Duplicate Content – How Much Is It Bad? Many myths surround duplicate content and using on your website. Here is why this strategy is not completely wrong
Everyone in the digital world is of the view that duplicate content is an absolutely no when it comes to raising the ranking of a website on search engines. It is believed that those who post duplicate content may face penalty from Google and other search engines.
Many times I have had conversation with SEO people and they complain about duplicate content that is waiting to be penalized. Than there are digital marketing professionals who are more worried about duplicate content than about links that are of poor quality.
When it comes to duplicate content there is lot of misconception among people. Even Google has talked on this topic directly and have tried to wash away as much myths and misunderstandings as possible.
Susan Moska once said this on Google Webmaster Blog about duplicate content, “Let’s put this to bed once and for all, folks. There is no such thing as a duplicate content penalty. At least, not in the way most people mean when they say that.”
What is Duplicate Content?
According to many marketers, duplicate content is the one that is visible or published on multiple locations. Such a content is considered bad and invites penalty.
The myths does not end here, as many marketers are of the view that it is bad to use multiple categories for a blog post as duplicate pages are created for all of these blog listings.
One more example of duplicate content is on landing pages that is published for different audiences. Technically this is a duplicate content, but it will not be penalized. When speaking of duplicate content, Google is not talking about this content.
Google defines duplicate content as: It refers to substantive blocks of content across or within domains that match completely with other content or majorly similar. Particularly, this is not deceptive in origin.
Google considers content that is widely replicated and syndicated as duplicate content. For example, when I publish a post and it is then used and published by a number of websites, that is duplicate from the original content.
Website that will use duplicate content will not be able to trick or deceive the Google algorithm to improve their ranking on search engines. These types of websites will not be penalized by Google, but their algorithms will bring very limited users to such websites.
Google will fetch only one copy (or very small number) that represents a search. It will not fill the entire page with the same content.
However, there is a slight drawback here as it is possible the duplicate content may be picked by Google algorithm in place of the original one.
Some more truths about duplicate content.
1. Duplicate Content Increase Traffic
Most marketers must be aware about Buffers, something that is used to schedule content to be posted on social channels. Buffer is also utilized for sharing quality content on their blog. During the initial days of these platforms, guest postings were used to increase visibility and bring in referral traffic.
As they become popular, they changed their marketing tactics and used syndicated content of the original one. This syndication was basically a duplicate content, used or published at other places on the internet.
Leo Widrich, co-founder, Buffer, shared a post that described about the effectiveness of this method. The analytic on Buffer showed that there had been an increase in organic traffic with the usage of duplicate content.
2. Duplicate Offsite Content are Not Penalized
It doesn’t matter whether it is you or someone else is sharing what is being produced by you. You will not get penalty for distribution of your content or natural syndication.
There are exception to these rules however. Duplicate content is not subject for action till the time its intention is to influence the search results.
So the conclusion is that you should not spam the same content with the purpose to manipulate search engine results.
The algorithms designed by Google will not show duplicate content in search results, and will not impact website owners. You should not worry about being penalized from duplicating or syndicating offsite content.
In the majority of the cases, only the original content source is shown by Google. It is possible that the syndicated content may appear above the original content.
Only Spamming is Bad
it will not be completely wrong to say that no action will be taken on duplicate content unless it wants to influence the search results.
Who will find out that a content wants to manipulate the search results?
This work is done by the algorithms of search engines.
As and when a major duplicated content is tagged as bad, all the big news stories or famous articles will be thrown down within hours. When a original piece of content is published on a website, it is being republished time and again by bloggers and others.
It is happening every second even while you are reading this article. Matt Cutts states that nearly 30% of the content available on the internet is duplicate. Websites that are re-posting or duplicating a piece of news are not penalized or slammed for such an act, as they are not manipulating the search results directly.
In case you are still worried, you can make some changes in your approach to prevent being tagged as a spammer with duplicate content.
Try to be selective.
All that you produce should not be syndicated, just share the content that is best. This is the approach taken by Wordstream. Some of their best contents is syndicated, publishing on different channels, such as Marketing Profs or Linkedin Pulse.
From the above data you can see that content syndication and duplication has not affected the organic traffic of Wordstream. The strategy that is used here is to be selective.
There is still a requirement to share something that is original. In case you have true and tried channels for duplication, it will be good that the traffic that is coming to your website has something fresh and new to see and read on your website.
It will not be good for your website in case the traffic coming here only find things that they have already read. In order to be a successful content marketer you can use syndicated content, but still have lot of original content on your website to keep the traffic engaged.