Article Marketers – Lay the Duplicate Content Myth To Rest Once and For All

Over and over, on all the popular Internet Marketing forums, especially the Warrior Forum, new article marketers pose the question: “if I post the same article in multiple article directories, will Google penalize me for duplicate content?” Or: “after posting an article to my blog or website, do I need to re-write or spin it before posting it to article directories?”

It’s really amazing how these two words duplicate content have become such a completely misunderstood concept. I think the entire confusion was perpetuated by opportunity seekers who sell services or software to spin articles After all, it’s hardly in their best interests to be seen to accept the real truth.
duplicate contentJust stop for a moment, forget all the myth and hype and think rationally. All the news services, for example Bloomberg, the Associated Press, Reuters, Scripps Howard, CNS etc., are in business for one reason: to distribute news in a pre-written format. These news feeds are picked up and published all over the internet by thousands of diverse subscribing web sites. They don’t employ people to re-write the content; it’s published exactly as they receive it, with a byline to the source.

Wikipedia describes Web Syndication thus: Web syndication is a form of syndication in which website material is made available to multiple other sites. Most commonly, web syndication refers to making web feeds available from a site in order to provide other people with a summary or update of the website’s recently added content (for example, the latest news or forum posts). The term can also be used to describe other kinds of licensing website content so that other websites can use it.

This should be the mind-set of every professional Article Marketer. You should write high quality content, publish it first on their own blog, wait for it to be indexed by Google, then publish it, without any editing (other than adding a resource box), on EZine Articles and other article directories. By doing this, you will transcend the horde of ‘article directory marketers’, and move into the more elite class of Article Syndicators.

article syndicationFollowing Google’s February algorithm update, known as the Panda, or Farmer update, aimed at identifying low quality sites and content, writers and syndicators of top quality material are reporting significant upturns. Google calls it a “high quality sites algorithm”, and it is causing the cream to rise to the top.

Actually, the only time “duplicate content” can become an issue is on your own blog (and this is extremely unlikely). The software powering the site structure (WordPress, b2evolution, Nucleus, TypePad, etc.), may repeat the same content in multiple formats. One post can appear repeatedly through sub-directories created by categories, tags, dates, sitemap, archives etc..

Direct Quote From Google WebMaster Central Blog:

  • Google wants to serve up unique results and does a great job of picking a version of your content to show if your sites includes duplication. If you don’t want to worry about sorting through duplication on your site, you can let us worry about it instead.
  • Duplicate content doesn’t cause your site to be penalized. If duplicate pages are detected, one version will be returned in the search results to ensure variety for searchers.
  • Duplicate content doesn’t cause your site to be placed in the supplemental index. Duplication may indirectly influence this however, if links to your pages are split among the various versions, causing lower per-page PageRank.

If you are still concerned and have a WordPress blog, there are a number of excellent SEO plugins available that can go a long way to eliminate this problem, Platinum SEO Pack and All In One SEO are the two most popular.

Here too is a video by Google Engineer Greg Grothaus:

Anne Pottinger

 

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89 Responses to Article Marketers – Lay the Duplicate Content Myth To Rest Once and For All

  1. Thanks a lot. This article really cleared a lot up for me. It means that it’s going to be 100x easier to hit my daily goals for submitting to article directories.

    I found this link from the warrior form. Thanks again!

  2. Anthony Ridgeway says:

    Thanks a ton for this information. I too was browsing the Warrrior Forum and found a link to your blog. I have now bookmarked and will return.

  3. This has been so very, very helpful. I have been completely mislead by the term “Duplicate Content”, and as you so rightly stated, by people in the market for selling article spinners or rewriting services.

  4. Before finding this blog, I have spent hours and hours spinning articles. I guess it’s better late than never to find these things out. Thank You for saving me time in the future!

  5. Anne says:

    Thank you for your kind comments. I love to put my love of writing to good use and help others. IM is a rocky road (I learned that a long time ago), and if I can smooth it for a few, that’s great 🙂

  6. hanna says:

    What if you’re just using articles for back-linking purposes rather than syndication (i.e. submitting articles with anchor text links to build up back-links)? Would it be important to have unique content containing your back-links?

  7. Anne says:

    Sorry, but I’m puzzled by your question. This entire article went to great lengths to expand upon its title: Article Marketers – Lay the Duplicate Content Myth To Rest Once and For All.

    It details how the requirement for unique content in every submission is nothing more than a “myth”. Unique content is never a requirement, be it for syndication, or merely back-linking.

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  9. Mark Ketting says:

    I have been advocating the benefits of article syndication for some time.
    The duplicaton issue and I believe the ‘too many backlinks in a short time will get you penalised’ are myths. If 5,000 people link to the BBC News website in one day will it get dumped out of the google index? Don’t think so, the BBC News website has a PR 9 so riddle me that Batman…

  10. Mike says:

    Great articles and explains very well so many misunderstanding about what duplicate content actually is.

    On the (somewhat unrelated but important) question of wordpress blogs, it can be a bit annoying to eliminate all the possibilities of duplicate content. Since you posts appear under posts name, but can also be found via categories, tags, authors, dates and even on the home page.

