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"What is Duplicate Content?"


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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Every website needs to follow the same basic rules -content is king. If you want to have a high quality site that performs over a wide array of different search engines and back link generating sites, you need to have original, quality content.

That's pretty simple, but actually getting that content affordably can be tough. So, many new marketers buys contents, repost the same articles or get content from article directories to fill their blogs.

And while these strategies won't necessarily blacklist a website, they can limit the effectiveness of the rest of your SEO efforts for a new site.

How Google Defines Duplicate Content

The exact definition of duplicate content is not always easy to determine. Most people define it as a substantive chunk of content that is the same across multiple domains. In many cases, it is not considered deceptive or malicious, and will not harm the owners of the sites.


For example, forum posts will often quote large blocks of text repeatedly or repost articles from other sites. Most search engines won't target forums for duplicate content because they also produce so much original content.

Additionally, product descriptions and store links with multiple URLs will often be permitted without any substantial penalties (though there is some disagreement on whether products should have unique descriptions or not).

Having multiple versions of the same page on a single domain is also permissible - such as with Flash, HTML, Mobile, and Printer Friendly versions of a site.

The problem with duplicate content occurs when it is deliberately done across multiple domains to try and manipulate search rankings. Google is very much a proponent of user experience and there is nothing quite as damaging to that experience than finding the same page 25 times with a single search.

Sometimes, duplicate content occurs when someone tries to create multiple sites for the same niche. For example, if you created five blogs about dog training and posted the same article on all five blogs, Google may choose to ignore four of those sites in its indexing, or it may decide that the practice is deceptive and simply block all five sites.

No matter why duplicate content occurs, the result is generally going to be that you don't get the kind of search listings you're aiming for. Google wants original content that provides value to the user. Copying or reposting content from other sites or your own sites will only harm that user experience.

How to Avoid Using Duplicate Content

To start with, you can write original content or outsource it as much as possible.

If you repost articles from article directories or you syndicate your blog across multiple sites, it is important to intersperse original content on those sites as well.

By far the easiest way to avoid the duplicate content penalty is simply to write original articles and blog posts as much as possible. Rewriting is all fine and good, but it still leaves you with the same information as other sites.

Original, well written content will be desirable not only for the search engines, but for your readers who will gladly eat it up.

The last thing an aspiring marketer needs is to have a site blacklisted or delisted because of something silly like duplicate content. Be wary and take the precautions needed to make sure this doesn't happen.

Provided By: Joseph Park
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