Content is the essence of what online professionals do. Day in and day out, an online professional has to consume content, as well as deliver it. In spite of all the developments and progress made in this ever changing realm, the cliche, content is king, still applies. You may dress up your platform with the prettiest elements, but without real, valuable content, you won’t have the staying power.
One could argue that creativity is the limit. There will always be something to write about, and if you are creative enough, you will never run out of good content. However, one can also argue that there might be times when it can be useful to use the same content on different pages.
Duplicate content defined
First of all, let’s be clear about the definition of duplicate content. It’s a term that has search engine optimization pros up in arms, basically because it is generally frowned upon. To cut to the chase, duplicate content refers to blocks of text that are essentially the same and can be found on different pages. So, for example, if we publish this article as page and make a few unessential tweaks here and there, we are basically publishing duplicate content.
What’s the issue?
Malicious and non-malicious – that’s where the issue can be found. Usually, when someone says duplicate content, he is referring to the malicious kind, and that’s when the problem arises.
Malicious duplicate content occurs when content is copied on purpose, posted to different pages on a site, with the goal of increasing traffic. Of course, Google is not stupid and recognizes such activities, hence the penalties that are applied.
The good news
To every cloud, there is a silver lining, and the same thing goes for duplicate content. If you are duplicating content without that malicious intent, you might actually get off scot-free. How so?
Here’s the dish, straight from Matt Cutts himself: “I wouldn’t stress about this unless the content that you have duplicated is spammy or keyword stuffing.”
Basically, it goes back to the the point we started with: the quality of your content. If your content is poor to begin with, you will already have issues with Google. If you are silly enough to use spammy, keyword-stuffed content AND duplicate it across your site, then you really do deserve a slap on the wrist.
If, however, you know that you are delivering good content to your readers, and you see fit to duplicate this content for one reason or another, then there is no reason to worry. Watch Matt Cutts’s video below for more.
That is good news, isn’t it?
Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO companies in the United States.
Image via Serge Melki