    Is all-in-one seo plug in for wp still around? seems like it wasn’t being updated anymore. And the other plug ins I’ve found seem more complex and confusing. But I am babbling about my own problems now 🙂

  11. Cockapoo says:

    Many of the article directories say on their T & C’s say that a submitted article should be unique – anyone had any problems submitting the same article to multiple article directories? Thanks for the post (came here via the Warrior forum) 🙂

  12. Anne says:

    Sorry Cockapoo, but you are completely wrong. No article directory demands “unique” content. I think you are falling into the old, old trap of confusing the words “unique” and “original“. Take a look at Ezine Articles’ Author Guidelines: they specify “original”. Here is their actual working of that specification:

    MUST BE AN ORIGINAL ARTICLE THAT YOU WROTE. If you work for an author as an employee or contractor and are submitting the article, please submit the article as if it was from the original author including his or her email address and name.”

    Original—not unique. Those two words each have an entirely different meaning. It’s really unfortunate that many so-called “experts”, lack the basic language skills which enable them to distinguish “original” from “unique”.

    To further enforce Ezine Articles’ requirement that any article you submit to them should be your original (not unique) work, they offer authors a plugin to add to their WordPress blogs. Again, exactly in their words:

    Save Time. When you write a post on your WordPress blog, you will now be able to submit it to EzineArticles directly from your blog.
    Customize. Resource Box can now be loaded and tweaked for your WordPress article.
    Republish. Your old WordPress posts can now reach a wider audience on EzineArticles.”

    I have nearly two thousand articles published on Ezine Articles (under various pen-names), after they have first been published and indexed by Google on my own blogs and websites.

    Buzzle (an article repository not an article directory), is the only place, to my knowledge, which does require unique content. But, neither do they allow any external links, so they are not relevant to any discussion about affiliate article marketing.

  13. If duplicate content does not matter, why do you make sure that the article is indexed at your site first? Is this to stop other people using your article from an article directory and ranking higher than you?

  14. Anne says:

    Surely, it makes sense that when you have written an article, you want Google to find and index your version, posted on your site first. It hardly makes sense to publish the article on (for example) EZine Articles, and have that indexed first by Google. When people search on one of your keywords, you want your version of the article, on your website presented to them first, not a version in a directory, or a syndicated copy.

  15. JOE says:

    InfoBarrel and others will deny articles if previously published on another site. I have received a number of rejections from infobarrel stating the article is published elsewhere on the net. Give it a try.

  16. Anne says:

    InfoBarrel is NOT an Article Directory, it’s an article submission site. It’s not intended to be used as a directory by publishers looking for available free content to syndicate, because the work published there isn’t actually even available for free syndication. Furthermore, Buzzle allows no external links at all, not even in a resource-box attached to an article.

  17. mike says:

    Great information. This goes against everything I have read in the past and probably contradicts things that I have told people on my own blog.

    I am going to use this method by reposting some quality articles from some of my own personal niche websites onto Articlesbase and see what the affects are.

    Do you know if I can repost one of my own articles from Articlebase onto Ezinearticles? I thought I had tried that before and had been rejected – given “duplicate content” as the reason. But I could be mistaken…

    Thanks again for this great info. I plan on sharing with the readers of my blog.

  18. Anne says:

    Hi Mike – thanks for the great comment. I really appreciate you taking the time. The criteria you must follow when reposting articles is to always use the same author/pen name with each posting. For example, if you post an article on your own blog with the author name “Mike”, then you publish it on Ezine Articles under the name “James”, they will see that at not being original content (don’t confuse original with duplicate), and will assume you copied it from Mike’s website.

    I’ve heard of several similar instances where a writer will hide behind various pen-names for various blogs, but publish articles in the popular directories using their correct name. Their articles are rejected by the directories as not being original content, and thus the urban myth about duplicate content becomes further perpetuated.

  19. Ryan says:

    Anne, first off, thanks a ton for providing such great information.

    Two quick questions.

    In your last comment you used the example of posting under the same name. If you post the article on your site as Jane Doe, and then post it somewhere such as eZine under Jane, does that que the not unique trigger?

    Secondly, I’m new to the affiliate marketing and article submission world and had totally bought the “unique” article stuff being sold by submission services. As you see it, are the spinning companies where all of this unique article confusion started? Also, why do some of the spinning services require variations of articles?

    Thanks for your continued comments on this post.

    Ryan

  20. Anne says:

    Hi Ryan – To answer your two questions:

    Whenever you publish an article in more than one place, you MUST keep the author name EXACTLY the same or you will trigger a plagiarism warning. If, as you say, you post an article on your site under the author-name Jane Doe, then on Ezine Articles as just Jane, the EZA software will assume it is stolen from the other location. You will understand the process if you stop using the word “unique”. EZA never asks for “unique” articles, but they do ask for “original” – meaning your own “original”, NOT COPIED work.

    Here is Ezine Articles’ actual, published definition:

    “To Be Qualified For Our Site, Your Article:
    MUST BE AN ORIGINAL ARTICLE THAT YOU WROTE. If you work for an author as an employee or contractor and are submitting the article, please submit the article as if it was from the original author including his or her email address and name.”

    The article spinning companies just love perpetuating the “unique article” urban myth. It’s making them a fortune, and that’s why they fight tooth and nail to prevent it from dying.

    To make the job especially easy, Ezine Articles offers authors a plugin to publish all your blog posts instantly to the EZA directory, and this is what they say (again, copied from the EZA website).

    “Plugin Features:

    Save Time. When you write a post on your WordPress blog, you will now be able to submit it to EzineArticles directly from your blog.
    Customize. Resource Box can now be loaded and tweaked for your WordPress article.
    Republish. Your old WordPress posts can now reach a wider audience on EzineArticles.”

