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However we are wary of a duplicate content penalty.
The site where we will be publishing our articles is PR5, whereas we are PR3, of course we will publish our articles on our our own site first.
What we are worried about is google indexing their site first before ours.
I understand this will be a great way of obtaining backlinks, however is the duplicate penalty likely?
You can always wait to give permission for reprinting an article until after you see your url showing in the search results - that's an added layer of protection.
His site had more "authority" at the time the article was published. That seems to be the key as I've got other articles that I've let people copy on less "authoritative" sites than my own that rank just fine.
This is especially risky if you ever move a page, even with a 301, after the more established site has the content since now that other URL will have had the content longer.
Have the new/bigger site noindex,follow the page. They get the content, and you get some visitors, but there is no duplicate content.
If the direct linking is for 1 or 2 articles, it may be less of an issue, provided your site has good PR [ ie strength ] . But if you're syndicating large amounts of content to one site, and it's linking back to the original, particularily on multiple identicle pages, you may find the originating website could be sunk. Such a risk is highest with affiliate distributors .
you could rewrite the article for them. That way everyone's happy.
(a) they get original content
(b) you get your high PR link
Just make sure they don't link back to the original article as this won't be a great user experience.
Get them to link to another related article or another page in your site.