Yesterday, I received a request to repost one of my articles on another blog:
We came across your excellent post today and wanted to ask if you’d be willing to let us repost it to our own blog. We’re well-loved by the search engines, and by our readers alike and we focus on creating and publishing great content. Your article would suit our audience very well.
I was flattered to receive the request, glad to see that my content is seen as valuable, however, I had to turn the request down.
It is my policy to not allow my content to be duplicated anywhere online.
I don’t allow my content to be duplicated anywhere online and you shouldn’t allow yours to be either. Nor should you associate with websites and blogs that publish a large amount of duplicate content.
Here’s my response to the email.
I’ll explain why I don’t allow my content to be reposted and why it isn’t a good idea for you either.
Why reposting content is a bad idea:
Before 2011, posting duplicate content on the web was perfectly fine. Lots of websites did it, either by duplicating content within their own sites, or by publishing other people’s content. Then, along came the Google Panda update. Overnight, many sites saw their search engine rankings disappear. Some sites recovered. Many did not. This was Google’s first big move to rid the Internet (and its search results) of duplicate content. Google has continued to update it’s algorithm to further remove duplicate content.
Effects on your site for duplicate content:
First, let’s look at what would happen if you published my article and it was the only duplicate content on your site. When Google sees two versions of the same content, it will only EVER show one of them in Search results. It looks at publishing date and picks the oldest one, assuming that the original writer published it first. Result: your version of my page would never get indexed in Google. It may provide some benefit to your visitors who come to your site by other means, but it will never provide you with any traffic directly.
Now, let’s look at what happens if you publish a large amount of articles like mine, all other people’s content that exists elsewhere. All that duplicate content will not go unnoticed. Eventually, Google will see it and you will get “Google slapped”, in other words, your entire site (even the original content) will no longer appear in search results on Google.
I went on to give them some advice about how to work with guest bloggers and other people’s content. Pay attention, as it might be applicable to your blog as well:
I noticed on your site that you are just now beginning to accept other people’s articles for publication on your site. My advice would be make it a policy to only publish original content that hasn’t appeared anywhere else — and to promptly remove any content that you find either has already been published, or that gets duplicated later.
You’ve spent a great deal of time growing your search rankings. Don’t allow duplicate content to destroy all of that work.
Protect Your Search Ranking by Following this Advice:
- Don’t allow your content to be reposted anywhere online. If someone likes your content and wants to use it, rewrite it for them. This is better for both you and them.
- Don’t associate with sites that allow any duplicate content, even when allow you to post it elsewhere after a certain length of time. This strategy might work today, but Google could change it’s policy at any time and either that site will disappear from search, or yours will.
- Protect your content by clearly stating your copyright notice on your site. My content wasn’t reposted without my consent because I have a clearly stated copyright policy on my site. You should too.
- If you publish guest posts on your blog, check to see the content has been posted elsewhere with Copyscape. Enter the URL of any webpage and it will search online for duplicate content. The first 10 results are displayed for free.
Google is made riding it’s search results of duplicate content a mission; they will not stop until they are successful. You might be able to post duplicate content today and get away with it, but if you think it will be safe from Google forever, you are only kidding yourself. Like I told these people: “This is the only way to protect your search rankings long term. If you don’t follow this rule, you may find that all of your hard work goes up in smoke without any warning.”