Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog Internet Marketing Blog


Why post duplicate content to your blogs?

I just launched a new free service, that lets you put other people's blog posts on your own blogs in seconds. It's been a great success in the 24 hours that it's been live. There's close to 5,000 blog posts in the content directory already.

A question that kept popping up on the forum was whether or not Google is willing to rank duplicate content. People weren't sure if they should republish other folks' blog content because of the duplicate content "issue."

Now, back when my Search Engine Myths Exposed report was available, it crushed the idea that Google doesn't rank duplicate content. I won't go into the heavy detail of that report, but I'll sum it up before providing proof from the ShareAPost site itself that Google does, in fact, rank and send traffic to duplicate content.

Google makes two statements on their blog that by themselves should squash concerns over duplicate content:

  1. "Duplicate content doesn't cause your site to be penalized." That's a direct quote. Google makes it plain that it will not hurt you to have duplicate content on your site.
  2. "If you syndicate your content on other sites, make sure they include a link back to the original article on each syndicated article." Again, a direct quote.

The second quote warrants a bit more explanation. Why does Google want you to get links back to the original article if you syndicate an article? That's easy: the article with the most links wins the search game.

You see, it's not the original article that necessarily ranks well in Google. Here's a search at Google which proves that (I wrote that article, and it originally appeared on this blog -- but EzineArticles outranks my blog because it has more links aimed at it [I never optimized that article]).

So yes, the short of it is that Google will rank and send traffic to duplicate content. But let's have some proof, shall we? ShareAPost is made up of 100% duplicate content. Every excerpt it shows is from a post on somebody else's blog. That's its purpose: to show you content that you can post on your own blog by permission of the person who created the blog.

If the nay-sayers are right in saying that Google won't send traffic to duplicate content, then why, pray tell, is Google sending me traffic just 24 hours after I launched the service?

Don't believe me? Here's the screenshot of the domain's stats:

Yes, 117 page views from Google in the last 24 hours. And notice another benefit? Windows Live has already sent 137 page views -- in 24 hours! That's 254 page views to a brand new domain with barely a half a dozen links into it in less than 24 hours.

Can you get traffic to duplicate content? Absolutely! Now let me tell you a "secret" that makes it even easier...

The "Secret" To Using Duplicate Content

When Google chooses which web page to rank for a given set of keywords, it examines the links into that page (and a number of other factors) to determine how well each matching page should rank for the keywords. If two pages of duplicate content are both optimized for the same keywords, Google will only choose one of them to show in the search results -- the one that has the most links.

So to rank a full page of duplicate content, you simply need to optimize your page better than the competition's if they're trying to rank the same articles for the same keywords.


Want to get traffic from duplicate content the easy way? Here's how you do it:

  1. Setup a WordPress blog.
  2. Use to post summaries of good quality articles to your blog in seconds (yes, ShareAPost has an option to post a summary instead of the full text).
  3. Get some links aimed at your blog.

That's it. It's really that easy.

Why WordPress? Why Summaries?

Why post summaries of articles you feel are of good quality instead of the full post? Because you can configure WordPress to display X number of posts per page of the blog, and when Google sees a page consisting of 5-10 small excerpts of different articles, it doesn't see it as duplicate content.

Take this one step further and group related summaries under the same WordPress category and then Google will crawl the "category" pages and see that the material is all closely related, which is a good optimization technique.

That's right: put a bunch of brief summaries onto one page and Google sees it as a page of unique content. Shocked? Awed? In disbelief? Look back at the stats for ShareAPost if you don't believe me.

Also, as of right now only has 124 pages indexed in Google. I just added a tag cloud to the bottom of the ShareAPost home page which will produce hundreds more pages. When Google indexes those pages, what do you think will happen? That's right: Google (and the other big search engines) will send more and more traffic to those nice little summary pages. As I get more links into the site it will result in even more traffic from better rankings as well.

The Other Good Reason

Of course, that's not the only reason to post other folks' quality content to your blog. If you don't have time to update dozens of blogs by writing unique posts for each of them every day, you can find top-quality posts from ShareAPost to post to your blog instead. This gives your visitors good quality material to read, for which you can show advertisements or affiliate links.

Newspapers have been using syndicated content for this very same reason for years. Does each newspaper produce its own comic strips, or self-help advice? No! And most major newspapers use syndicated classified ads as well. More quality content to put their own ads around.

The online world is no different. Using syndicated ("duplicate") content is not a crime, and Google does not treat it as such. If you want to do full posts of great articles, just get some links into the article using some more long tail keywords (i.e. "dallas internet marketing advice" instead of "internet marketing"). What's the likelihood that others are trying to rank that same article for those same keywords? If it's slim to none, then you've got a traffic-pulling piece of "duplicate" content.

So what are you waiting for? Get over to now and start syndicating some of that content. The search engines will reward you for it!

Please post your thoughts and comments below.