Is the Duplicate Content Penalty a Myth?

0 comments, 09/10/2016, by , in SEO, Web Design

Question MarkAre you worried about the infamous duplicate content penalty or do you think it’s just another scare tactic created by the search engines? Duplicate content is one of the most discussed online marketing topics and because of this, many myths have emerged that confuse the situation even more.

What Is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content comes in a number of different forms. First of all, if you copy someone else’s content word for word and publish it on your website, this is considered to be duplicate content. However, if at least 30% of this content is not the same as the original content, it is no longer viewed as duplicate content.

In other situations, website owners publish content that appears on another website, but don’t add a hyperlink back to the original piece. This practice is called ‘scraping’ and is frowned upon by the search engines. Until you add a link from your webpage to the original source, your website will be viewed as publishing duplicate content and will be penalised until you make the necessary changes.

Why Was There a Clamp Down on Duplicate Content?

The duplicate content penalty was introduced to tackle the issue of poor quality websites that published copied content and added advertising to these websites. In many cases, large amounts of this copied content was published in an attempt to trick the search engines into thinking a website was providing unique, valuable content.

How to Be Sure You Avoid This Problem

There are many ways you can prevent this problem from happening. Regularly publishing your own unique high quality content on your website is the most obvious way to do this. This eliminates any possibility of being accused of publishing duplicate content because the search engines are able to work out which website published a certain piece of content first. Even if other websites copy your content, your website will be recognised as the first place this content was posted.

A lot of website owners outsource their content creation activities. If you have the budget available, this is a great way to obtain a lot of content quickly. However, not all outsourcers are reliable and some even copy other works they find online. This can have serious consequences for your website if you add this copied content.

Only ever deal with reliable, reputable outsourcing companies and always check the originality of the work completed by outsourcers. There are many useful tools available like Copyscape that will determine whether or not a particular article is unique or not.

Search engines like Google can send a lot of organic traffic to a website. A wide range of search engine optimisation strategies make it even easier to attract more visitors to your website. However, if you get accused of publishing duplicate content, all of your hard work can count for very little and you will get penalised by the search engines. Following the search engines rules about duplicate content will make it much easier for you to grow your website and make it an online resource your visitors and the search engines will trust.

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