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The company I work for run a large network of websites and employ a team of full-time content writers to produce articles for the sites. At the moment each unique article is only published once on a single site.
Are we missing out on valuable backlinks by not syndicating the best of these articles?
If you're 100% certain that no one on that team of article writers is "borrowing" content from other sites, it might be worthwhile to get more mileage from the articles.
If not, the more those articles are published, the easier it is for the original authors to find them and the sooner the company will cease to exist as it does now.
Is revenue generated by placing PPC ads on these article pages?
I'd say they're 95% original with a line or two borrowed from other sources ...
A good QC program is the only way to know for sure. What's your QC rate? Out of every 100 articles submitted to you by the people you pay to write them, how many do you thoroughly check for copyright issues?
As a general rule, your QC rate should be inversely related to the amount you pay for each article. And the higher your QC rate, the higher your opportunity to sleep well at night without concern for receiving a DMCA notice or attorney's settlement request tomorrow.