    But don’t just take my word for it, go to the Warrior Forum and search on Alexa Smith, Steven Wagenheim, MYOB, Nicola Lane, JohnMcCabe, Richard Van, TPW, PatriciaJ, Benjamin Ehinger, and many others.

  21. Ryan says:

    Thanks for taking the time to provide such a detailed response, Anne.

    Happy Holidays to you.

    Ryan

  22. Anne says:

    Glad to help Ryan. Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you 🙂

  23. Eliseo V says:

    Hello Anne, it’s refreshing to ready your post after seeing the frenzy around article spinning techniques on many other sites. I appreciate your clarifying the distinction between original and unique in such clear terms.

  24. Anne says:

    Hi Eliseo – Thanks for the kind words 🙂 So glad you feel I’m able clarify things for you. It’s always good to hear how my efforts are read by others.

  25. Porc says:

    What if I want to post someone else’s content on my site to provide commentary on it? If I just cut/paste it into a blog post in WordPress, do I need to worry about it being flagged somewhere, even if I use a citation? Are there author tags I need to keep intact?

  26. Anne says:

    I would be extremely cautious of posting anyone else’s content on your website if it hasn’t been offered for republication via an article directory or something similar. I would advise you to first contact the author of the piece you wish to comment on, and ask for their written permission.

  27. It�s arduous to seek out educated individuals on this matter, but you sound like you recognize what you�re talking about! Thanks

  28. Latha says:

    Anne. Thank you for this article. I found a link to it in the warrior forum. I purchased so many s/ws for rewriting content and let them be … now i think i understand what i should be doing…

  29. Everton says:

    I So own you one…
    This is awesome post will definitely bookmark it and probably send some traffic just the same.
    So glad I am broke, won’t find this website and would end up buying spinning softwares.
    I got this link from warrior forum.

    Thanks A million

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  31. Latha says:

    Anne, I linked my article to yours. I think my readers need to hear what you have to say.

  32. Anne says:

    Thank you Latha, really appreciate your participation 🙂

  33. ed says:

    Anna, thanks for the article. This clears up a lot of misconceptions about duplicate contents and syndication.

  34. Moneyflora says:

    Thanks a lot. The article was so clear and easy to understand as learning abc . I have been searching for some posts to know that weather google will penalize my blog if i post its contents to ezine sites or not. I read a lot of posts but the authors werent their self cleared that weather submiting article will cause duplicate contents or not. I was going to install a wp plugin to submit my site to ezine directories automatically. Hopefully i can use that. Thanks again

  35. Anne says:

    Really glad my words were able to help you Moneyflora. I love to receive feedback just like yours. Much appreciated 🙂

  36. Christopher says:

    Nice post Anne. I’m just a newbie getting started but I’m quickly learning that there is a wide variety of opinions, information and misinformation spread everywhere. I’m assuming a lot of making it through has to do with common sense and good judgement. Hopefully I’ll be able to help my wife before more successful as she runs her own beauty blog.

    I’m going to subscribe 🙂

  37. Anne says:

    Hi Christopher – thanks for the kind words – very much appreciated 🙂
    Anne

  38. Tyler says:

    Interesting.

    I’m curious though, I almost never see quality posts on Ezinearticles or other directories.

    Everything is 500 words almost exactly, fluff content. Never anything of substance or worth reading. Why aren’t quality 1500-3000 word posts from reputable blogs on Ezine? Or are they and I just haven’t seen them amongst all the garbage?

  39. Anne says:

    Clearly you haven’t seen the decent ones. Maybe they are in niches you don’t read. Besides my own contributions, which are know are high quality, and most are 1,500+ words, I know of a number of writers who contribute top notch material to EzineArticles. I can’t speak for other directories, because I don’t know which ones you are referring to, but I will readily agree with you that 99% of the directories out there are stuffed full of dreadful content: hence Google’s clamp down.

  40. Lee Traupel says:

    Stellar job on this post Anne – you succinctly pierced some online myths that needed to be clarified. Great job and thanks so much for sharing!

  41. Anne says:

    Thanks for the kind words Lee, much appreciated 🙂

  42. stuart says:

    This is brilliant Anne.

    I have learnt a lot from this thread.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions in depth.

    I am a bit of a newbie and have got a daft question: Would I be free to use an Artice on Ezine and post it on my own website. Is this the whole idea of Artice directories

  43. Anne says:

    Hi Stuart – not quite sure if I’ve got your question right. Do you mean, is it okay for you to take articles other writers have published on EzineArticles and post them on your own website?

    Yes, absolutely, this is “syndication” and exactly the true purpose of article directories. A word of warning though: you must post the articles without any changes and you MUST include the full author bio and the EzineArticles attribution.

    I occasionally pick up an article from EZA just to add a fresh perspective to one of my blogs, but on the whole, I prefer to use my own content, because it’s often just too darn difficult to find anything of high enough quality. The last thing I want to do is promote poorly written content, because that will reflect badly on me.

  44. stuart says:

    Thanks Anne

    Personally I take pride in my website and like it to be full of my own articles and content.

    Was just interested to know as I have seen a lot of my articles taken off other directories and appear on certain blogs. Weird looking blogs that all seem to look alike

    As all of these articles, like you say, seem to have my original content and all of my links, I am presuming this is a good thing.

