Duplicate Content versus Syndicated Content and Why I Think Bloggers are Missing a Great Opportunity

You’ve probably heard people preaching about the evils of “duplicate content” – somewhere along the line duplicate content became synonymous with forms of “Syndicated Content” that have left many bloggers avoiding the promotional method altogether.  It’s my own opinion that avoiding the opportunity altogether is a big mistake!

The debate of duplicate content versus syndicated content has been one that I’ve observed from a distance and could never settle on a solid belief. While some of my most admired mentors have sworn off the possibilities and advised me against it, something kept telling me there was more to it and it wasn’t nearly as bad as so many believe.

After careful pondering and many, many, MANY hours of research, I decided to conduct my own test using syndication as a means of promoting one of my blogs.

Before I get into the study, let me tough briefly on what I have found to be my truths with regards to duplicate content and syndicated content – from that, you can develop your own opinion.

What exactly is “Duplicate Content” and what is “Content Syndication“ – and what are they not?

According to Google, duplicate Content is the same or extremely similar content appearing on the SAME website.

Now, let’s think about this for a minute – you’ve seen the label ”Syndicated Columnist” most likely in a story reported by the A.P. (Associated Press) in your newspaper or on television, right?

When you see the label “Syndicated Content” – that means that particular story has been sent to many news outlets that have expressed permission to share it with their readers or viewers. This practice is syndicated content at work.

When you search Google News and find the same news stories being shared by multiple websites – That is syndicated content!

Content like news, press releases and articles are similar and are considered Syndicated Content. If the content is of good quality or vast public interest, you will probably end up seeing it in multiple places.

Syndicated Content is not evil like so many think it is. Syndicated Content has been around much longer than Google and it’s not going anywhere simply because some have labeled it as “duplicate content” which it is NOT.

In all fairness, quality syndicated content does not mean it’s okay to run out and grab a bunch of PLR (private label rights) articles to use.


Syndicated Content is original pieces where the author retains ownership, but shares it with other blogs or websites.

Myth: Using Syndicated Content Will Get You Banned From Google

I’m not asking you to take my word for it, see what Google has to say about it here:    http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66359

Specifically, about Syndicated Content, Google says:


“If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer.”

And about Duplicate Content, Google says:

  1. “However, in some cases, content is deliberately duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or win more traffic. Deceptive practices like this can result in a poor user experience, when a visitor sees substantially the same content repeated within a set of search results.”
  2. “Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.”
  3. “In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved.”

When it comes to SEO and your blog, keep the White-Hat! Don’t try to manipulate Google using techniques that are sneaky and violate Google’s Terms of Use. Instead, use a mix of quality syndicated content and original content.

With that said, I am opening up my doors for bloggers to share their posts on my blogs. Writers/Bloggers are invited to guest post or become regular contributors where they are free to bring content previously posted on their OWN blogs and provide a link back to the original. As long as there is a full week between postings in the two locations, Google will get the “original version” right.

If you are interested in guest posting and regular contributor opportunities let me know by visiting the link provided or dropping a comment below.

Opportunities available in the following niches: Dating & Relationships ~ Diet & Weight Loss ~ Parenting, Family, Marriage & Divorce ~ Holiday Shopping ~ Bullying

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8 Responses to “Duplicate Content versus Syndicated Content and Why I Think Bloggers are Missing a Great Opportunity”

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  1. Leah says:

    Good Morning,
    Thank you for explaining this to me. Does this mean I could take from my vast list of blog posts and post them on another blog site? It seems with all the work I put into writing them that there should be more of a platform for viewing them.
    Just wondering.

  2. Gayla says:

    Leah – I have worked for a company called CustomerThink. CT is focused entirely on business. The site is filled with syndicated content and does very well. The participants have provided very positive feedback on the results they have seen simply by syndicating. CT offers full article syndication with a link back to the original post.

    Another notable site is The Daily Brainstorm http://www.thedailybrainstorm.com – if you take a look at their site you’ll probably recognize many of the participants if you’ve done any research into professional blogging at all. Their site uses partial feeds linking to the original post.

    And yet another is http://www.newstex.com – they provide even more detail about the benefits of syndicated content.

    So to answer your question, yes, you can post your archived posts on other blogs but always make sure you are providing a link back to the original so Google knows which one to credit first.

  3. Derek Jones says:

    With most sites offering RSS Feeds for example, it would be difficult (and unfair) for Google or other search engines to penalise you for syndicating your content. It’s also difficult to control who’s going to syndicate your content once you publish an article or news story.

    As you correctly indicated on your wonderful post, white-hat SEO techniques must be used at all times to ensure you abide not only to the search engines TOS but to prevent your site from being penalised for using black-hat techniques.

    A very informative and nicely written article. Thank you for posting it 🙂

  4. Gayla says:

    Derek, Thanks for commenting. I couldn’t agree more! The entire time I worked with CT my eyes were seeing the benefits, but my blogging peers were preaching against it. I knew there had to be more. I did a bit of a test back in August on one of my smaller blogs. One article unleashed a flood of traffic and my Google Adsense shot up unbelievably. I kept watching thinking it was a fluke – but the spell lasted for well over a week and to the tune of $500+ profit. I think so many simply jump in line thinking it’s such a bad thing, when in reality, I think some of those stronger bloggers know it’s beneficial and keep preaching bad, bad, bad to keep too many hands from dipping in the honey pot.

  5. Erika K says:

    I just got told today via email that I can’t contribute content to their site because “that would be duplicate content”. When will this end? I’m really trying to get myself syndicated and all I’ve run into today is “totally unique”, “never published anywhere”, and this one “if we see that you’ve published it somewhere after it’s put on our site, we’ll take your content down” (paraphrasing). C’mon! How are you supposed to get syndicated when this is what you meet up with?

  6. Gayla says:

    I think you may be taking about guest posting versus syndication – there is a difference there. Most times people will want unique content if it’s for guest posting. Syndication is something that happens automatically through the RSS feed of your blog. It’s your posts – on your blog that are pulled into sites that syndicate.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Linette says:

    I just shared this with a blogging group I’m in. They were having a discussion about duplicate content and Google:-)

  8. Gayla says:

    Thanks Linette! I wish more people would see the benefit. Old habits sure are difficult to break 🙂

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