#ContentWritingChat, avoiding duplicate content

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Avoiding Duplicate Content- How to Ensure You’re Staying Original Online with Joshua McCoy

Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week? If you did, you missed a pretty special chat! However, there’s no need to worry because we have you covered with a recap of Tuesday’s chat. Let’s dive in!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Avoiding Duplicate Content- How to Ensure You’re Staying Original Online with Joshua McCoy

The reason this week’s chat was extra special is because we were actually joined by our very own, Josh McCoy. Josh is the CTO here at Express Writers and he’s the founder of soon-to-be-launched Copyfind, a new tool he’s building that will offer the deepest duplicate content search on the web! Our own Julia McCoy is the co-founder. Sign up to get on the waiting list here.

Q1: What is “duplicate content”? Define.

Do you know what “duplicate content” means on the web? Here’s what some participants in Tuesday’s chat had to say:

Josh said duplicate content is defined by online content that matches substantive bits of other content online.

If you were wondering what Google has to say about duplicate content, there definition is in the tweet above. Thanks to Julia (our CEO who was behind the @Copyfind account) for sharing this!

As Sarah said, duplicate content is the same or very similar content that’s on multiple URLs.

Content that is copied from one source and pasted onto another is considered duplicate content.

Katria knows duplicate content doesn’t have to be word-for-word. If it’s very similar in wording or structure, Google may still pick it up as being duplicated.

Q2: How important is it for you to make sure you’re publishing only original content?

Check out what some participants said about the importance of publishing original content:

As Josh said, it’s important to make sure you’re always being 100% original. Copying content from someone else isn’t cool! It’s worth it to search and make sure you aren’t stealing from someone else.

Even if it’s accidental, you face consequences for duplicating someone else’s content. You risk being penalized by Google and could even face copyright infringement for serious offences. Those are two things you don’t want to deal with.

Jane believes original content is important if you’re trying to establish and build your reputation online. This is key!

Providing your audience with original content is a great way to establish trust.

We like the way Zachary thinks! Creating original content is VITAL!

It looks like Stephanie agrees about original content being vital. She said it speaks to your voice, authenticity, knowledge, and authority on a topic.

We agree, Rachel!

This is a great way to look at it! It’s even more of a reason to focus on producing original content online.

Even if you aren’t writing about the most original topic idea, you still want to find a way to put your unique spin on it.

Q3: Does syndication ever cross the line of duplication?

There are a lot of sources online that syndicate content. Does it ever cross the line or become too much? Here’s what we found out in the chat:

As Josh said, news is good when it comes to syndication. News articles are often syndicated and picked up by multiple websites. However, he recommends being careful with syndicated blog feeds.

Julia agrees! You have to be careful if you’re not dealing with news stories.

Hannah’s advice is to make sure you always credit the source. She suggested adding an introduction as a way to do this.

The Digital Chic said syndication should be about curation, amplification, and further promotion to new audiences.

Q4: If you’re using someone else’s quote or idea inside a piece of original content, how do you properly source?

It’s perfectly find to use someone else’s quote or idea in your own content. You just have to make sure you’re properly crediting the original source. Here’s some advice on how to do that:

Josh knows you should always link back to the original source of the content you’re sharing.

Attribution is key! If you quote someone, you should consider asking for permission first. You can easily reach out to the source via social media or email.

Hannah agrees with asking for permission first. She tends to use Twitter as an easy way to reach out to sources.

You should always make sure you link back to the original source and credit the author. It’s simple, but it’s an absolute must. You should also respect their wishes if the source would prefer you didn’t include their quote or idea.

As Rachel said, you should consider the platform as well. You could include someone’s social media handle, add a hashtag, or just have a link. You could even use a combination of all three.

Melanie said to mention the person or company that the quote or idea came from. You should also include a relevant link back to their website, an article, or a Twitter handle.

Ask permission, quote, and attribute. Erika’s answer is spot-on!

As Andrew said, it’s also an opportunity for a mutual backlink. Make sure you attribute properly and let the person know they’ve been quoted.

Edanry knows it can be a great way to network with other people.

Q5: What is canonicalization and does it work? Should you use it to tell Google you have multiple pages that look the same?

What does canonicalization mean and should you use it? Here’s what some of the chatters on Tuesday had to say:

This definition of canonicalization from Yoast is one of the best!

Sarah said canonicalization is telling search engines which URL/content is original and if there are duplicates.

Q6: Are you monitoring to know if others are scraping your content? What tools do you use?

Are you making sure people aren’t stealing your content? And if so, which tools do you rely on? Here’s what we found out in Tuesday’s chat:

At Express Writers, our team has been relying on Copyscape. However, as Josh said, Copyfind will provide the best results once it’s released.

Sabjan and Amalia rely on Copyscape for monitoring.

Have you tried using BuzzSumo for this? Andrew has! He said it’s a great tool for exploring content and identifying influencers in your field.

Jenn said she hasn’t been monitoring as much as she should. She does track linkbacks in WordPress and searches Twitter to see when others are sharing her content.

Even if you don’t think someone would be copying you, you never know what you might find. It’s worth it to check.

Q7: What do you do if you find out someone has copy/pasted and is using all your original content without permission?

The first thing is, you shouldn’t panic! Just take this advice from the chat:

Josh’s advice is to file a Google DMCA report to have the stolen content removed.

Meisha suggests reaching out first. See if you can get the content removed or have credits added.

Sarah from ThinkSEM has dealt with this firsthand. They called the other agency out on their plagiarism.

