alex sysoef

Duplicate Content Controversy – Check Before You Believe It

Duplicate Content penalty is one of the most misunderstood and at same time one of the most abused topics in Internet marketing and blogging. It is being “sold” as a proven fact by many looking to sell some form of a “solution” to others, not willing to take time to check the claims…

But I KNOW You Are Smarter Than That!

Last Google algorithm update only added to this controversy and created a new frenzy around the topic. And while I’m not going to argue that UNIQUE content will outperform Private Label Rights articles I would like to invite you into a quick facts checking process.

Shall we see what is truth and what is fairy tales?

What Is Duplicate Content?

I have previously talked about duplicate content on this blog but lets recap what we actually know:

  • Duplicate content can lead to pages being not properly indexed – Google has spoke on it and I recommend you read it
  • Duplicate content generally refers to same content on your site being shown on multiple pages without indication to search bots which page contains the original. This one is common to improperly configured blogs where you full Post shown on front page, single page view, archive pages, tag pages, etc. Can be easily avoided by either using “more” tag as I do on this blog or showing excerpt through modifying theme files. Also implementation of “canonization” (rel=”canonical”) on your blog clearly identifies which page contains original. SEO plugins, such as “All In One SEO” or “Yoast WordPress SEO” will do it for you when properly configured.

But does it actually mean that using same content on different sites, such as what we use for Article Marketing will lead to Google Penalty or not being indexed?

Look At The Facts

Before you buy into any “duplicate content solutions” I recommend you re-read the Google explanation on what it perceives as duplicate content and actions they are willing to take.

I might be misreading something, or perhaps the fact that English is my second language but NOWHERE on that page did I find a statement that your site will suffer if you use Article Marketing to build links to YOUR site. PLR articles work quite nicely for that, even without spinning.

  • Yes, it will help you if articles you use for marketing are each more unique than the others.
  • Yes, Google does try hard to remove from index same content that exists on multiple sites.
  • And No, they don’t always succeed in doing it.

In fact I want to share with you a short story of how same content published on multiple sites is indexed by big G and shown to people…

A few weeks ago I started getting Google Alerts on my name, that led to articles indexed by Google, all with same topic:

“A Bloggers Look at Alex Sysoef’s Expert WordPress Program”

I have watched this process of indexing and results are quite interesting, especially considering that latest algorithm change supposedly prevents this type of content being indexed. See for yourself how many sites got indexed with this article:


Keep in mind, that new sites are added to index every day and I still get alerts on it but close to 5k of sites with exactly same article already indexed by big G and they don’t seem to have any problem with it. Go ahead, verify it!

As big G say – it might not provide the best user experience by having same article presented from multiple sites but they don’t seem to mind indexing and presenting it to people who search.


Unique content is still a must have for any site striving to build an authority and I highly recommend you take action to prevent your content from being stolen by content scrapers.

Article Marketing still works and will continue to work because I don’t believe big G or any other SE can create an algorithm smart enough to filter it out completely.

Before you believe any claims that offers you a solution for a problem that DOESN’T actually exist – check your facts! Marketing on Internet is based on testing, it is based on tracking and KNOWING what works and what doesn’t!

As always your comments and opinions are welcome! I’m open for discussion based on facts.

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18 Responses to “Duplicate Content Controversy – Check Before You Believe It”

  1. Dennis Edell says:

    I for one do feel a bit better, since I started outsourcing all SEO, I think she configured my plugin to take care of such issues.

    Question: What plugin are you using to say the name is too long or too short?

    <abbr>Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing recently posted..100 Down Thousands to Go!</abbr>

    • TheSpotter says:


      This blog uses All In One SEO but I have been using "Yoast WordPress SEO" plugin on my latest blogs as in my opinion it provides a lot more comprehensive approach to SEO aspects of each post. It does require more involvement then AIOS plugin, hence I don't include it into EWP installer for simplicity sake and preserve the sanity of people who are just starting to use blogs 🙂

      BTW, your comments ALWAYS go to spam on my blog. You might want to check if you are blacklisted somewhere in Akismet

      • Tim Sullivan says:

        Hi Alex,
        very interesting findings. I was also a victim of article theft and the funny thing is that the duplicated article outranked my original one, although it was published a month after mine. Go figure! I nave understood why, but the sure things is that Google doesn't erase duplicate content of their database.
        Also, my comments end up into your spam folder or get deleted.

        • TheSpotter says:

          Thank Tim,

          I don't delete any comments posted according to "Comments Guidelines" provided below the comment form and if I see any in spam that don't belong there – I recover them. This blog does get a lot of spam, which I obviously can't control and rely on Akismet to help me with it, but it is possible that with 40k+ spam comments I get per month some are spammed incorrectly.


