June 19, 2016
Is duplicate content from other sites negatively affecting your website ranking?
By Maureen McCabe
In our first blog about duplicate content, you learned that there are several types of duplicate content, and how to identify and fix them. All business owners want the best content for their website. It brings users to your site in the first place, keeps them there and coming back for more later. Though other websites can be a great source of information and ideas, it is important that you use them properly, otherwise your search engine ranking will be damaged.
Not only can you not have duplicate content within your website, but Google can tell if you have copied website content from other sites onto your own. Search engines will penalize you for this plagiarism. Fortunately, there are ways to properly and legally use duplicate content from other websites to build your site’s content and not hurt your SEO. The following are four strategies for using the great content you find across the Web safely on your own website.
1. Round-up blogs
One great idea to add value for your site visitors without plagiarizing blogs is to create a roundup blog on your own website. You can write a short summary of articles, creating your own original content, and link out to the original blog post. As a certain number of offsite links are recommended for your website’s SEO, this is a great option versus simply reposting entire blogs – plus, the original content creators will appreciate you giving them credit
Rewriting content is more than just changing a few words in a sentence. Search engines, like Google, Bing and Yahoo, can detect the similarities and will penalize you for plagiarism. If you value SEO, you are going to need to do more than just directly use duplicate website content. Rather than simply rewriting the information you have found on another site, be “inspired” by it instead. Jot down the main points of the content you’ve researched to use as a guide and then draft your own unique version with your own personal insights and style.
3. Quoting other content
Another way to use content without plagiarizing is either quoting directly or paraphrasing and attributing it to the author. Each has their advantages. Quoting is ideal if you are using just a sentence or two in entirely original content. You can also use the html block quote tag, <blockquote>, on your site to alert search engines that this is not original content, which will help ensure you are not penalized.
Paraphrasing is more time consuming, but better for your SEO, specifically if you are using a large amount of content, because search engines treat it as original content. In both cases, linking back to the original article is beneficial because it tells a search engine where the content came from and that you are not trying to pass it off as your own. This might even help boost the rankings of your original content
4. Re-using infographics
Re-using an infographic won’t damage your SEO as Google cannot analyze images in the same way it can for text. However, copyright infringement is illegal and presents a serious liability to your business. Content owners can do a reverse Google search and see whoever is using their content. That’s why we recommend always attributing the infographic to the content creator. This way, you get great content for your site, provide credit where credit is due and keep your reputation and SEO intact!
You’ve got a great site that is bringing in prospective customers. There’s no need to risk damaging it by directly duplicating content from other websites. Follow these tips and you’ll get the best of both worlds: great content from other sites to help fill in your gaps and a solid SEO ranking.
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