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Is Duplicate Content Really A Problem?

Posts: 27
Joined: 24 Jul 10

Is Duplicate Content Really A Problem?

So I got to thinking about my SEO efforts the other day, and all the fuss about duplicate content, and it made me wonder - is duplicate content really such a problem? I'm not sure if this is a question that has an answer, or if I'm just trying to start a bit of a debate, but here are my thoughts.

Unless I misunderstood all the stories, it seems that Google's recent Panda update is all about getting rid of crappy content - or at least, paying less attention to sites that look as though they contain crappy content. If you took one well-written article, spun it well, and submitted it to a 10/50/100 sites and directories, it seems pretty fair to assume that this is the type of content that the big G is trying to weed out.

So what does Google want? Great content that readers will actually want to, well, read. So what's wrong with just taking the same article as in the example above, and simply submitting it to the same sites, unchanged (apart from the obvious ones who insist on unique content)? Well, we're told, you'll get hit with Google's duplicate content penalty.

But doesn't Google's duplicate content 'penalty' just mean that the search results will simply show the most relevant or authoritative example of the article you submitted, and omit the other, less important ones from the results? And to do that, doesn't that mean that it would have to know about (or index) the other less important pages containing your 'duplicate article? If these pages have been indexed, but are simply excluded from the search results in order to provide the internet user with a better search experience, wouldn't you still benefit from the links on these 'duplicate' pages?

Sure, you might say that those links won't mean as much because Google just views them as duplicates, but is that really the case?

Say you wrote the best article ever written. Instead of spinning it, creating hundreds of versions that were over 40% uniques and posting them on loads of different directories (which seems to be what so many of us are doing), you only placed it on the best article directory, one that insists on unique content so it can syndicate articles out to the best sites on the web.

Your article gets picked up by some of the top news aggregators on the web, who all post it without alterations (as in the TOS of most directory sites), all linking back to your website. So you've written a great article that authoritative websites want to share with all their readers because it's the best of what the web has to offer, in fact, everything Google says they want from the Internet. And you're going to be penalised for this?

Maybe I'm being too simplistic, and the extreme example above isn't 'real world' enough, but if you write (or pay to have written) excellent articles, and play the game the way Google wants it played, doesn't it seem unreasonable that you might actually be worse off than those who are trying to 'game' the system? Not that everyone thinks that Google is fair, but at the very least, if all your duplicate articles and their backlinks are getting indexed, even if they do get excluded from the SERPs, should we really be bothered?
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Posts: 4723
Joined: 19 Jun 09
that is the main question. the big thing here is how much value do the links you get from those duplicate articles bring your site? The jury is still out on that, But, I have seen my articles republished before, and my question is one most people never ask,
regardless of Google, does that article bring you traffic when it is republished? some sites don't rely on SEO rankings for traffic, and just because they have a duplicate article doesn't mean you won't see traffic from that article.

Also, not all republishes will help your SEO, but that doesn't mean they can't help you.

I recently had an article I wrote published in an Ebook. No SEO coming in from that book, but lots of people are reading it, and of course they included the links to my site.

I have also seen some people republish my articles in newsletters. once again, no SEO value but I get a lot of traffic from them.

So, publishinng articles isn't all about SEO. people found it an easy way to game the system, but the fact is, if you use quality articles, then you will get quality results.

The problem I see is that most people use crap articles for syndication, only thinking of the one backlink, so they will never see their articles republished.

Still, I like to keep some of my really high quality articles on my own site. If it is as good as you say, get people in your niche talking about it. That is where the Natural link building that Google wants will come from. I have articles that I haven't done hardly any promotion of, but they get high rankings because my readers are sharing them on social site, linking to them from their blogs, emailing their friends about it, and spreading the word for me.
That is really what google wants to see anyway. but the $5-$10 articles that most people use on their affiliate sites won't ever see that kind of viral traffic.
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Your Focus Determines Your Reality
Posts: 21
Joined: 16 May 11

One issue is people do not spin their articles high enough. When I write a well-written article, it then is spun 80+ percent using Magic standards or 200+ percent using AMA standards.

Note: The same article has different spun percentages depending whether I look at Magic or AMA.

With that said, anyone who only spins an article in AMA to 40% is basically sending out duplicate content. The search engines do not give as much backlink credit to duplicate content compared to original content.
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Get .EDU backlinks or other needed backlinks to promote your website - - - http://www.googlecashincome.info
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Aug 10

Thought I would chime in here, I use The Best Spinner and spin everything to 100% on their little graph ( not really sure what that means because when I check it with other things it might only be 90% but anyway).

All my spun articles end up ranking, most of the time I have 10 of the top 20 spots. So I'm not sure how much duplicate content matters. I mean even though I spin pretty thorough it seems odd that Google would give me that many top ranking spots for basically the same article.

I guess if you only spin a article 40% you could have a problem, but it makes no sense not to put in the small amount of extra effort to spin to 80-100%. The benefits by far out way the time it takes to do it, just my opinion.

Good Luck to all
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Site Admin
Posts: 7046
Joined: 25 Feb 11
Google puts quality ahead of duplicate content, and I don't think they qualify republishes as duplicate content. Google hasn't been clear on duplicate content, but they are more likely to give your site credit for articles you have that were republished by other websites, than you posting the same article on all article directories.

My two cents. Have a good weekend! :)
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This topic was started on May 19, 2011 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.