May 07 2018

Let’s Talk About Cheating: Is Duplicating Content Okay?

Posted by Kristofer Benigno , , , , , ,

 

So, you found out they were cheating. Behind your back, they were lecherously playing dirty tricks that you only found out now when it’s too late.

The damage is done, they did what you never expected them to do. And now, you’ve been hurt badly; you think “what once was can never be again” after you found out.

We understand. It happens — it happens to everyone at some point.

Cheating

But we’re not talking about love or relationships here: today, we talk about duplicating content and if it’s okay to copy content from others for your own self(ish) gain. Tsk, tsk.

People Will ALWAYS Know

The short answer is: of course not!

Duplicating content is never an okay thing to do. And we absolutely don’t advice anyone to duplicate content.

In the simplest sense, duplicating content is directly getting another site’s content to be published into your own. According to Google, duplicate content “generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.”

So, why is duplicating content a no-no? For one, people will find out that your content is duplicated, especially if you got it from more credible sources without acknowledging that you took it from them.

People who go on the internet are trying to find out a solution to their problem: how to get over a bad break-up, how to find someone new, how to win someone back. And if you can’t give them new information, they’ll know that you just took your content from others (which is, essentially cheating.)

And, also, you can’t hide from your viewers. They will eventually know that you just duplicated someone’s content and your brand will just lose credibility and authenticity, and this is bad news for your brand and business.

What you can do:

While duplicating content is not advisable, getting information from others and using them to create a unique article of your own isn’t.

You can gather information about your topic from various sources, then you can craft a unique content that has your brand’s own unique voice and tone. Don’t forget to credit your sources, as this will help boost your credibility and your viewers will see you as honest.

Search Engines Will Hate You

Another reason why you should avoid duplicating content is because search engines could flag you as trying to manipulate the rankings.

While there are no severe penalties for duplicate copy of content, there are consequences that you have to deal with; one consequence is lower ranking on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) and less traffic to your website.

Having a lower ranking for duplicate content is due to Google’s crawlbots not being able to index the content properly for search. This means that Google can’t determine which version is more relevant to the search query. This reduces your chances of getting a spot on the ranking since Google will have to choose which one to post.

What you can do:

Of course, the best you can do is still to come up with unique content. Since this is the only way to avoid google crawlbots from lumping your content with other duplicates.

You could also use top-level domains to help Google index your content as country-specific. This reduces the chance of your content being mixed into worldwide searches and will reduce chances of your link being diluted with other duplicate content.

If you syndicate your content on syndication websites, it would be a good idea to have a backlink to the original post in each of your syndicated content. You could also try to ask syndicated websites to use the “noindex” meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing the syndicated content. This will help Google find the content you want them to find and index.

You’re Only Cheating Yourself

When you duplicate content, you’re mostly just hurting your website and its ranking on search. According to hobo-web, “Google rewards uniqueness and signals associated with added value” and that “google filters duplicate content”.

Given this information, can you imagine what will happen to your websites ranking if most, if not all, your content is duplicated content? Your site could fall off the ranks faster than your heart can bounce back from a break-up.

You’re also running a strong risk of being slapped with a copyright infringement under the Digital Millennum Copyright Act (an act that protects content on the internet) when you have a website full of duplicated content. Yikes.

What you can do

You can use XML sitemaps to help Google find and discover your new content. This helps Google find “value added” in your website so they can choose to index you separately from other duplicates.

For duplicate content within your website, you can use the canonical tag “rel=canonical” to help prevent duplicate content issues by letting google crawlers know which one is your “preferred” version of the web page.

We can’t stress enough how duplicating content should be avoided. If you seriously have to duplicate content, then know what you’re getting yourself into (and try not to get caught doing it) because you’re running a huge risk when you cheat – I mean, duplicate content.

Creating online content is not as easy as it sounds now, does it? If you’re having a hard time creating content for your website, you could get in touch with your local SEO specialists to help you out.


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