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Pros And Cons Of Copyleft Content

Jun 24, 2008
Copyleft content is content that gives you restricted rights to use in your website. As we saw last week it includes text, images and even videos. You can also get scripts like automatic date displays as well as specialized calculators like calorie counters for dieters.

The primary reason and advantage for using these "borrowed' content is usually the ease they introduce in creating a website. For example you can collect articles from different article directories and put up a site on High Definition TV in a matter of days. Infact there are software that can source these articles for you, code and upload them into you server to have a 200 page website in a matter of minutes. They have been used in creating what are referred to as MFAs or Made for Adsense Sites. This technique is not as effective as it used to be few years back.

But cranking out content is not the only advantage for using copyleft. One can choose to use such content sparingly to complement original content. For example, videos from YouTube would be used as a visual aid complementing text. Also copyleft content can be used as references without having to link out-side of your website. The same applies to third party scripts that allow you web visitor to get interactive information without having leave your site. For example you can use a copyleft calorie counting script in you site. This will allow you visitor to count their food calories without having to send them to another site. This can be a valuable technique of serving quality to you visitor while at the same time preserving your Page Rank (PR).

Similarly images can be used to enhance visitor experience. This is particularly for visual industries like electronics or travel. A webpage with a full color image of the latest Sony LCD has better user experience than a text only page about the same.

Unfortunately such borrowed content also has disadvantages. Depending on the industry, duplicate content can end up being double trouble. First, it is seen as "same old, same old" content by your visitors. This is especially so for blogging content. Because most people who read blogs follow more than one on the same topic; it can easily become irritating getting the exact same content every time.

A second problem has to do with Search Engine Position. SEs avoid having duplicates in their index. So they generally pick one of the contents and ignores the others. This is particularly so with text content. So if you copyleft content ends up being one of those ignored you will not be receiving traffic form SEs. But worse is that there are indications that the SEs do penalize sites with duplicate content. The reasoning is that since they have nothing original to give to web-surfers then they are not that important. This results to lower SE positions.

In using copyleft content you need to get the best of them while mitigating their disadvantages depending on your needs.
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