One of the awesome folks I spent time with in Vegas was my good friend, and our go-to SEO expert, Rick Porter.
It was Rick’s first trip to Vegas, and he had a good time walking the strip, as well as at our big group dinner at Union restaurant in Aria (my current favorite Vegas hotel).
On Friday afternoon, during my presentation to the group, I asked Rick to detail some really cool SEO tips that will “soup up” their blogs.
I also had Rick to explain the “deal with duplicate content”, which is a hot topic that my affiliates are always asking me about.
After all, the phrase “duplicate content” sends chills down the spines of beginner website affiliates.
They think this means a death sentence for their web business.
In fact, one Internet Independence reader recently asked, “What is duplicate content and how is it bad?”
Here’s Rick Porter’s answer: “It’s important to first understand how Google judges if something is duplicate content.
Whatever page they find and index first is going to be the original copy in the search engines eyes.
Where this is important is making sure that you are getting your original content for your site indexed right away so that someone else doesn’t get credit for it as the original by simply copying it onto their site.
One of the quickest ways for Google to find your content is to Twitter the link of your new post and social bookmark on a couple social networking sites like Digg and Reddit.
When Google visits your page it will crawl the content and create a snapshot in the index or cache, sort of like a digital photocopy that acts as a permanent record with a date and time stamp.
For ranking purposes Google is going to rank the first one in it’s index higher than any duplicates it finds after that.
So as long as you are the first to post the content it doesn’t matter how many duplicates get posted out on the internet, it’s not going to hurt you…
…but again, you must make sure your version is found first.
The recent Google algorithm “Farmer update” made a big impact on this because prior to this it was possible to rank a duplicate piece of content higher than the original if you had more backlinks.
Thanks Rick, and now a follow up question.
“Is it BAD to put duplicate content on my website?”
Rick’s answer: “No, it’s o.k. to use syndicated or duplicated content on your site but you need to realize that it probably isn’t going to get any search engine traffic.
If you are adding it just for the purpose of supporting the other content on your site, or to give more content for your current readers, that’s fine and it won’t “hurt” your website, but again, it’s not going to get you any free traffic to those pages from search engines…because only the original post will be getting search engine traffic.
And another question…this one from me:
“How can an affiliate use duplicate content to help them make affiliate sales of Turbulence Training?”
Rick’s answer: The affiliate can still benefit.
In fact, with a couple of small changes to the article, they can get that “duplicate content article” to rank in the search engines as well.
Here’s what they need to do:
1) Write a unique introduction paragraph
When I started affiliate marketing I was using exact copies of fitness articles and I would write a one paragraph introduction to the article giving a quick summary of what the article was about, why it is important, and a little bit about the author.
How this helps is because Google is crawling those first 100-150 words and if it sees original content it is going to index your page and rank it much higher.
2) Add some stylizations to the duplicated post
Most articles given to affiliates don’t include any headers or breaks, it is usually just a long plain article.
So break it up with an H2, H3, H4 header, plus add a picture and give the picture an ‘alt tag’ – these are all things you can easily do in WordPress.
3) Add more unique content to close the article
Close the article with a few more thoughts or direct them to another article by linking to it.
This creates more original content, and if you can add enough to make it look 30% unique that is about all you need to make a duplicate post rank well.
In fact, it’s still possible to outrank the original content for a particular keyword when you add enough of these style changes to make it stand out.
To take it to the next level you can use a piece of software called “The Best Spinner” which will make the content 40% unique at the touch of a button.
Some editing is necessary as the grammar may not be perfect but it’s very close to perfect and gives you a rewritten post that you could actually use to outrank the original.
If an article is spun to 40-50% you can get great results with it.
You might hear some people saying that spinning an article isn’t as effective now since the last Google update but that is not true.
I have still been able to take 1 base article that I write and rank 7-8 spun versions on page 1 and most times it’s not even the original that ends up on top.
When rewriting content I always put a big focus on the first paragraph and am much looser on the rest of the article.
Very cool and helpful.
Thanks Rick, for helping both my Internet Independence readers and my Turbulence Training affiliates.
Take action on this info,
“Life is not a dress rehearsal.” … so if you want something, get up and get after it now. Time is running out for all of us.