    Still very new to all of this and trying to figure what is going on.

    Nice to know, though, that if I do see a nice article I can use it on my site.

    Thanks again

  45. Kris Benetto says:

    Anne, I have been cross referencing this post with your forum posts on the Warrior Forum, as well as the WF posts from Alexa Smith.
    What an education and confirmation of something I’ve felt in my gut.
    Thank you.

    I am new to IM. I follow everything both you and Alexa have written on article syndication save one crucial thing.
    Any insight would be much appreciated:

    What do you link your syndicated article copies (the ones that appears on Ezines and possibly others) to?

    I’ve thus far been creating affiliate niche blogs (a la Corbett Barr’s “Affiliate Marketing for Beginners” course, if you’re familiar).

    So far, each post/article on my blogs contains relevant and useful info written by me. At the end of these is a sentence or two about a related, high quality affiliate product, with a text and graphic link to the product.

    Until now, my traffic building strategy has been based on ranking high on Google. However, I want to start writing longer posts/articles on my sites and syndicate them to Ezines just as you explain.

    I know Alexa wrote in WF NOT to link your syndicated articles (using the resource box) to the versions that first appeared on your site.
    (Her 7-19-2011 comment here: http://bit.ly/p4Y7FD)

    In my current case, the articles/posts on my blogs are where my affiliate links appear, as explained above.

    So if I’m not supposed to link a syndicated article to the corresponding article on my blog, what then?
    Link to my home page and have some banners there for my affiliate products?
    I’m assuming it’s not proper/accepted to have affiliate links directly in the syndicated article?

    I know the point of article syndication is to get your site in front of a relevant audience. If you’re going the affiliate route like me, I’d think that the whole idea is that when a reader of a syndicated article clicks on the link in the resource box, they’re then taken to a web page where they’re at most 1 click away from a product I’m promoting?

    I may be missing something obvious, but I am new!
    Thank you for your time and attention

  46. Kris Benetto says:

    Anne, so as to not waste your time, wanted to follow up on my previously submitted question about where exactly to link to.

    I did more research, looks like in point 6 of your “Article Syndication To Benefit and Grow Your Business” post on this site, you’re clearly stating it’s your site’s main URL, as expected. Sorry if you already answered my 1st submission.

    Two more quick questions then:

    -When necessary, how do you cite multiple sources for factual references etc. in an article? It looks like Ezines only allows 1 link in the article body.

    -As for doing guest blog posting: is that a fresh article you write from scratch, not partially or totally content already on your own site?

    I’m not sure because you talk about approaching webmasters who have previously picked up your syndicated article and enticing them with an exclusive, stating you’re offering them the article before the article directories get it.

    Obviously, since these webmasters have chosen syndicated articles for their sites, they know that the content appears elsewhere on the web.

    The crux of my question is: when directly contacting a webmaster, is it poor form to be offering them an exact replica of an article that already appears on your own blog as a post? Or is the extra work you speak of when working the guest posting angle purely the time and effort that goes into researching blogs and communicating with webmasters?

    Thanks so much. I’m new and want to do things to the highest standards!

  47. Anne says:

    Hi Kris

    Thanks for the detailed response to my article. Let me try to expand further on my article marketing methods.

    1. You reference point #6 in my other article – Article Syndication To Benefit and Grow Your Business:

    “Rethink your Resource Box (Author Bio). Here again, the usually accepted, sales oriented Resource Box just doesn’t work. Instead, turn the final paragraph of your article into your resource box, with a couple of targeted key phrases linking back to your own website or blog. Blend the paragraph seamlessly into the flow and style of the article as a whole.”

    Yes, on most occasions I simply link directly back to the main URL of my website. I will sometimes change that strategy if I have another article on my website which I believe will extend upon the theme of the original article, but this is the exception more than the rule.

    2. Ezine Articles actually specify as follows:

    You may include a total of four links (active or inactive) in your article. This includes BOTH the article body and the Resource Box.

    Maximum of 2 Self-Serving Links – You may include a maximum of two active or inactive self-serving links/URL’s in your article.

    A self-serving link is defined as a website that the author owns, controls, or has a vested interest in.
    Maximum of 2 Non-Self-Serving Links – You may include a maximum of two active or inactive non-self-serving links/URL’s in your article.

    A non-self-serving link is a website that you do NOT own, control, or have an interest in which adds value to the article.
    Reserve Self-Serving Links for the Resource Box – The best place for your self-serving links is in the Resource Box (below the article body). A maximum of one self-serving link is allowed in the article body. Links placed in the article body will automatically include the rel=”NoFollow” attribute. All links placed in the Resource Box DO NOT have this attribute added.
    Links Above the Fold – Do not add links above the fold, i.e. the first 1-3 paragraphs or the top half of the article body. Place any links you include within the article body beneath the fold. These links often look spammy and invite readers to click away before they get to the “meat” of your content.

    So—in EZA’s own words, up to two outgoing links in the actual article body.

    3. Guest Blogging is often not the same animal as true article syndication, and blog owners will sometimes require a truly “unique” article. However, they will often moderate this requirement my asking that your guest blog should be exclusive to them for (possibly) 10 days, or two weeks. As far as I’m concerned, the blog has to offer a very large, very focused audience for my content if it expects me to provide them with a unique and permanently exclusive article.

