Unique Vs Duplicate Content?

If you’ve only just come online, you will have recently realized that writing content for a website is very different to writing content for offline publications, like newspapers or magazines.

Firstly, you have to optimize your online content for maximum search engine visibility, which can be very tough to get used to – you will find that achieving the correct keyword density and keyword positioning in your articles in much easier said than done.

But, there is another issue to consider when crafting your website content – should you use unique or duplicate content?

Unique content is obviously content that is 100% original, and unavailable anywhere else on the internet – there is no doubt whatsoever that is the very best type of content for search engines.

So, why would anyone even want to consider using non-unique, or duplicate content? And what are the drawbacks of doing so?

Well, seeing as website promotion is made up of on page and off page SEO, you will need both on site and off site content.

On site content should always be 100% unique! A website owner should never be lazy enough top use other people’s content on their site ( even when it is permissable to do so, which is the case most of the time ).

There are two main reasons for this:

Firstly, when you get permission to reprint someone else’s content on your site, you will have to include a link back to their site – and their site more than likely won’t be worth linking back to ( links like this usually lead to a landing page with a shameless sales pitch ).

Secondly, it is much harder to rank duplicate content, as the search engines don’t want several instances of the same content in their indexes.

But, off site content is different – as you well know, in order to rank well, your site needs a lot of incoming links from other websites.

This means distributing a certain amount of content across the internet, to article directories, web 2.0 sites etc.

It is very difficult coming up with a unique article to submit to each off-site property.

Is it acceptable to use duplicate content for off-site articles, then?

Ideally, no. But, when building a large volume of inbound links, it may be necessary to use article spinning, which involves re-writing certain portions of an article with spin code, or syntax, to produce a number of relatively unique article variations.

So, to summarize, never use duplicate content on your own website. Also, distribute as many unique off-site articles as your time and/or resources permit.

Finally, consider article spinning to create more variations of your off-page content.

Article spinning will be covered in an upcoming post.

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