The term “Google penalty” evokes fear to new bloggers and even tenured content marketers. People who are quite new to the SEO game use this frequently and often, compliance results to underperformance in terms of content marketing. Fear holds back most of us. Best we settle these myths about internet marketing, especially in the area of being penalized about duplicate content.
1. Penalties for non-original content on your website
Best practice if we have original content. However, there are several considerations here. Sometimes, we cannot help but reformat some of our works and distribute to other blogs or other publishing websites. This is good for exposure. Google may be seeing you do this, but they might not react, unless you are manually flagged by someone in Google who is having a bad day.
If, however, you published 2 or more identical sites on different domain names, I mean the same everything: CMS and content. That would really make the crawlers immediately flag you as the similarity of source code and content are suspicious.
Nonetheless, duplicate content is becoming a mistaken terminology among marketers and bloggers. If we are talking about blog posts and articles that are your own creation and you posting somewhere else, it takes more than this for Google to react. Don’t expect it to rank though, but I doubt it will hurt your domain’s credibility.
I have come across plenty of duplicate content by famous bloggers and content marketers. I noticed though wherever they first posted the content will most likely be the one to rank high.
2. Republishing from your guest post will affect ranking
In the past, when I was ghost blogging for one company and I was instructed to republish my guest posts from other blogs on our main website. I told my editor then that it might lead to penalties by Google and I was told it is nonsense. It seems she’s right. Better if the main website only hold original content for it adds in website valuation, but to say it is entirely for fear of duplicate content is wrong.
I have also noticed big bloggers who republish their guest post from very popular websites in their main blog.
Rule of the thumb is, for the search engine crawlers not to be confused, that you use the canonical tag.
Learn how to use this tag directly from Google. I saved this snippet for reference. It is very important to emphasize that Google knows republishing is okay to some degree but citing the preferred or original version is better.
Repurpose your content or rewrite it in another way
The longer your experience in online writing, the easier things become. Really, you will discover ease in finding topics, especially it becomes easier to repurpose and rewrite content. It brings more SEO benefits while having the same topic written in various ways.
3. Content Thieves – Scrapers, will hurt your ranking and reputation
I have noticed some of the posts I published here to appear in other websites. Do I mind? No, I am quite new with this brand I am trying to establish. Does that suggest they find my content good quality? Nonetheless, some people tend to overreact on scrapers because, we go back to #1, duplicate content.
Again, Google has come a long way, very intelligent now, and luckily they know where the original content has been published.
The Scraper Report Tool is no longer accepting submissions. I guess Google has come up with a better plan and automated the identification of scraper websites or stolen content.
I noticed though that those who stole my content did not remove my internal links. Good for me, I get extra traffic on some pages.
Now let us deal with plagiarists
This is where you need to really react and take action, report your plagiarized content. There are people who are just eager to earn, and I have heard of many stories in the past of website content writers stealing content from an unpopular blog. They then submit the articles to whoever they are working for and get paid for it.
I know it is kind of weird, and that’s a dumb editor to not know how to use plagiarism check tools.
Those are the people you might really be interested to overreact with.
4. Only long form content gets to ranked high
Let us go back to user’s intent. Our content only matters if someone needs it. Google algorithm judge our pages on several metrics, but ultimately it is the relevance on search terms to serve the user’s intent. A well written content of less than 1000 words will definitely rank better than an incoherent 3000 words post.
You cannot game the SEO game. If your content is dragging and the page gets high bounce rate because you stretched what you have to say up to 3000 words when it could’ve been enough at 600. You will definitely suffer bad ranking.
The substance of your content plays greater role compared to the quantity of words in terms of serving Google with rank-worthy pages.
Agree? Or agree to disagree?
I love to learn, let me know if you can teach me a lesson or two on what I missed on this and point out where I am wrong. I take criticism well and would like to know your opinion.
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