    4. With the articles I offer for general syndication, I do as follows: (a) Post to my own blog/website and wait until it’s been indexed by Google. (b) Circulate it to my list of established prior syndicators. (c) Offer it to new syndicators I’ve recently discovered. (d) Publish it on EZine Articles.

    The only alteration I make to the article originally published on my website is the addition to a resource box. Very often (on fact in most cases), this simply involves editing the final paragraph and adding hyperlinks to a couple of keywords. Often, these are long-tailed keywords.

    You asked “…is it poor form to be offering them (webmasters) an exact replica of an article that already appears on your own blog as a post?”. Absolutely not. It might be the case if you are attempting to promote low quality, sales oriented content, but I write articles that follow the ‘5 Es’ principle: Enthusiasm, Empathy, Education, Engagement, Entertainment. My articles NEVER sell; they gently and subtly pre-sell. They are also at least 800 words; often very much longer. My writing comes from the heart, and as such, it simply does not lend itself to successful change or re-writing.

    If webmasters insist upon re-writing, I just move on.

    I hope this has helped to clarify article marketing and the way a significant number of us approach it.

    To your success ~
    Anne

  48. Anne says:

    Hi Kris – I’ve just finished responding to your other questions, so let me grab a cup of coffee before moving on.. 🙂

    You ask: “What do you link your syndicated article copies (the ones that appears on Ezines and possibly others) to?” Fundamentally exactly the same as the linking explained in my previous response – either directly to my main URL, or another, highly relevant article on the website.

    You cite: I’ve thus far been creating affiliate niche blogs (a la Corbett Barr’s “Affiliate Marketing for Beginners” course, if you’re familiar). I’ve never heard of Corbett Barr or his marketing course, so I can’t offer any comment on it merits. I will say though, when I searched on it moments ago, it triggered a Malwarebytes warning on my computer.

    You say: “Until now, my traffic building strategy has been based on ranking high on Google. However, I want to start writing longer posts/articles on my sites and syndicate them to Ezines just as you explain.” Good for you. The sooner you divorce yourself from depending upon Google the better. Since the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, people have been flocking to forums in droves complaining that their sites have vanished or dropped drastically in the Google rankings. Move away from depending totally upon Google for your traffic and you won’t give a fig what updates Big G enacts.

    You say: “I know the point of article syndication is to get your site in front of a relevant audience. If you’re going the affiliate route like me, I’d think that the whole idea is that when a reader of a syndicated article clicks on the link in the resource box, they’re then taken to a web page where they’re at most 1 click away from a product I’m promoting?”

    I can only explain my personal strategy to you, which is structured 100% around “informing”, as opposed to “selling.” From my experience, I do much more selling after I’ve established trust with my audience. The selling comes later.

    My overriding concern is to get them to sign up to my mailing list, and I entice them to do this with a valuable free gift. My auto responder emails continue to develop a trusting relationship, and almost as an afterthought I pop in an occasional paragraph introducing them to a product I’ve reviewed and recommend. I also sometimes tell them about a product I’ve tested and don’t recommend. This builds upon the trust factor enormously.

    I write detailed reviews on whatever I’m trying to sell and post them on my blogs under a separate ‘I Recommend’ category, and I link to these reviews from the paragraphs in my emails. I also sometimes use a link to them in a small banner at the foot of a regular post. These reviews remain exclusive to my blogs and are never offered for syndication. Expecting webmasters to syndicate what is essentially sales material is a huge no-no.

    To your success ~ Anne

  49. Kris Benetto says:

    Great stuff Anne, thank you. A few more questions to round out my strategy:

    -In the aforementioned WF post, in one of your comments (#15) you say you’re a “huge believer” in posting on Web 2.0 sites. Can you please elaborate? I wouldn’t think anyone ever syndicates from them. Is it for the pen name to appear in more places to build reputation? Do you network on them? I know not all Web 2.0s are the same–I have seen funky comments about Squidoo (but that was more about using a Squidoo lens as your main “site,” which I’d never do). Thus far under my old model, I only was using Web 2.0s to link to my sites, but I wouldn’t think they pass on much link juice after reading you & Alexa (I know that you firmly state article directories are useless for link juice).

    -Related to that, do you ever use forums in your niches in any way? (other than participating a bit in a blog forum as part of research on that blog’s culture– if you’re considering approaching that blog for guest posting).

    -Regarding 10 approved articles to reach Platinum status on Ezines: I’d think that this applies as 10 per pen name, right? The viewing public sees the pen name of course, not the account name. So let’s say I submit 10 quality articles as Jane Doe (writing on gardening)and get Platinum status. If I wanted to, at some point after achieving Platinum status as Jane Doe, start a new pen name as Jackie Smith (writing on fitness), I’d be starting from scratch? I’d have to successfully submit 10 new articles writing as Jackie Smith on fitness to achieve Platinum status? The Platinum status is not conferred on a whole account, across pen names created for that account?

    Thank you again. Your insights have been a godsend.

  50. Raquel says:

    I’ve been wondering for a while what was meant by “duplicate content” and now I realize its what I’ve been thinking all along. Who would duplicate content on their own site anyways? Just doesn’t make sense. Syndicating content does work (it has for me). Thanks for the great post!

