Duplicate and Syndicated Content

Home, SEO & SEM 1 Comment

If you want to engage in content marketing, first thing to do is finding some blogs and websites that would publish your content. Many blogs are more than willing to accept your articles, however they will only publish unique content, they say. The definition of unique content is simple: It needn’t have been published anywhere else yet.

Then there are two other types of content: duplicate and syndicated content. Now here is where many people get confused. This confusing is caused by the often wrong usage of the phrase “duplicate content”. So, let me clarify both meanings for you and break down the difference between them.

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is a phrase referring to the same or very similar content on one or across domain. Let me use an example to make this clear. If you own a website that can be accessed by let’s say:

  • example.com and
  • www.example.com

If you have the same content on both domains (which will be the case 99.9% of the time) you have duplicate content. To avoid any harm to your site, there are several ways to tell Google which domain you prefer. You can either use 301 redirects, canonical tags, specify your preferred domain on Google Webmaster Tools and you can indicate your main domain by being consistent in the way you set links. Google itself provides as detailed help guide to prevent harm due to duplicate content: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66359

Syndicated Content

On the other hand there is syndicated content (which is often falsely referred to as duplicate content). You syndicate your content, when you write an article, publish it yourself and afterwards try to spread it on several other platforms. Syndicating content is not forbidden or harmful. However it can influence search rankings, as Google chooses what they think is the most relevant article to be displayed in search results. Sometimes that might not be the one you’d like to be picked.

There are ways to indicate which article is the original (like canonical tags) which will help Google to identify the initial source and therefore give credit to the original publisher. Blogs who publish syndicated content won’t experience harm through doing so, but there is no real benefit either (other than filling the blog).

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