Some bloggers (book marketers) are under the misconception that having their article reprinted on another website is a problem. They fear Google will penalize them.
This is NOT true. And, this comes from expert advice.
But, first let’s understand what duplicate content is. It’s when the identical or near-duplicate content appears on more than one webpage.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s on your own website or whether you have a guest post on another website, or whether a scraper site steals your article and posts it.
Scraped content is when a site takes your content and posts it on their own site without permission. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about this, but you don’t have to worry about being penalized for it.
Allowing Reprints or Syndication of Your Blog Posts
According to Moz, Google understands syndication. What will possibly happen is the duplicate content (reprint) “will be filtered out of search results.”
I use guest posts on my site because it adds value to my readers. It brings a wider perspective and hopefully more information on a topic. So, I’m not concerned about it being in search results for the content.
On the flipside, I allow my articles to be reprinted because it broadens my visibility. The hosting site has its own readers and visitors who will possibly see my content for the first time.
This is a win-win for me and the hosting site. I broaden my marketing reach and the hosting site gets fresh content that will hopefully help its readers.
To further emphasis the myth of duplicate content, Neil Patel says:
Googlebot visits most sites every day. If it finds a copied version of something a week later on another site, it knows where the original appeared. Googlebot doesn’t get angry and penalize. It moves on. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
A huge percentage of the internet is duplicate content. Google knows this. They’ve been separating originals from copies since 1997, long before the phrase “duplicate content” became a buzzword in 2005.
Playing It Safe and Being Ethical
Syndication can be a valuable marketing tool and it’s definitely a legitimate strategy, but to play it safe and give credit where it’s due (for Google’s sake), always reference the original content link.
You might be saying, “But, I allow the author a tag or bio that links back to their website.”
While this may be true, it has nothing to do with Google.
You want to let Google know that the content you're reprinting originated from another webpage. Again, your blog post may not be put in the search results, but you’ll be playing the game right.
I try to always reference the original URL of a guest post I use. I say “try” because sometimes I’m in a rush and forget to do it even though it’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten. I do have to try harder.
What Google Says on the Matter
Did you know that Google has a page just about duplicate content. Below is what it says about allowing reprints or syndication of your content:
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. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.
If you have a question related to this post, just enter it in the comments. I’ll try my best to answer it.
To read the previous articles in this SEO for Authors series, go to:
Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.
If you need help with your author platform, check out Karen's e-classes through WOW:
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