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A lot of contributors to our website also want to republish their articles elsewhere. How badly will this hurt us in terms of duplicate content penalties from Google?
One possible solution is to ask for a period of exclusivity. For example, we can ask the contributors to grant my website the exclusive right to publish the article for 10 days, and that only after 10 days may they submit their writing to other websites (or post it on their own blogs).
Will this extra 10 days soften (or even negate) the duplicate content penalty from Google? Would 30 days be better?
Google indexes our site on a daily basis, so would being the first to publish tell Google that we are the first ones to publish so they should not penalize us?
The best solution is of course to NOT allow ANY republication. But I think if we do that we will get a lot less contributions.
Thank you for your input.
The penalty I worry about is a site-wide penalty. Will having a lot of duplicate content signal to Google that my website is spam or an aggregate site they shouldn't bother to index very often?
I'm less concerned about penalty on the actual duplicated pages themselves. If those pages do get a penalty, I don't mind. I just don't want the penalty to negatively affect the rest of the content that _is_ original.
If the site that publishes after you is a major authority site for that topic, they will soon replace you in the SERPs.
If you are lucky you drop many places; if you are unlucky you completely disappear.
I don't think that would work simply because by the time the poster reachs your site they could have submitted the article to 50 other places. Plus you merely have suggestive power unless you plan to enforce something like that, which would almost be impossible. Plus it would require a huge amount of time. Bottom line that benefits you but not them. So the phrase "what's in it for me" comes to mind.
From what I have observed the priority for a duplicate article goes to the older domain not who posted it first. Also it seems to relate to the article site's size.
Article posters run from site to site to gain links. Many have automated the process. Unless your site has atleast 10,000 articles I would expect many pages to end up in the supps.
asher02 - would that apply to just the duplicate pages or would that apply to all my content, event the ones with original content?
outland88 - Ouch. I do not have 10,000 articles and my page is less than 5 months old. Thanks for the warning.
To answer your question, however, some reprinted articles rank well for me and others don't. Just depends on the article!
Bottom line, if you want to syndicate your own content or republish someone elses you have to have an authority site.
Also, another theory seen...
...if the content is stolen in specific regions, it can rank your site in those regions and may cause a loss of rankings in the actual country you are located in.
However, based on reading the "SERP shakedown" threads on here lately, I'm not quite sure if that is a permanent thing. We might be dropped to the boonies next week. =(
Thanks for the additional factors Divad and Optimist. I will definitely take those into consideration.