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Duplicate Content - Penalize Me, Please - Articles Surfing

Building sites is an interesting thing to do. If you really enjoy having a bad time. No, actually, I love all this stuff, but I'm unable to figure out just what the search engines are doing.

However, I have decided that it really doesn't matter. Not because it doesn't matter,but because it's nearly impossible to keep on top of the changes and still do anything.

Tracking what's going on is nearly impossible. The forums are full of a lot of BS unsupported by anything except wishful thinking and plain lunacy. There's very little trustworthy research with real data.

Just for the sheer fun of it, let's look at the "Duplicate Content Penalty." This has been around for a long time. It's almost like an urban legend. There is a near total lack of anything like reasonable proof that such a thing exists in the form most people understand.

What it suggests is that if my site has the same content on a page as some other site, then one of us will be penalized somehow. Gee, did anybody notice how there are all these article directories with identical pages? Which one got penalized and how?

Oh, I believe there definitely is a duplicate content penalty all right, it just doesn't seem to me to have anything to do with duplicate content. And it's not anything like an active penalty. It's just a by-product of how the search engines work.

And now, here's my contribution to the confusion. I publish an article which I put on my PR0 site. Somebody with a PR6 site picks it up and publishes it too. Surprise, they get indexed and I don't. Later maybe I get indexed but it doesn't do me a lot of good PR-wise. Is this a duplicate content penalty? Yes - but mostly no. The search engines didn't say, "I'm going cream this PR0 for putting up this article that's on this PR6 over here."

All they did was see that the PR6 is a much higher authority site than my PR0. You know, the SE algorithms can figure this sort of thing out. They don't care if it's my very own article, why should they? So the PR6 site gets the indexing and what all. And I don't. Damn, I been penalized. Nope. Just treated like a PR0 site.

However, I now have a link to my site from a PR6 site (if they didn't cheat me by using a rel no follow). That's a very good thing and maybe someday I'll be an authority site too.

Has this so-called duplicate content penalty hurt me? Not if it's my own article pointing to my site. If it's a third-party article with no link to my site that's on a couple hundred other sites, then it isn't going to help me much, but it isn't going to hurt me either. It just doesn't matter - except to my visitors if they find the article useful. You remember them, the visitors? That's why we have sites.

What does this suggest? You're a lot (A LOT) better off publishing your own articles that point to your site, than using third party articles for content. If it's about ranking and indexing. But there are still those visitors and the more quality content you provide, the more likely they'll stick around and even return.

Oh, you knew all that? I assume then that you have been publishing your articles like crazy - and also putting up quality third-party articles for your visitors. No? Worried about that penalty? Forget it ALL.

Let those other guys wear themselves out wasting their time with smoke and mirrors and trying to outguess the SEs so they can trick them. Go out and build quality content. Submit your own articles. Repeat. It works.

If you publish enough articles and get enough of that nasty duplicate content penalty, you may just find you have yourself a PR6 site of your very own. Maybe I'm nuts, but I like those incoming high PR links. Over time that can help me more than having my articles indexed on my own site. So go ahead, penalize me, please.

Copyright 2006 Richard Keir

Submitted by:

Richard Keir

Richard Keir writes, teaches, trains and consults on business and professional presentations and eCommerce related matters. And gets annoyed at blatant stupidity. Visit http://www.building-ecommerce-websites.com for some basic reality in the articles at http://www.building-ecommerce-websites.com/articles.



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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