  51. Anne says:

    Hello and thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂
    Anne

  52. Anne says:

    Hello Kris

    Q. -In the aforementioned WF post, in one of your comments (#15) you say you’re a “huge believer” in posting on Web 2.0 sites. Can you please elaborate? I wouldn’t think anyone ever syndicates from them. Is it for the pen name to appear in more places to build reputation? Do you network on them? I know not all Web 2.0s are the same–I have seen funky comments about Squidoo (but that was more about using a Squidoo lens as your main “site,” which I’d never do). Thus far under my old model, I only was using Web 2.0s to link to my sites, but I wouldn’t think they pass on much link juice after reading you & Alexa (I know that you firmly state article directories are useless for link juice).

    A. Yes, I used to use Web 2.0 sites purely to place my pen names in front of more eyeballs. As the saying goes (and it’s true, any publicity is good publicity.) BUT, I must confess, their effectiveness has diminished noticeably since the first Panda algorithm update. I still post to them occasionally, but lately, I’ve dropped it down on my list of ‘must do’s’.

    Q. Related to that, do you ever use forums in your niches in any way? (other than participating a bit in a blog forum as part of research on that blog’s culture– if you’re considering approaching that blog for guest posting).

    A. Yes, I do use forums / blogs, but only those that don’t appear to tolerate and retain obvious ‘spam commenting.’ A don’t want my name associated with spam – ever. When I start working with a new niche, one of the first things I do I heavy research to locate every possible forum and immediately set out to establish a relationship with those I determine to be good (not spammy.) Then, by the time I want to suggest guest posting, they and their followers are already familiar with mt.

    Q.

    Regarding 10 approved articles to reach Platinum status on Ezines: I’d think that this applies as 10 per pen name, right? The viewing public sees the pen name of course, not the account name. So let’s say I submit 10 quality articles as Jane Doe (writing on gardening)and get Platinum status. If I wanted to, at some point after achieving Platinum status as Jane Doe, start a new pen name as Jackie Smith (writing on fitness), I’d be starting from scratch? I’d have to successfully submit 10 new articles writing as Jackie Smith on fitness to achieve Platinum status? The Platinum status is not conferred on a whole account, across pen names created for that account?

    A. Well, you almost had me stumped there, but I went to my EZine Articles account and one checked my various pen names. I have a few pen names associated with endeavors I’ve not persevered with (I’m guilty of that occasionally), and consequently, I’ve only published a few articles with them – nothing like ten.

    When I viewed each pen name, they all displayed as ‘Platinum Author’, so it would appear that all the sub-accounts carry the authority of the main account.

    Cheers – Anne

  53. Kris Benetto says:

    Thank you for your generosity.

  54. Kris Benetto says:

    Actually one more tiny question…Ezines states they want real photos. How do you manage this with several different pen names? Personally I don’t feel comfortable with an actual photo of myself for all of the different names.

  55. Anne says:

    Hi again Kris
    I use a photograph of myself when I publish under my own name, but I don’t do that very often. As for pen names, I use both male and female names and I just buy an appropriate photograph from Can Stock Photos. Just buy the cheapest, lowest resolution pics – they’re fine.
    Cheers – Anne

  56. Anne says:

    You’re very welcome Kris 🙂

  57. Ern says:

    Hi Anne,

    This post is really helpful since I just tried to submit one of my recent blog post to EZA and other article directories. I got tip on WF to do a 30-day challenge of posting on the site and submitting these postings to article directories. I tested it but had a queasy feeling about the ‘duplicate content’ issue.

    Thanks for the valuable information. Yes, I let google index my post first before submitting it to article directories.

  58. Anne says:

    Glad it helped 🙂
    Anne

  59. Anne says:

    Glad I was able to help 🙂

    Anne

  60. The whole idea that you could get penalized for duplicate content never made sense to me, considering anyone could scrape your content and put it on their site. Content syndication is the nature of the internet, I could give you a lot of examples but I’ll leave that for another time, awesome post by the way.

  61. Anne says:

    Thanks Tyronne – you are so right 🙂

  62. Paul says:

    Thanks Anne, this clears up a lot of the mis-conception that I had with submitting unique articles. Will save me a load of time in future.

  63. Anne says:

    Hi Paul – delighted I can help and I appreciate you taking the time to comment.
    Anne 🙂

  64. Cheryl says:

    Hi Anne, Absolutely brilliant article, I particularly liked your answers to Kris, you were very in-depth which is so helpful and you obviously don’t mind writing long answers to questions, it comes across that you care about building that relationship with your readers, I’m so impressed and am about to register on your mailing list. Thanks again
    Cheryl

  65. Anne says:

    Hi Cheryl
    Thanks so much for the kind words. I love ’em 🙂
    I feel that if someone raises a genuine question or seems confused about something, the least I can do is reply to them with as much detail as the situation requires. I see this blog as my ‘personal’ blog, rather than a revenue stream, hence building relationships has always been my prime focus. Thanks for signing up to my mailing list; it’s very low key with no pre-set series of emails. I just write when I feel the need to pass something on to my subscribers.
    Anne

  66. Great article Anne. I see so many people who think that they have to come up with a unique article for every directory for fear of Google shutting down their site. What do they expect?

    The article directories are there so people can make an exact duplicate of the article and post it on their own site, so why submit if your worried about duplicate content.

    I think that people have the wrong idea of what the directories are for since they’ve been abused in the past.

  67. Randall says:

    I have a question about Ezine Articles’ Author Guidelines.

    “MUST BE AN ORIGINAL ARTICLE THAT YOU WROTE. If you work for an author as an employee or contractor and are submitting the article, please submit the article as if it was from the original author including his or her email address and name.”

