Duplicate content is content copied from another website or content modified (content spinning) after you have published it elsewhere. In short, duplicate content is not original content.
Google, Bing, and Yahoo look down upon and penalize any website or webpage that duplicates content on their site internally or from other websites. Make sure the content is 100 percent original and interesting. Don’t cut corners by taking an old article, or someone else’s article and changing it around (spinning) with a new title and switching the wording here and there. Search Engines have become so sophisticated they can tell when a writer has cut corners and will penalize the site by dropping the page ranking or removing the site from the search engine.
Avoid duplicating content by accident, a basic mistake that can hurt ranking as well.
Basically anytime content is cut and pasted from one place to another on the web, you are risking penalization of your website and search engine rankings. Be careful to rewrite from scratch your content when posting articles or information that is too similar, such as:
- Your company is hosting an event and has a description on their website. To market the event your marketing department sent out a press release with the same wording, and then posted the same wording in community event calendars, or posted in industry related forums;
- Posting links in Social Media such as Facebook and they automatically postied a snippet of the content;
- Posting contributed articles too similar to various websites.
Search engines such as Google are so frustrated by laziness of people who take shortcuts of duplicating content they now de-index websites – yes remove the sites completely from their search engine. You have to realize Google’, Bing, and Yahoo’s mission is to serve their customers: The searchers searching for information, education, or entertainment. Searchers have a low tolerance for reading the same or similar articles/content twice. The search engines, then, avoid serving searchers with duplicate content.
If a website gets penalized by Google, requesting reconsideration can be a very painstaking, time consuming task. The best way to make sure Google does not remove your website or pages for duplicate content is to make sure your content is original, focused content. You can test your content for duplicity by visiting CopyScape.
If you discover someone else is duplicating or copying your content
Theft of website content, from one website to another became an epic trend until Google started penalizing for duplicate content. However some companies and websites are still getting away with it and Google has not caught up to them. If you discover someone has duplicated or copied your content, file a DMCA report with the violators’ hosting company to have their website taken down or have the duplicated content removed. If you write directly to the website, they often respond appropriately.
Duplicate content on your own website
Just because you wrote and own the content on your website does not mean anyone wants to read it twice, or even read a spun version of the content. Search engines, in catering to their searchers, penalize websites that produced the same content within the same website.
If you must use the same material to post articles on various websites, re-write it from scratch. For example, if you are a interior design writer, and you are writing an article about lighting, publish that article once. Then, later, with a fresh mind, don’t look at your previous content, and start writing the information again. If you have ever written a letter to someone, then destroyed it, and started all over again, you will understand how this works. You can re-tell your story without duplicating content.
Have ideas on avoiding duplicate content? Share them with us in our comments section below.