User-generated content (UGC) refers to any form of content created and published by unpaid contributors or users of a platform, typically online. This content can include text, images, videos, audio, reviews, or other forms of media that are voluntarily created and shared by users.

Examples of user-generated content:

  • Social media posts: Status updates, photos, videos, and stories shared by users on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
  • Product reviews and ratings: Customer feedback, opinions, and star ratings on e-commerce websites or review platforms like Amazon, Yelp, or TripAdvisor.
  • Blog comments: User-submitted comments, opinions, or discussions in response to blog posts or articles.
  • Forum articles or discussions: User-created content or conversations, questions, and answers on online forums or discussion boards like Reddit or Quora.
  • Fan-created content: Fan art, fan fiction, or remix videos created by fans of a particular brand, franchise, or celebrity.
  • User-submitted photos and videos: Photos or videos submitted by users to contests, challenges, or campaigns run by brands or organizations.
  • Testimonials: User-provided endorsements or success stories related to a product, service, or brand.
  • Wikis and collaborative content: User-contributed and edited content on platforms like Wikipedia or GitHub.

User-generated content is often believed to be valuable because it’s viewed as building community engagement, provide social proof, and offer authentic perspectives that resonate with other users.

However, UGC, in the form of articles, tends to be low-quality. And since the advent of the Helpful Content Update in 2022 and its incorporation into other Google Search algorithms, poor-quality UGC can harm your SEO rankings.

It’s important for platforms to moderate UGC to ensure it aligns with community guidelines and does not contain inappropriate or harmful content.