Saturday, December 20, 2008

Determining Duplicate Content; When Can You Repost Your Articles?

When it comes to search engine optimization, there is much debate over the effects of duplicate content. Writers and webpage designers are in a quandary over the rules determining duplicate content and how it can affect SEO, filters, content views, and the earnings involved for both writer and website owner.

I write articles for many different sites, including my own websites, blogs, and other sites like eHow , Bukisa , Helium, and Squidoo . To determine how I felt about this issue of duplicating content across sites, I decided to do some of my own research.

One side of the debate holds the argument that it is never appropriate to duplicate an article on more than one website. The claim is that Google and other search engines filter out duplicate content based on certain criteria. Therefore, duplicating content would put you, and the sites that you write for, at major risk of 'losing' some pages as many will be filtered out and not displayed in search engine results.

The opposing viewpoint states that duplicate articles, as long as they are legitimate, are not at risk of filtering, especially when titled differently and displayed on completely different websites. Because of this, one may freely post a duplicate article anywhere possible without worry.

When determining the secret rules behind SEO, no one can really be 100% positive. I discovered an invaluable article called Duplicate Content Filter: What it is and how it works and a Similar Page Checker tool that helped me to determine whether duplicating my articles across more than one website is beneficial to myself, as well as the hosting website, or whether to steer clear of it and take the time to rewrite articles each time I post.

The Similar Page Checker helps to determine the percentage of similarity between two pages. I checked a few of mine between sites, and based on my gut reaction at the similarity percentage, I decided whether or not to make changes to the content. This is a great tool to use on an ongoing basis to decide for yourself how to post your articles.

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