  2. Bjorn says:

    I think the panda solution was to reduce the influence from article farms. Eizine lost a lot of ranking, and this will affect all links going out from Eizine. It is a fact that Google dislike duplicates, just as the users do. So even if it works now, it can change..
    My recent post How to maximize the link building value

    • TheSpotter says:


      Nobody argues the point but so far results are not applicable to each and every site and my points being – Google simply can't automate everything, no matter how much they try. It works now and I believe it will continue to work.

      My point being here – people need to stop taking others word for it and test what works and what doesn't.

  3. Bill says:

    We will have to agree to disagree. I have regular blogs, sblogs and combinations. Often I rank better for rss scrape articles than the writer because they do not under stand on-page SEO.
    The duplicate content issue typically deals with every amateur blogger with a basic hosting plan, most do not realize they are creating three blogs:

    1) (subdomain(the blog url) and base domain used when setting up the account.)

    The best way to deal with this is a proper robot.text file to disallow 2 of the 3 published blogs all resulting from the same url, ideally disallow "" and "" .
    My recent post World Class Customer Service Key To Consumer Goods Product Management

    • TheSpotter says:

      Well, when you steal someones content – you also pull it not just from one blog but many in exact same niche, which allows you to create a more targeted blog for specific niche.

      Quite frankly – I have a hate these strategies and when I have time – I take it to the max, hit it where it hurts. I know I personally managed to get at least 2 AdSense accounts shutdown and about same number of hosting suspended, time consuming but rewarding to see thieves pay.

  4. I've been busy for years trying to educate my readers that chasing Google SERPs is only an option – not a requirement – and is just one method [out of hundreds] for directing qualified traffic to a website a blog.

    So the duplicate content issue – regardless of how one interprets it – becomes a meaningless argument when one stops chasing Google and their little whims – and focuses that energy and commitment toward [let's say] list building.

    Personally, I don't want any part of my present or future income to be dependent on what Google does next.

    Wishing all the best
    Dan B. Cauthron

  5. TheSpotter says:

    Thanks for the input Dan.

  6. You made an excellent point on scraper sites and rankings. They create a more targeted site so they end up ranking well for those terms. I also don't like people stealing content (as I know happened to you) but Google seems to still index their duplicate content and rank them. I know someone that all she does is copy and paste Associated Press articles on her site with no commentary and no attribution. Not only does she not have any penalties but she ranks well and received a blogging award. I don't understand it at all…

    Those are two points that duplicate content is rewarded in some cases and not disregarded. I agree with you that article marketing can still be effective and get your duplicate content indexed.
    My recent post Social Media Tips For Business Success

    • TheSpotter says:

      Yep, big G seem to have their own rules and you can't beat them.

      I don't like when content is taken without permission and what is even worse – proper attrition, to me it is a theft and I always spoke out on it. But article marketing I'm pointing out in this case – is content created by author and used to build popularity of his / her main site and I was simply stating that it still works and will continue to work, in my opinion.

      To much misguided, or intentionally misrepresented info on the web, just trying to make a point….

  7. Chloe says:

    I knew that content is the key but the duplicated content seems difficult to avoid. I have heard of article spinning but I haven't tried doing it. I wonder if there a way to know if the post that a blogger made is a duplicate content or not.
    My recent post 7 Rules to Get Your Ex Back

  8. Lukas G says:

    I know one website, which has duplicated content, even exactly the same page few times on their website under different url. The domain works with www and without. Still, they have very high search position on quite difficult phrase. It's funny, but it seems like Google doesn't care about it like everybody thinks… Great article!
    My recent post QR Codes – simple but powerful addition to blog posts

  9. Andre A says:

    Although I try to stay away from duplicate content sometimes it seems like unless you are writing fresh content you will run into it. Using spinners doesn't seem to solve the problem as you may have to re-do what they are saying. I have not seen it cause to much of a problem but still try not to use it a lot. Thanks.
    My recent post Acne PLR Article Pack

  10. I agree with some of the comments here. The duplicate content is one issue that can be easily avoided. What we can't avoid is all the changes in Google that are happening more often these days. My solution is simple but not easy and everybody mentioned before, write great content, write a lot of content, do some onsite SEO.
    My recent post Must Have WordPress Plugins

  11. Ann Karen says:

    We could always check on other’s content just to get ideas and be inspired but copying is a no no. It really pays to have unique content, especially if you have personal note or experience added on it. Still, I have to check Google’s explanation about duplicate content because I haven’t fully understood it. Thanks for sharing!

    My recent post Log Home Decorating – DIY

  12. Rodney says:

    Yeah I agree duplicate content is all over the place. I was using it but have been having more success writing my own post.