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Duplicate Content Checker: What It Is and Why You Want One

Feb 11, 2008
A profession that is becoming more and more popular is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Consulting, and one of the most commonly asked about topics is duplicate content and how to avoid the duplicate content penalty.

A year or two back, nefarious webmasters discovered that by creating a different website that linked to their main website, and then by placing this HTML code in hundreds of different places, they could generate a large number of incoming links in a short period of time and artificially boost their search engine rankings. This, however, was considered to be a manipulation of the search engine algorithms, and so after much brainstorming and improvement Google and other big search engines introduced the "duplicate content penalty" which punished the ranking of pages that appear in many different places, along with any pages that they link to.

This practice of creating many identical websites is called "link spamming," and it is considered to be a black hat activity (black hat simply means that the person doing it has absolutely no interest in the people going to their website and is only concerned with how to make money off of them). And though black hat webmasters like this are certainly a problem for search engines and internet surfers alike, they are still the minority. The majority of webmasters and bloggers are legitimate and operate with integrity, yet they have found themselves inadvertently penalized in search engines by things such as the duplicate content penalty.

In an ideal world, all of the legitimate webmasters out there would sit at their computer and create 100% unique, hand-written content for every single one of the posts and articles that they write. And while this type of unique content is certainly important for creating an authoritative website that has link power and Pagerank (Google's measure of the importance of a certain web page, named after its creator Larry Page), it can also be uneconomical and extremely time consuming. You will also need unique content if you are looking to avoid the duplicate content penalty, and one of the ways to make sure your content will not be penalized yet not spend your entire afternoon writing is is to use a duplicate content checker.

A duplicate content checker can be a great time-saving tool because instead of writing every single article that you submit, instead you can simply rewrite a few sentences and words to make sure that the search engines will not perceive your article as a duplicate. When using a tool like this, a good rule of thumb is to make sure that your article is no less than 30% unique.

In order to gain exposure, many bloggers (most of whom operate legitimately) will write a detailed post for their blog, and then they will submit this post to a few article directories in order to increase the number of people that read it. While this plan is not devious in any way, it is still possible for this blogger to be penalized by the duplicate content penalty.

Their blog may have low Pagerank and link strength, so if they submit the article for syndication and authority site with high link strength picks it up, chances are that this page on the authority site where the article is listed will outrank the blog of the person who originally wrote it in the search engine results.

If you are a webmaster or blogger that regularly submits their content for syndication, you may be affected by this penalty. There is an easy way for you to avoid it though, and it will only take about 5-10 minutes per article (instead of the 30-50 minutes that it may take to write a completely new article). You will want to begin by writing the original post that you want to have on your blog or website, and then you will want to alter your original post and run it through a duplicate content checker before you submit it for syndication.

Take your original post and begin by changing a few words in the title, and then replace and rework a few of the sentences and paragraphs in the article body. After this (which should close to five minutes), you will want to open your duplicate content checker tool which will check the articles side-by-side to see whether the search engines would slap one of them with a duplicate content penalty. If you can make your rewritten article over 30% unique, then there is a good chance that you can completely avoid the duplicate content penalty and save yourself the headache of coming up with completely new content.
About the Author
If you are looking for a Duplicate Content Checker that you can use, you can find one at http://Coach-Tyler.com/dupchecker/. Using this type of duplicate content tool is important for making your content unique without creating every single article from scratch.
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