    Does this mean I can or can not hire someone to write the article for me?

  68. Anne says:

    Yes, of course you can. When you hire someone to write articles/content for you, it’s always on the understanding that the product becomes your property immediately it’s paid for. It’s yours for you to publish as your own work.
    Anne

  69. Anne says:

    Hi Bill
    Thanks for responding 🙂 All the ‘duplicate content’ fear and myths have been created and promoted by people selling article spinning software. They spread their mis-information and, unfortunately, gullible marketers who know no better, accept it as gospel.
    Anne

  70. Angel says:

    Hi, just to clarify things, so let’s say I own a site where I wanted to include 1 article in two categories. One is for the product type (e.g watch) and the other category is the brand (e.g Timex). Would Google see that as Duplicate Content? Thank you very much

  71. Anne says:

    Yes – Google would see this is duplicate content
    Anne

  72. Suvrun says:

    Yes no words can explain how i am feeling after visiting this blog. At one time i was speechless for what i have seen. I have already subscribed you for your future ezine articles as I can’t miss your information.

    But Anne I have 3 very important question hope you will provide me the perfect solution and I will be blessed like the other fellow members.

    1. Free wordpress blog posting with a Link to a client site
    – planning What if plan a wordpress or blogger blog (a sub domain blog) and there i start posting all my original articles (because the the client site is not allowing us to post articles in their site as they feature only micro news) with a link on each article?
    So can i do this with a new free subdomain wordpress blog and providing a footer link on each articles (as because if i don’t provide my client site links in that free wordpress blog then all the traffic whi i could get from syndicated sites will be stuck to that free wordpress site and will not move to my main client site)
    And ofcourse the articles and the whole free wordpress blog would be totally devoted and related to that client site which i am promoting.
    So can that free site sustain will all the post having a same domain link all the time (though all articles would be exact related ones)?

    2. Web 2.0 sites posting basic norms
    – In the case of web 2.0 site promotion (like squidoo, hub pages etc) should i copy paste my orignal articles (my free wordpress articles) into those web 2.0 sites?
    In other words, Should i follow the same formula which you have told in the case of article directories syndication. So to follow the same in web 2.0 sites as well?

    3. Edu/Govt sites promotion

    – I have heard that if you promote your site in edu/govt extention sites with articles then it enhanced your authority to a huge way. Is it true? If its true then why as because edu/govt sites mean 95% related to universities,colleges and education and ngo. So if you have a site related to movies then how come it benefits through those edu/govt
    sites?
    So promoting articles in edu/govt sites for authority no matter what your article niche is another myth?
    If its good or so so then to follow that same article syndication norms over here also? means posting the original in the free wordpress blog and then copy paste that in all the other edu/govt sites that I got?

    Waiting for your reply. Hope I am also blessed by your information.

  73. Anne says:

    Hello and thank you for your detailed comment. Thank you also for your very kind opening remarks, they are very much appreciated.

    To respond to your three questions:

    1. Free WordPress blog posting with a Link to a client site
    I never use free WordPress and Blogger blogs, they are just too volatile because they are never your own, and can and will be taken down simply because a rival chooses to complain about you. I don’t think you have really understood the true concept of content marketing which I follow. It had nothing to do with posting my articles all over the place. Outside of my own websites, the only place I post is Ezine Articles, and only after I’ve distributed each new articles to my subscribing publishers.

    2. Web 2.0 sites posting basic norms
    I honestly cannot offer you any advice with posting to posting to Squidoo, Hubpages, etc., because I never use them. All my content (article) writing involves their distribution to a network of publishers with the goal of generating traffic, sales, and subscribers from their readers of that content. Squidoo, Hubpages and other similar Web 2.0 websites usually insist upon unique content (as opposed to “original” content) and offer absolutely nothing toward building my list of publishers.

    3. Edu/Govt sites promotion
    This is an SEO question and, I regret, something I’m really not qualified to answer. I’ve read a number of highly authoritative articles from genuine experts who explain that links from EDU/GOV websites are not seen as being any better than others. They say the highest rated link juice come from high authority websites in your niche.

    I’m sorry I cannot offer more help, but I believe I serve my readers better when I write about subjects I really know, rather than guess at answers on issues for which I have little or no experience or knowledge.

    Best regards – Anne

  74. suv says:

    As usual thanks a lot Anne for your detailing. To round up the topic I want to ask and wanted to know that whether:

    1. AFter posting the article to my domain blog site ( and no free as i purchased a new domain) can i post that same article to many article directories (as many as 20/30 plus sites) & Press release sites (as many as 20/30 plus)? If its not a good idea to post to many sites then what is the limit number it should have 10 or 15?

    2) The best way to get traffic after posting an article in a domain website would be ?

    These are the 2 question in my mind to round up this topic. Hope you will me again.

  75. Anne says:

    Hello again 🙂

    There are already a number of articles here in this blog that answer your questions. Specifically: Article Syndication To Benefit and Grow Your Business.

    I must repeat—true Content/Article Marketing (such as I, and many other seasoned marketers pursue,) doesn’t involve posting 20/30 copies of each article/press release (as you still specify) all over the internet with a view to directly attracting traffic. We publish our content:

    1. On our own websites
    2. We then distribute it to our lists(s) of webmasters for republication on their websites, in their ezines, etc., etc.
    3. I may (occasionally) put up a little PowerPoint video, based on the article, then paste the entire article into the You Tube channel area. NOT for SEO purposes, but because I’ve signed up several new niche related publishers by doing this.
    4. Finally, we publish a copy on Ezine Articles

    That’s it.

