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Should I Let This Website Duplicate My Content?

 7:20 am on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

A high PageRank website (and yes, PageRank is still very important - just not toolbar PageRank) with tens of thousands of links pointing to it, wants to duplicate all my articles.

The benefit of this is i can get a link from each article back to my original article, or back to my homepage.

The downside is, they might very well outrank me for my own articles... getting the articles which are on my site (the originals) filtered from the results.

So i don't know whether to go ahead with it.

Does anyone who has experience with this - not opinion or theory - have any advice.

(Please don't bother replying, either, if you write about "950" penalties, or sandbox, or any of the other SEO myths.)

Thanks for your help.



 8:51 am on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

From what you have said, they will almost certainly 'outrank' you, plus your page may disappear as 'duplicate content'

You probably think that's a myth too, but that's your choice ;)

As you do believe in the tooth fairy, sorry, page rank, then consider the real problem:

The site may well have a Big Green Bar (and real page rank to match) for its home page. But do the articles carry similar weight? And does Google give such links full weight?

I do not believe in 950 penalties, but I do believe that certain links (eg blogs, forums ...? article farms? ...) carry reduced weight. Why do I believe that? Because if not, then serps would be dominated by blogs. And they're not.

Whatever "SEO" benefit you'll get from an article farm, you'll almost invariably get more by exclusively self-publishing.

If you believe you will get actual human referrals from the article farm, then consider it - and you can judge that likelihood by the quality of the stuff already there.

This response is based on experience AND the 'first principles' mentioned above. Ultimately, you have to believe in something, and only you can decide what's valid and what's not. I think you could do a lot worse than refuse to believe in the myth of article farm SEO. Your mileage may vary :)

[edited by: Quadrille at 8:55 am (utc) on Aug. 9, 2007]


 4:57 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I do not believe in 950 penalties

Does this mean you do not believe sites are hit with this penalty? I'm surprised to see this referred to as a myth.


 5:09 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wow, what arrogance in the original post. Thanks for setting us straight on what we're supposed to believe and what we're not supposed to say as we help you out.

I'm surprised you'd listen to anybody else's opinion anyways, but this is obviously a terrible, terrible idea. Links are just not that valuable, and just because it's a "high PageRank website" doesn't mean that a link from some newly created deep page will be worth much at all.


 5:09 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does this mean you do not believe sites are hit with this penalty? I'm surprised to see this referred to as a myth.

I believe Google has a range of penalties, and a selection of methods of valuing links; all of these may impact on certain sites at certain times.

I also believe that no-one outside google knows the detail, and I don't think one 'blanket term' comes close. But I do admit I lost interest in that discussion during page one of part one. But let's not get into all that here ...

It's all still current in this thread:
Google's 950 Penalty - Part 10
[webmasterworld.com ]

[edited by: Quadrille at 5:11 pm (utc) on Aug. 9, 2007]


 8:12 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

i guess that the answer lies within the importance of the pages that contain your articles. if your articles are suplementary to your website (for instance you sell shoes and have articles about shoes) and can get links to your homepage in exchange for your articles it may be worthwhile but if you run a news site it may not be worthwhile as the articles are what your site is about.


 9:01 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

you can get the benefit you need from a single link. you don't need fifty of them all from the same site. so just give them one article.
even if they outrank you on that single article, the one link back will probably be worth it.


 9:25 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Was this a trick question? Seems like you asked it and answered it yourself. It will definitely be dupe content and yours may go down the drain. If you can, offer to rewrite the articles and provide them with the link back requisite.

Robert Charlton

 9:31 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

A high PageRank website... wants to duplicate all my articles.....

Does anyone who has experience with this - not opinion or theory - have any advice.

By "experience," do you mean that you're looking for responses only from people who've given all of their articles to a high PR website? I'm not sure I'd trust the feedback I'd get from someone who'd done this. It would not have been a smart thing to do.

You are correct about the downside. Most likely the articles on your site would be filtered from the results, and the inbound links you're liable to get would not compensate for the loss of visibility, and for the loss of future inbound links you might get from others (who are not duping your content). What are your articles for, if not for visibility of your site?

