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Does Copied Content Have A Negative Effect?

     
5:52 am on Jun 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hi All, I have an interesting question for you, what if i copied content or feed from New York times website, Is any negative effect or positive effect will come on NYtimes.com . (I know the my website will be penalized) but will any effect will come on NYTimes. if negitive effect will come in terms of (traffic, keyword ranking ) what steps are to prevent it?
1:07 pm on June 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If another web site scrapes your content, I have seen the effect go from neutral to bad. Its especially bad when Google doesn't attribute the content to your website and instead lists the scraper website for the content's keywords. For a site like the NYT, Google surely has a good idea about who owns the content, especially for their articles. I doubt you could do anything that would hurt the NYT.

This gets me thinking though, what if Google saw content appropriation as a signal that the content is good - its worth stealing. I wonder if what would happen if Google boosted the original site every time its content was ripped off.
1:08 pm on June 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hello contacttoavinash, and welcome to the forums.

If content is being copied from an already strong website like the NYTimes - a site with strong authority and trust already well established - then the copied content is not going to harm it and it may also help it. When a site is low in trust or authority, copied content can sometimes undermine existing rankings, at least today.

We'd like to think that Google can accurately assign the "original author" of a bit of content - but sometimes they still seem to get it wrong. I'm not sure yet where their error come from exactly. It may well be a combination of their freshness algorithm and their desire to serve more popular sites higher in the results - just my guess.
3:31 pm on June 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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copied content can sometimes undermine existing rankings, at least today


and has done for years now.
3:40 pm on June 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Tedster wrote:
We'd like to think that Google can accurately assign the "original author" of a bit of content - but sometimes they still seem to get it wrong. I'm not sure yet where their error come from exactly. It may well be a combination of their freshness algorithm and their desire to serve more popular sites higher in the results - just my guess


Google has a responsiblity to make sure that the original source gets the credit. This should be one of their highest priorities. By allowing this problem to continue for so long, they are showing a total disregard for fairness and justice.
8:29 pm on June 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I don't believe copied content has a negative effect, I believe it simply has no positive effect. You see this every time Google makes a change and scraped sites jump to #1 until the manual ratings team gets to it. If copied content caused negative effects this wouldn't happen.
1:16 am on June 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I used to have a lot of people copy articles on my site and for a while i chased them down and got it removed. But then I started checking the words they were targeting and never saw them ranking anywhere so I ignored them. With all these changes in Google maybe I should check into that again.
6:04 am on June 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Guys , for sort out this question
3:58 pm on June 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just wanted to offer my personal experience on this topic. Copied content used to have a strong negative effect. But last year Google made some changes that appear to have corrected that.
4:32 pm on June 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Copied content used to have a strong negative effect. But last year Google made some changes that appear to have corrected that.


That is an interesting remark. But the negative effect used to be on the copier or the copied site? When you say that it has been corrected last year, do you mean that Google is doing content attribution correctly since last year?
4:38 pm on June 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There have been lots of reports of Google still crediting the copier with the authorship so I'm concerned about this matter.

I set up Google+ with Rel="author" on all my pages hoping Google won't credit copiers with my content, but not sure it's working yet.
5:36 pm on June 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I don't believe copied content has a negative effect,


then you are wrong. Be grateful your not affected by it.
5:54 pm on June 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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do you mean that Google is doing content attribution correctly since last year?

I'd say it's much improved - but still, it's wise to take every step you can to help Google out. Using rel="author" seems to help, especially when the author is building a good reputation. Sending a "fat ping" via pubSubHubbub helps. Delaying RSS feeds for a short while after publication also seems to be a good step.

And all over, guard your trust and authority like a hawk and don't let anyone associated with your site take questionable shortcuts trying to build links. Instead, always build links that can generate traffic on their own. Google will naturally value those links more highly for ranking purposes, too.
7:10 pm on June 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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But the negative effect used to be on the copier or the copied site?


It used to negatively affect the copied site. I would notice my high traffic rankings begin to slip. A few searches revealed a lot of stolen content, even by a university professor who stole an entire article, placed it on a conference presentation PDF, then placed active links to my competitors at the bottom of the PDF as "helpful references" on the topic. Rankings were restored after taking appropriate action to have the stolen content removed. Coincidence? Absolutely not. This pattern repeated itself over the course of years. That's my personal experience.

I never discussed this in a public forum because it was a glaring hole in Google's algorithm and I didn't want to inadvertently spawn a negative SEO industry.

Google did make an announced change sometime last year and it has been fairly effective in improving Google's ability to identify the original document. Nothing's perfect but whatever they did is an improvement to the way things used to be.
11:24 pm on June 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The software industry uses what are known as PAD files for each of their products so that affiliates can automatically update the information when advertising those items. So it's not uncommon that a few hundred sites could be displaying the same product info.

How this affects the software industry has been detrimental. For example, a few years ago a search on your products would have seen sites like Tucows featuring prominently, but today they don't get within 10-20 pages of results. Unlike the 1,000s of shareware sites online today, Tucows actually vets the software before listing it. The others allow absolutely everything and most are automated to accept submissions from bot software.

Consequently Tucows has the best reputation and anyone looking for software would look their first because it was always high quality software, virus free and without spam hassles.

But now we are left to wade through a sewer. Google is a mistake that just will not go away.
12:45 am on June 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I feel there is a valid place for "re-structured", "borrowed" content. Just because you piece together freely shared parts, does not mean you are not creating a bigger, better, whole. Google of ALL people should know that... It's what THEY do. Oh, I forgot, G thinks they are all things to all people and dislike anyone who competes with them.

Does that mean lego constructed objects are bad because you are using blocks created by someone else? Does that mean art is scraped because you used paint made by the same company as another? Is syndication in order to bring a writer, who WANTS to be more wide-read, to a larger audience, bad?

As one example, when was the last time you, searched G for a list of ALL the things happening in your town THIS weekend and got any decently arranged results? Then how long does it take you to slog though the content of each different site to find out what it is actually about? So what is wrong with a website where a part of it hand conglomerates description paragraphs, often word for word for accuracy, of press releases sent to them, or collected from the event operator's website intended for media, and arranges them (sometimes dozens or even hundreds per page/date/subject since there is not really time each week to rewrite them all) in such a manner (chronological, regional, subject category) that a site visitor can quickly access, search and reference them without spending all day waiting for dozens of individual sites to load? The promoters don't mind that you copied their description, they WANT to get the word out at any cost (chances are they copied it themselves from the performer's bio) and it benefits the reader, he doesn't have to search all over.
I am sure there are many other good examples.
I think G needs to realize that they are NOT always the best source of info in all cases, especially these days, and that without the aid of other hand edited "conglomeration" sites, they can not possibly be the most accurate and convenient supplier of all info.
7:51 am on June 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Kendo, I have been using Tucows since the nineties and have even used them on behalf of clients. I am very familiar with Tucows.

Tucows is not a good example of duplicate content sinking a site's ranking. Tucows' problems with ranking are entirely of their own making, it's their fault, not Google.

Number one, if they're publishing PAD file content without encouraging community such as Downloads.com and other sites do, as well as not featuring original editor reviews such as Download.com and other sites do, then Tucows made their bed and are sleeping in it. In other words, Tucows rankings are their own fault, not an issue with Google. There are several other issues wrong with Tucows' software download site but I don't want to turn this into a site review so I will stop here. I just wanted to point out that the issue Tucows is having is unrelated to copied content.
8:29 pm on June 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Copied content used to have a strong negative effect. But last year Google made some changes that appear to have corrected that.


the only difference i have seen that whereas before once the copied material was removed rankings return, now they never return.
 

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