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Just a few days ago, I receive an email from a reader about the concern of duplicate content issue when using press release after he read my one of my post about getting traffic from press release. I think this is one of the myth in SEO or in general marketing context.

What Is Duplicate Content?

First of all, we need to understand the definition of duplicate content and why it happens. When Google refers to duplicate content issue, they mean the same content that can be accessed via different URL in the same domain. For example, you have a page with unique that is about dog training, i.e. YourDomain.com/Dog-Training, this page can also be accessed via multiple URLs because of session id or you have created multiple page with different design for split testing purpose, such as via YourDomain.com/Dog-Training.html, YourDomain.com/Dog-Training1.html, then this could post a duplicate content issue.

If you submitted your very same post to the article directories, this is NOT a duplicate content issue but content syndication.  There are a lot of misunderstanding about content syndication versus duplicate content. Of of the most common way that you might see is that your blog posts were scrapped and posted on some other blogs via RSS. There are a lot of content scrapping software that are able to scrap content easily and get posted automatically to the blog to generate content. Most of them will provide a link back to the original source to acknowledge the author.

Content Syndication

This is the situation where you have the same piece of content showing up in multiple websites with different URLs and this is not considered as duplicate content. Similarly, you can also submit the same article to multiple article directories or using software like Article Marketing Robot for mass distribution of your article. This content syndication will result in multiple backlinks to your website and direct traffic to your site because you have increased the exposure of your website.

Another good example is press release. Most of the reputable press release sites will get a lot of syndication from other news agency and blogs, therefore resulting in massive exposure of the single press release. That’s one of the reason why press release can be extremely powerful to generate buzz for product launch and any kind of event.

Unlimited Traffic And Backlinks?

Now, hopefully you understand clearly the difference of duplicate content and content syndication. You might be wondering do you need just 1 piece of content to get unlimited traffic and backlinks since you can “syndicate to a tons of sites”? The answer is NO.

Although technically you can submit your article to as many sites as possible, the chances for all those sites to get indexed by Google is slim. Please note that there is no penalty from Google and that’s just how Google will treat the excessive syndicated content as supplemental index database, as shown below:

Google Supplemental Index

Having said that, you still be able to gain the benefit of having direct traffic from the sites you submitted to. If you would like to gain the backlinks that are indexed by Google, you need to provide unique content.

There are a number of platforms that support content syndication such as Ping.fm, Hellotxt.com and Pixelpipe.com. Each of them contains around 30++ social sites such as Facebook, Myspace, WordPress, FriendFeed, etc…that allow you to syndicate your content. You are more than welcomed to setup the account so that you can syndicate your content easily. If you would like to automate the task of submission, you can check out Bookmark Lover, one of the service I am using to help to syndicate my content to Ping, Hellotxt and Pixelpipe and other sites automatically to generate more traffic and backlinks to my site. I have been using it since its launch and there are quite a number of the updates (including April 2012) of the software and I am pretty happy with their support as well.

–> Watch the video of how Bookmark Lover Works And The Case Studies

I hope this post clears out the myth of duplicate content vs content syndication. As usual, leave me your comment below to share your thoughts on duplicate content, content syndication or any questions you have.

To Your Success,
Ming Jong Tey

49 Responses to “Duplicate Content vs Content Syndication”
Read them below or add one

  1. Ileane says:

    Hi Ming, excellent explanation of duplicate content. It took me a long time to get this one through my head and the next problem is how to resolve those issues when they occur on your blog. Are you using a plugin for that? I try not create duplicate content but I’m not sure how to prevent it or how to prevent those pages from appearing in Google’s index. Looks like I don’t need to worry about it, but I still do. LOL! Thanks for the post Ming!
    Ileane recently posted..How To Curate Content and Build Authority With Scoop.it

    • Ming Jong says:

      @Ileane: Hi Ileane, if I interpret correctly, you refer to the duplicate issue on the blog. This can be triggered by quite a number of reasons especially if you have some tracking happening in the blog (by plugin or script).

      One of the thing is to use the canonical tag so that search engine recognize the page is actually a copy of the specific URL. Or you can put a noindex tag. For the problem generated via session ids or tracking etc…I think might need the help from the software provider…That’s getting too technical to me, lol…
      Ming Jong recently posted..Google Algorithm Update February 2012 – Link Evaluation

  2. Thank you so much for explaining this to me. I have been confused between duplicate content and content syndication. It has kept me away from writing articles so far. It was too much of a learning curve.
    But now, coming to your post (for the first time) you have explained it well. This is what I love about being in a tribe. I always meet new people and learn new things.
    I cannot take a course on everything, but coming to your blog has helped me so much.
    I thank you,
    Donna Merrill
    Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Leverage Your Blog Content

  3. Karla Campos says:

    Here is a link to what Google has to say about duplicate content and it includes this line “In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved”.
    http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66359

    Now I know it says rare cases but I remember when the Panda update went live and how many article directories dropped in ranking, from your experience what is your take on this?
    Karla Campos recently posted..iPad 3rd Gen Giveaway

    • Ming Jong says:

      @Karla Campos: As usual, Google will never spell it out clearly to people so that we can have a proper guidance. So, I can’t really interpret the rare cases…

      For the Panda, most of the article directories drop because of the quality of the content. To be honest, I still think the quality of the content in the article directories is inferior, comparing to a lot of blogs.

      Even for EzineArticle, after the Panda, they have more stringent review process and lift the minimum amount of words to 400 instead of 300. They are trying their best to up the quality of the article. Despite the effort, article directory is no longer a good portal to rank on Google like it used to be. Similar thing happened earlier during the incipient phase of web2.0 (think the ranking of squidoo, hubpages). That’s my view…
      Ming Jong recently posted..Is Warrior Forum WSO Turning Into ClickBank?

  4. This topic is something that I have been looking for a long time. The battle between Content Syndication and Dupli content is never settled. Press releases been the most widely used method for content syndication also remains the biggest talked about topic under duplicate content issue. Your post shares some great insights about the topic. :)
    Anoop Sudhakaran recently posted..Your Photos Contain a Lot More than Your Captures

  5. Good information about duplicate content myths. The clarification about the domain name and similar pages is of great value for someone to learn if they do not realized what the difference is about. I just finished an analysis about web content and the effects of link building with unique articles. As this goes along very well with your article. My blog’s are soaring right now because of unique content and have to agree very much so that most of these article directory sites do not produce any results in the search engine results, but these directories do produce gains for your site after submitting your articles.

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