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Can my Article Appear on Other Sites?

Repeating columns, duplicate content on other websites

Can my Article Appear on Other Sites?

What is Duplicate Content and Why do Google Care?

It is fairly well known that duplicate content is something you want to avoid at ALL costs if you want your website to rank on the search engines. But what IS duplicate content and why is it a problem for Google?

Just think for a moment how you would feel if you had spent an hour or two slaving over a new blog article only to find a couple of days later that your direct competitor had taken your content, tweaked it and then published it on their website as their own. Now, that would be REALLY unfair on you, especially if Google were to give the competitors article a higher ranking than yours; you’d probably want to complain to Google; right?

The term ‘duplicate content’ is referring to the “ownership” of the words and text (content) that appear on a website. The quality of your content is a large factor that is taken into account when Google’s algorithm is ranking it and “duplicate content” is referring to who the “owner” of that content is.

Content is KING
They say that Content is KING, and from Google’s perspective, it absolutely is! When we talk about duplicate content, it is important to note that we are referring to content which is the same OR SIMILAR to content that already exists on another web page. Google is sophisticated enough to be able to analyse all content to understand if it is relevant but it is also clever enough to spot when somebody has changed a few words in somebody else’s text. There are various online tools available to ‘flip’ content but don’t be fooled into thinking this is good enough. Often the results of using these tools make no sense at all to the human eye and after all, it is our target audience that we want to READ our articles and content.

Many business leaders subscribe to industry news articles and blogs to keep themselves up to date with what is going on in their relevant field of expertise and I’m sure we all keep an eye on the local press to see what is going on locally. What if we notice an article that we think our target audience will be interested in, can we plagiarise it for our own websites? We even have clients who subscribe to news feeds specifically for them to be able to share on their websites – does this all count as duplicate content?

Well, the short answer is yes, they do!

If the content is duplicated on another site even if it has been ‘tweaked’, then in Google’s eyes the content belongs to the original author.

However, if you can use the original text as inspiration and write an entirely new piece of content from your own perspective then you will be fine; it will be unique and relevant content which Google will LOVE.

If you are subscribing to receive press release articles specifically designed for people to share on websites then really it is a race to see who can publish it AND have it ranked by Google FIRST.

If you Google the first paragraph of the press release and find it is already online, then my advice would be to either ditch it altogether and find another or use it as inspiration to write your own article. If it doesn’t show up at all when you do your Google search then go ahead and publish it but make sure you monitor it going forward, if Google doesn’t rank it on your site but they do rank it elsewhere then you will be penalised for duplicating that content from somebody else and you may need to create a NOFOLLOW tag in your robots file.

If you have any questions about duplicate content, please comment below so we can respond. If you need any other assistance relating to SEO in general, please give us a call on 01604 523002 or contact us here.

Tim Brown
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