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When Will I Get Dinged for Duplicate Content?

Aug 17, 2007
While I read the discussion forums and blogs these days, a lot of people are concerned about their sites being penalized for duplicate content. I am one of many people with this concern, since I have used other people's articles on my blog to add fresh and authoritative content to my site. Some people feel that all the panic over duplicate content isn't necessary once you really understand what duplicate content is and how the duplicate content filters really work. Others see it as a major concern. This article will explain what duplicate content is, when you may be penalized for it, and what you can do to avoid it.

Duplicate content is not only about the pages on a site being the same or too similar. It can also be different websites using the same or very similar template. I know this well, as my own site stems from a program that creates the same template for thousands of users, and we are constantly encouraged to change and customize our sites to make them different from everyone else's. The reason duplicate content is deemed a bad thing from a search engine's perspective is because it is considered spamming when people deliberately throw up a site, or content that is identical or very similar to another in hopes that they will get indexed higher and quicker in the search engines, or have more listings.

When the search engines discover this duplicate content on the sites they scan, they use a filter to remove the offending content. This is what getting "dinged" means. The problem is that most people write good, original content for their sites, but still get dinged because there is other same, or very similar content out there already. This hardly seems fair if you are an honest person, I know...

Duplicate content can also mean that you have taken content from someplace else on the web, and tried to cleverly rearrange the paragraphs but it is still essentially the same content. If you're into writing articles like I am, it's easy to want to do this if you're looking for fresh new ideas, but you really need to come up with your own, unique content.

The next problem is that you do just that, and distribute your articles all over the internet, and now thousands of websites have your same article in their directories. Is this not duplicate content as well? And is it a good idea for me to be placing other people's articles on my blog so that their original article that is posted in other places too is on my site? There are varying opinions I've come across on this topic. Unfortunately not all search engines will determine who the original author was.

Some people will suggest that if writing your own, original articles, submit them to the directories as you normally would, but then post other unique articles on your blog. Some other advice regarding blogs is that if using someone else's article on your blog, ask the author for permission to change the title and content, or just add a report about someone else's article, and then add a link to the original article. What I have been doing is adding a short blurb of my own before posting the article, and concluding remarks after, with the original article and author information in tact.

If you do a Google search for tools you can use to avoid getting dinged for duplicate content, you will find that you can check your website's content against other sites to find out how many other sites have the same or similar content, and then you can rearrange or re-do your own work to make it completely original. Hopefully these tips will help you understand duplicate content a little better, and help you try to avoid it as best you can.
About the Author
Liane Bate owns a Plugin Profit Site web business, is a member of the IAHBE.
Visit: http://www.HonestMoneyMaking.com
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