Duplicate Content

survey-buying-processI got a question today from last week’s “repurposing” email about duplicate content. Here was the question:

“In the olden days, you didn’t want to repeat content verbatim on more than one web site because it diluted your rankings. I know this to be true because at a former job, we had three web sites, but some of the content was identical on each of the sites. Our Google rep explained that was viewed as “cheating” and we were downgraded. “

(and feel free to ask your own question at http://FreeWeeklyMastermind.com on Facebook)

So, the answer isn’t black and white – but what you should do and how you should handle your content is quite clear.

Duplicate content is an issue, and has become a more costly problem since last year’s Google Panda update. So let’s tackle it.

Places like CNN use duplicated Associate Press content all the time and don’t get downgraded for it. As does pretty much every local TV station website. Duplicate content is abound and part of life. It’s not always bad. In some cases, links from all those duplicate posts are quite good for the original writer.

However, as a general rule Google returns an article once in the search results. If you search for “hutto shark attack” on Google you’re going to get 10 different articles about the same story. Google is not going to return 10 sites with the same article.

So if you’re looking to get indexed for a topic, you don’t want to fight someone else whose got the original content.

As far as repurposing goes, make sure you put the original content here it matters most first.  Snippets of it, rewrites, modifications and images of it can be used everywhere – because they’re not exactly the same.

Taking that content and putting it in an ebook is OK because ebook content is not typically indexed.

Use your stuff often, and as much as you can. Just remember that if you want it indexed it pretty much needs to be original.