If you think you can get some really good traffic from this site, I'd propose to them that you give them a rewritten version of one of your articles. I would make sure that it's completely rewritten, so that not even a college English instructor would spot that it came from the same hand. Multiple links from the site would have diminishing value, which is why I suggest just one.

As to direct experience, several client sites with popular pages that from time to time have disappeared from Google for periods of a few days to a week, and invariably it's because they've been totally copied and put onto pages that have a lot of PR pumped into them via redirects or blog links. Google has been getting a lot better at detecting the tricks used, and I haven't seen such disappearances for a while. One of these escapades, though, caused an entire client site to disappear from MSN, which had tagged us as the spammer.

PS: In the case of what you have in mind, though, it's not likely that your site would resurface after a week. If the other site is a big, legit site, chances are "their" articles would replace yours in the serps and stay there.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:04 pm (utc) on Aug. 9, 2007]


 10:26 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Duplicating your content will hurt you seriously, I have experienced this before as some sites went google bowling with our content and then getting stuck in spam filters. I may suggest removing your articles from googles index then benefit from the quality links you may receive, while rewriting the original content (which may be a headache).

But from my experience google wont rank someone higher for a page of duplicate text because they have more inbounds. The sites which were stealing our stuff were pr0 with few inbounds. But if you want to keep the text indexed i wouldnt suggest giving it away.


 11:20 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)


Try it and report back.


 11:41 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Try it and report back.

followup post: "Help! I've been sandboxed with a 950 penalty!"


 12:01 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

thanks for the replies, appreciate getting some second opinions


 2:34 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'd try a few, but then change those articles around a little on your site, so they are not exact duplicates.


 3:48 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I dont understand why you would give away your nique and hard work to someone else.

My sense is that the payback isn't nearly as much a what they will get.


 7:28 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have a high traffic, well-established site and I occasionally request reprint rights for a page that I see and like in my niche. I offer a link back to the site the work came from - and it does send some traffic their way, but usually within weeks my site ranks above theirs for the search terms applicable to that page.

Now, that might mean that I rank number one for the keywords, and they are two, or whatever...but sometimes it means they are nowhere to be found and I'm on page one. Bottom line is that I can usually count on out-ranking them in the serps.

I have also bought copyrights to the entire content of several sites when the owners announced their intention to give up the site.

Content is still king - and good, original content is worth money because it attracts readers and naturally spawns incoming links. Why would you give that away?

In this case, because you've been asked to give them ALL your content, the readers don't even have a reason to come look at your site. You can bet your bootie that, along with the promised link to you, this site will provide links to similar content (ie, yours) within its own site - thus effectively cutting you out of the picture. And they will be the ones benefitting from natural incoming links to your good quality content.

If I were you, I wouldn't do it unless I was planning to abandon my own site - and even then I'd expect to get paid a goodly sum for each page.

Don't underestimate your worth. As others have said, the high ranking site will benefit best from absorbing your content; at the most, offer them a single article with a prominent link back to you. You will then get the benefit of the link back, whatever that's worth in PR and some increased traffic.

Multiple pages on the same site that link back don't necessarily send on multiple PR value - usually the first link is worth more. However, in a few months, if you find the first article sends you enough visitors to make it worthwhile, offer them another one. That will keep your name out there, increase your visibility and, meanwhile, your own site will have grown and added even more content to impress those visitors.

Oh, and btw, don't act like they are doing you some huge favor. They're taking advantage of you for their own benefit. I'd be very surprised if they refused your offer of a single article, with "more to follow if it works out" lets say. They would prolly respect that viewpoint, and you, a lot more than they do now.


 1:07 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)


AH, but there is nothing quite as good a teacher than getting clubbed over the head by experiencing the matter first hand.

[edited by: theBear at 1:09 pm (utc) on Aug. 10, 2007]


 2:53 am on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

AH, but there is nothing quite as good a teacher than getting clubbed over the head by experiencing the matter first hand.

Bear, true of kids and newbies, I suppose. But I'm ever the optimist - the fact that he's asking for advice on WebmasterWorld is a good sign. I've learned such a lot here, including important advice from you that helped me overcome some very serious issues with my site. I've never forgotten that and am ever grateful.

The Bear knows, y'know!

[edited by: Kimkia at 2:54 am (utc) on Aug. 11, 2007]

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