The Duplicate Content Myth Uncovered

In today’s marketing mix, almost everyone charged with optimizing their organization’s website thinks about SEO and keeping up with the latest trends, best practices, etc. There is much speculation out there when it comes to the world of SEO. One topic of particular controversy is the “duplicate content myth.” Because it’s a question clients ask me often when building out site content, I thought I would try to shed some light on the issue here on Internet Marketing Strategies and Secrets.

According to most experts, the rumors of Google slapping sites on the wrist for having similar or seemingly duplicate content and forever banning them to the depths of search engine rankings is simply just not the case. At one time or another, we all become hypervigilant after hearing stories of sites disappearing from search rankings because of penalties from the Google “police.” That’s understandable. But we shouldn’t lose sight of what is truly happening behind the scenes. If we take a step back from all the chatter and look at it logically, there are actually many websites out there that contain duplicate content. News sites, article directories and blogs for example are just some of the types of sites that are very successful at repurposing content. (Of course, if your site consists of nothing but recycled content, and offers little to no value to the user, I think it is safe to say you don’t care about this stuff anyway.)

The fact is there are many factors taken into consideration before a website is penalized, and it is usually the type that are made for AdSense scraper sites with not so reputable links. This raises another point of how your focus should be to develop as many high-quality links as possible using a mix of unique and repurposed content. It is easier than most marketers think to turn a few well-written pieces of content into link-attracting, traffic-driving blogs or articles. With a few tweaks, you can turn your best user-focused, laser-targeted content into several unique, standalone link-building pieces without a lot of effort or bandwidth. With longer pieces of content, you can also develop themes or multi-part series (like this one on the WebUrbanist blog on The History of Guerrilla Marketing or the series of posts on website optimization my colleague, Justin Barton, has been writing here on our blog) to fully maximize their potential.

Stay tuned for more info and best practices on link-building and article writing. I’ll be back here to write about the same topic again soon.

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