At least those copycats think you’re doing a great job, right?

Rohan said to have a good laugh, then report the content to Google.

Finally, we also have a blog post that addresses this situation. Check out these tips if you’re still not sure how to handle it.

Q8: Q&A for Josh McCoy and Copyfind!

Here are just some of the questions that were asked during the Q&A portion of the chat:

The differences between Copyscape and Copyfind are all the more reason to check out Copyfind when it’s released!

Will it be possible to automate plagiarism searches with Copyfind? Yes!

Have daily alerts set up so you can stay on top of your content monitoring.

Stay tuned for Copyfind™’s launch!

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

duplicate content

New Year Tips: What Do I Have To Worry About With Duplicate Content?

Some people copy content in order to fill a website; others have all original content except for a list of automotive parts that really can’t be reworded. The hot question circulating in the online community is how much duplicate content will hurt you?

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, says that today “something like 25 or 30 percent of all the web’s content is duplicate content.” For years, duplicate content has been a search engine optimization issue that has caused much debate. Some say matching content has led them to ranking ruin, while others claim it’s mostly harmless.


Understanding Duplicate Content and Why It Must Be Avoided

Simply put, duplicate content is the content that shows up multiple times in numerous places on the Internet. Search engines are on a mission to provide the best search experience. As a result, they avoid displaying identical material. There are three big issues with duplicate content:

  1. Search engine algorithms don’t know which content version(s) to include or exclude.
  2. Search engines cannot determine whether to direct link metrics to a single page or separate it between several versions.
  3. Search engines cannot decide which version(s) to rank for query results.

You should avoid duplicate content whenever possible. It will only serve to decrease your SERP ranking and decrease traffic potential.


Disclaimers, Legal Information, Terms, and Conditions

Depending on the nature of your business, your service or product website might need to display a disclaimer, terms and conditions or some other sort of legal information. Let’s face it; nearly every website out there has something along these lines—even if it’s as minor as the same copyright information displayed on every page of the website. Duplicate content of this nature is going to exist. It’s virtually unavoidable.

Here’s the good news: Google understands. If they were to rank websites negatively for duplications that arise from disclaimers, legal information and terms and conditions, they would likely cause a negative impact on overall search quality. In Cutts’ words, “I wouldn’t stress about it” when it comes to the necessary legal jargon.


Ingredient, Product, Service and Other Lists

Lists are another element found on almost any website. Companies display lists of ingredients, parts, specs, and so forth. Your website might have a list of affiliates. In general, these types of lists should not detract from your ranking. However, a word of caution does demand attention: if you have just an affiliate feed or the exact same paragraph(s) of text that mirror what everybody else on the web puts in their list, duplicate content could become a problem.


Quotations and Citations

Don’t worry if you use quotations or citations. It is okay to quote, provided you link to the original source and indicate that you are quoting. Google won’t see this as duplicate content. However, remember, quotes are the golden nuggets of copy. Don’t write copy that is quotation heavy. This will be seen negatively by Google’s eyes.


Avoid “Fly-By-Night” or Duplicate Content Branding

Duplicate content brands a website as “fly-by-night,” meaning the content was quickly copied and pasted from somewhere else just to get the website up and running with a shot at gaining quick SERP ranking. It’s important that your webpage content not give this deadly impression.

The solution is simple: use original content as much as possible. By using original content throughout your webpages, little duplicates (such as the ones we discussed above) won’t carry much weight because your original content will far outweigh any matching material. In essence, showing that you are a reputable, established presence depends on value. How valuable is your content to the potential customer and the researcher who wants to be educated and informed?


Keyword Stuffing is Deadly

One of the largest contributors to duplicate content on the Internet has been the previous SEO strategy of stuffing content with keywords and keyword phrases. Up until now, this used to be a solid way to show up on search engine result pages and generate website traffic. Today, Google is smarter. Their search algorithms are able to identify synonyms and extrapolate relevant search results to a query based on concept. What does this mean for your content?

Do not stuff keywords or phrases! It will create rapidly recognized duplicate information. Your search rankings will take a not so graceful swan dive, and you’ll likely be branded a “fly-by-night” website by search engines.


The Practices to Avoid to Stay Free of Duplicate Content

Cutts makes an interesting statement about duplicate content. He says that in general, “duplicate content is not really treated as spam.” Most of the time, it’s “treated as something that [needs to be] cluster[ed] appropriately.” It’s important to realize that search engines are endeavoring to preserve quality search results.

Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. If they are looking for a local mechanic, then their search engine results need to return with several unique hits. They will then surf their way through these before choosing which mechanics to contact. If their search query returned a page with 10 links, all to the same mechanic’s website just different pages, they would be frustrated. It’s likely they would avoid giving business to this mechanic due to the sheer frustration of only his pages appearing.

Google wants to ensure the audience is happy. They’ll weed out duplicate content as their algorithms allow, and you don’t want to be a weed that gets pulled. Here are the practices to avoid:

  • Keyword stuffing.
  • Using the exact same paragraphs over and over on multiple pages.
  • Reusing the same biography, about or general company/business information because that’s all there is.
  • Using lists that appear on other websites.
  • Creating multiple domains, subdomains, or pages with duplicate content.


The Practice to Adopt

How do you not worry about duplicate content? It’s really very simple: stay original.

One of the best ways to ensure your content stays creative and original is to hire a professional. An expert copywriter or copywriting agency can be an invaluable ally, able to adeptly craft engaging, original content that will preserve and even improve your SERPs.