Will Duplicate Content Filters Destroy Article
A Word: "No"!
By Mike Banks Valentine © 2006
Rumors are circulating that recent search engine updates are
threatening to penalize web sites carrying articles by niche industry experts
due to wide distribution and use of those articles on multiple sites. Not
Duplicate content filtering confuses everyone. It is absolutely not
new and has been in effect for years, but is constantly refined in search engine
algorithms to filter out abuses. Any suggestion that article marketing is
targeted by the search engines as duplicate content is an understandable
misunderstanding. Duplicate content filters look for abuses, not legitimate
multiple uses in appropriate forums.
What Are "Duplicate Content Filters"?
Duplicate content filters were first
employed when people began setting up precisely mirrored domains without
variation on multiple domain names to increase visibility. That ridiculous
method worked to increase ranking until the search engines began de-listing one
of the duplicate sites of those employing this technique. Usually it was the
older domain that stayed in the index and the newer mirrored site was
About the same time, unethical thieves began outright stealing
entire sites and placing them on new domains to rank equally as well as the
original owner for competitive phrases. Once the traffic was there, they sent
them to their own product or affiliate pages. That worked for awhile, but the
duplicate content filters nixed that as well and protected the orginal site in
Then sites began putting up "landing pages" and "doorway pages" for SEO purposes
with minor keyword variations in headlines and body text on multiple pages on
one site with very closely related text with minor keyword
swaps to rank well for blue widgets, red widgets, purple widgets. No text varied
but the color or brand or, in the case of travel sites, city and resort names.
So search engines extended the duplicate content filter to include that ruse
filter it out.
Continually refining these duplicate content filters is an
ongoing effort meant only to beat search engine spammers. Search engines don't
set about penalizing legitimate uses of duplicate content - such as press
releases distribution and reproduced articles by experts on specialized topics
used widely on niche sites and blogs.
Legitimate Duplicate Content
There are dozens of legitimate
reasons to have the same article on multiple specialty sites and even some good
reasons within a single domain. Blogging software actually creates a duplicate
page for every post which is deposited in an archive. That blog contains
duplicate content until each post rolls off the bottom of the main page. AP and
Reuters news stories run on hundreds of news sites. Experts, pundits and
commentators within niche industries legitimately syndicate their content to
appear widely across dozens of niche sites within their industry.
sites now put up duplicate "printer friendly" versions of pages without penalty,
but it's always a good idea on the same domain name to post robots metatags
telling them not to index duplicate pages. Printing pages or variations on
landing pages used for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising should each be tagged by
< meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow"> so you needn't worry
about being penalized.
Will Article Marketing Still Work?
Articles distributed for use by other sites appear
on many sites with surrounding themed content, varied site navigation and
differing internal links. Articles rank well if they match the theme of the site
they are used on. The best ranked sites usually rank better for that article.
There is currently no penalty for using articles which appear on several sites.
If this were the case, hundreds of major industry portals would be severely
If you search for article titles in quotes, you'll see them
repeated everywhere across the web. Try a search for "Blogging Chocolate Purses" and
see the extensive use of that article. I first posted it on my blog and my blog
post ranks just below a major search engine portal for that article title.
No penalty there, Pandia.com is just better ranked overall than my blog and they
are legitimately using that article with my permission.
Why Article Marketing Is So Powerful
is something I recommend to ALL SEO clients to gain valuable one-way inbound
links. How much better is an article - with 700 to 1200 words displaying your
expertise than a so-called "reciprocal link" gained by begging for it by
spamming, er I mean, sending mass unsolicited emails to unrelated sites? (I'm
stunned that anyone still uses that technique as it seems to me to be the
equivalent of begging for links on street corners.)
It is inconceivable
that experts writing on specialized topics will ever be penalized by search
engines because many niche sites reproduce their expert advice & commentary
in newsletters, web sites and blogs. Search engines would face an insurmountable
problem in flitering legitimate expertise and commentary simply because it is
popular and made available for use on multiple industry blogs and niche
Your articles are no less valuable to the web community because
they are syndicated and that appreciation is displayed clearly when they are
used extensively across multiple web sites. "Write on", article
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