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why a site allows everyone to port its content?



5:08 am on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

A very big encyclopedia site (alexa: top 350, 3 million articles) in a regional language has built an official tool to authorize and allow everyone to port content from their site.

The benefit is obvious, but the result is also expected. Currently there are already more than 300 sites to display these similar or same contents.

Would you join a programme like this? Would it result in google excluding your site from search engine? (penalty on duplicated content).

To me, I have around 70 well-researched and very detailed articles that I've made for another publications in the past few years (I've retained all rights to reprint it). Combine with the ported content and my content, I could easily build up a site that "looks" very big.

Is it worth doing this? Please share your thought.


11:50 am on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I don't know why a search engine will impose a penalty in this case. Many e-commerce sites take the manufacturer's description directly and post it to sell products. Or many repositories have the same content you will find on individual sites.

The problem with the SEs and their search results, is that often weigh on site popularity rather than original content. And that takes away the incentive to create something new and focus/publish existing content. If you search for a specific phrase you would expect dedicated sites who specialize on it to come up. But that is not always the case.

Is it worth doing this

Well at this point if you have a good site rank then go ahead, but if it's a startup it will take long time with a big if, to see something.


3:48 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I think our SEO friends would suggest looking into the difference between a penalty and not ranking.

Essentially, you want to follow this guideline
If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.

src: [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other auto-generated pages that don't add any value to users.

src: [google.com...]

So I can subscribe to a merchant data feed as an affiliate and I won't get penalized for using the supplier product descriptions, but I likely won't rank for any of those pages. But perhaps if I add user reviews and question and answer threads.... (as suggested here: [google.com...]

So I would think that from your perspective using the content, it would depend on what else you have on the site.

From their perspective, letting others have the content, maybe they just think they're old enough and strong enough not to have anyone outrank them on their own content? Do they require attribution or anything like that? Zillions of people scrape Wikipedia, but it does not seem to have had any negative impact on their rankings.

Interesting threads
Demystifying Duplicate Content demystified [webmasterworld.com]


5:02 am on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Do they require attribution or anything like that?

They don't but as you said, they're huge and probably don't care anyone grabbing their content.

I'm also checking their copyright police and terms of use. The whole operation of that system is weird. They built up a CMS and the tool for you, but if a user can port the content from their website so easily, I'm wondering if there's any terms of use that authorizes them to port the content of other growing sites...


4:46 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Just to throw this out - are they commercial? Some people just want knowledge to spread and aren't thinking of what's in it for them, but your previous comments make me think that you think that's not their modus operandi.


5:26 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

they're absolutely commercial, and the number of total entries are even more than the English wikipedia, but after learning more about their system, I think I get to understand what happens with them.

In the CMS and tool they provide they've added their links everywhere. If you search anything that doesn't exist in your site, they will refer you to their own site.

And in Google, no matter who port their content, they're always on top of the list. However, some of their content seem to be grabbed by bot and their move seemed to exploit the vague copyright law in their country.

In the terms of use, they also request users to buy a license for "commercial use" (license cost US$3000 for life time) of their CMS and content.

Their wiki system (both back-end and user interface) has introduced many wyswyg elements but based on their terms of use and the risk of my content being 'ported' back by them, I think I would avoid it.


5:41 pm on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Ah... okay. Sounds like a model that works out pretty well for them, but it doesn't sound so great for the customer.

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