for SEO and rankings.
I also think content creation tools like these would make people lazy in writing their own content, but we’ll see how users of your program play this out and let things develop there. I think the way things have worked since SEO became a thing (where content quality written via a human who writes well) has been and will be the thing for rankings in the future and programs.
I’m going to adjust parts of my review, give your position in the update but also state my opinions on this subject. Basically how we discussed things in our debate. But in the end, I respectfully disagree with this approach to content creation. I do however, wish your online business grows in spite of that disagreement.
Why do you think that they are taking content from other sites? Maybe other sites are taking the content from them.
There’s a couple of reasons why this cannot be the case Zvi:
1) These programs are notorious for taking content from other spots.
2) If you look at publishing dates for the results I found, there’s good odds those other published articles came out before Article Forge’s did.
The reason there are 68 results on Google for that search term is because people copied the article from Article Forge. If you pay attention you’ll see all of those other articles were published “after” Article Forge launched. That text has been on the Article Forge site since April 2016 and all of the other articles in the screenshot you took came AFTER that.
Hi Alex, I’m definitely willing to consider this fact as a positive in Article Forge’s favor, however, it still doesn’t raise it’s value. Here’s why:
1) Even if what you say is true, the sites which use this text aren’t going to get high rankings on Google. I took one of the search results, the site URL and keyword (the title it was using) and put it into a keyword tool to see it’s ranking, it didn’t appear one any of the first 10 pages. I am certain sites which use this tool are also getting slapped by Google.
2) I don’t think it can be denied that this tool uses copied/scrapped content from sources which in many cases don’t know or won’t consent to having their content copied, so it’s still plagiarism no matter how it’s seen.
Overall, my opinion of Article Forge is exactly the same as when I put up the review.
I guess you can take a clue from the name, Article Forge. Forgeries are fakes, and the site is maybe unconsciously letting people know that it’s not legitimate. Great post, and I thought it was genius the way you tested the text out by re-entering it in Google. Content is king, and I can see why some people want to get help with it, but taking shortcuts isn’t the smart way to go.
Hi Grant, in this context, a forge is just a place where something is made, not an actual forgery, but in any case, when it comes to THIS program, there is stuff going on I do not like and I had to go to Google to find out.
Hey there Vitaliy,
Someone had mentioned this tool to me and I thought I should check it out. I have zoomed in the screenshot and I also confirm that the tool seems to be more of a content spinner than anything else.
Based on what I was told, I thought it would imitate a human’s thought process and create something human like but I think it would be best to hire a writer than use it. It is not worth risking your good name with your audience for it.
Hi Dave, yeah I should have made the image larger, sorry about that, but in regards to what you said, there is currently NO technology in this world that can have a bot write as a good writer. It is impossible, lest you try to do it the way content spinners do, but the result is garbage, and it’s still based on the premise that it has to plagiarize other content to do it.
Thank you for this great review on Article Forge. I had not heard of this product before. After reading this article I can better understand how this technique can be considered “black hat”.
I now have a better understanding of black hat techniques such as article spinners. I have heard that using “black hat” techniques can hurt your SEO rankings. I noticed that you mentioned that unfortunately this has happened to you in the past – sorry to hear that.
I was just wondering what was your personal experience was with black hat techniques. Thanks
Hi Glenys. There was a program I was involved with years ago called Bring The Fresh. They sold backlink packages to me and I paid about $1,000 for them. I did get higher rankings for the websites I used them on, but I was warned by my mentors in Wealthy Affiliate not to do it. However, I didn’t listen and did.
The rankings I had didn’t last long and everything dropped out of Google’s search. I made very little money and in the lost a lot. I had to dispute for a very long time the charges I had with Bring The Fresh because I argued they didn’t work and luckily, I was able to win the dispute and recover my money and an important lesson about black hat stuff.
I then started to follow the advice from Wealthy Affiliate and that was what ended up helping me create a stable business in the coming years, which I still focus on now.