    In true Content/Article Marketing, the actual articles are not intended as traffic magnets. They are material for syndication on niche related websites, in ezines, etc. This is what provides the focused visitors.

    Anne

  76. suv says:

    Thanks a million Anne for your wisdom sharing now i am totally clear about the concept and how you seasoned players work in Article Marketing.

    But have to admit (as I am bound to) that very few seasoned like you come up with this kind of guidance & information.

    Cheers to you all the way.

  77. Audrey says:

    If I had a thousand tongues, I couldn’t thank you enough for this post. I will therefore use my one tongue to say:

    Thank You!

    I have been searching all over the net to understand this and have been on many websites but this post along with the various comments and answers sums it all up.

    One of my biggest concerns was duplicate content but article syndication – it makes perfect sense. Frankly, all that spinning nonsense made my stomach feel a little upset but at the same time I was feeling left behind like if I didn’t do something, nothing was going to happen.

    I read a comment from another gentleman who said something to the effect of:

    Article Marketing is like the radio, they’re just playing YOUR song.

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  79. Joe Helms says:

    Wow, as many many others have said – Thanks for this!

    Also like so many others, I’ve been hearing the same thing over and over again. And I never bothered to think about syndicated news – or even how Ezine talks about how you handle requests from others who want to use your articles on their sites.

    1 second of thought would have made me go right to Google for the answers.

    I have a hunch this is perpetuated because the article sites request original content – but that would be not for Google purposes, but instead to try and keep their sites unique from the _other_ article sites.

    Or maybe I’m all wrong about it.

    Either way, thanks again. This clears much up. So much of this stuff online is presented as surrounded by mist and mystery.

    – J

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  81. Denis says:

    But if duplicate content on other sites is not duplicate then why are people talking about spining their article which they use for backliks ? For that matter what are spinners here for?

  82. Anne says:

    Denis – if you cannot yet grasp the true meaning of “duplicate content” after all I’ve written on this blog, and with other people who make their living via the written word: people such as Alexa Smith, JohnMcCabe, MissTerraK, Joseph Robinson, Kay King, travlinguy, BIG Mike, and many, many others, I don’t think I can help you.

  83. Thanks a lot to this article. Before read this article i read many blogs and forum sites but now i can stop reading because know i figured it out what i should do. Thanks again for it.

  84. Oliver says:

    Thanks a lot for this article. I didn’t know that I could submit articles from my own blog to article directories, that is really time and energy saving.
    Thanks again.

  85. Linda says:

    Anne – This post was amazing and I feel like a massive weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I’ve been trying to do IM for a few years now and have been struggling with the so-called duplicate content issue and the need for spinning articles to get traffic to my sites. Why have I been doing this? Because that’s what all the IM courses say you have to do. Never did like creating spun articles since I knew it was spam.

    Now, I’m a little older and wiser and realize that there are very few people out there that are truthful when it comes to learning how to promote sites through article syndication. I was researching something today and came across several of your posts on the WF and ended up on your site because I wanted to learn more from you. Been reading your posts for several hours now. 🙂

    All of my sites have original content written by me (using pen names) and I do my best to provide quality information in my posts so that readers will find them useful. When I post these articles on my sites, I typically “hide” the author and post date and I wonder if that’s a mistake.

    When it comes to article syndication, I understand that the article needs to be original (mine). If I use the same pen name on my syndicated articles, but my pen name doesn’t appear on my original post on my site, will someone like EZA consider this duplicate content? On my sites, I do have the “About Us” page which does show the pen name that I use, but is that enough?

    Another question relating to duplicate content is one that you may not be able to provide an answer to, but if you could, that would be very much appreciated. I have several sites that provide information type posts. These sites are “monetized” with Adsense ads. About a year ago, Adsense sent me an email stating that they would cancel my account with them unless I removed the duplicate content on a particular site.

    The content on this site was original and was written by me. Using CopyScape, I discovered another site that had the exact same posts as my site along with other posts. This website had more “authority” than mine at the time. Even though, my posts were dated prior to the posts on the other site, Adsense continued to state that my site had the duplicate content. I pursued this for a while, but Adsense would not budge and insisted I was at fault. I felt that this fight was a lost cause so I just deleted my site so that I could keep my Adsense account.

    This was definitely a duplicate issue, even though my site had the original content. I’m sure that my posts were just scraped and used on that other site. At any rate, if duplicate content isn’t really an issue, is this just a “special” requirement by Adsense?

    Any insight that you might be able to provide would certainly be appreciated.

  86. I was just doing a Google search about this topic, and going nuts about having to modify all my original articles in order to avoid “duplicate content”. Now, after reading your explanation… WOW! What a relief!

    My time is better spent writting new quality content than having to “re-spin” old quality content. Thank you very much. You have a new subscriber!

  87. John says:

    I am very glad with this article, it has really cleared my doubts about original contents. Thank you.

  88. Hey there! I’ve been reading your site for a while now and finally
    got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx!
    Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!

  89. john lewsam says:

    Thank you Anne,

    Amazing amount of great information here, this is why i wade through the 100’s of misleading sites/articles to find gem’s like this one.

    I will be studying these articles you write for sometime now this is my new reference point.

    Many Many Thank’s…. John

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