Duplicate Content Question

by TLondon 15 replies
Hey!

Here are two identical articles published on different high-traffic websites:

1. How Our Brains Stop Us From Achieving Our Goals (and How to Fight Back)
2. How Our Brains Stop Us Achieving Our Goals and How to Fight Back - The Buffer Blog

Both articles are indexed by Google.

LifeHacker reposted the article under author's name as a guest post after the author asked them to do so. Now, bear in mind that the author (Gregory Ciotti) is actually being linked to by many SEO experts as somebody who knows SEO stuff and obviously people at LifeHacker are no slouches either, therefore, I feel it's safe to assume that both these articles are safe in the eyes of Google.

With that being said, how is that not a duplicate content?
#search engine optimization #content #duplicate #question
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  • Profile picture of the author craighakwins
    It will. Just wait and you'll see.
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  • Profile picture of the author shailender
    It is same content, but what makes it different is lifehacker mentioned the real source of content (buffer) at the end of the article. This makes it content syndication instead of duplicate content.
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  • Profile picture of the author nettiapina
    Originally Posted by TLondon View Post

    Both articles are indexed by Google.
    Usually that's not a problem. Google is happy to index them, but near or exact duplicates may drop in rankings or even get filtered from results for being too similar. Nobody searches the supplemental index.

    However, both these articles also rank for something like "brain achieving goals".

    Indeed both sites are well known. I suspect that their backlink profiles may help, and possibly also the fact that Lifehacker links to the other article (syndication). The articles were published in 2012 so it's not likely that they're going anywhere.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chandrapaul
    need to study lof of things before judgement.
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  • Profile picture of the author TLondon
    We can all speculate, but let's talk about the things we do know, mkay? I'd love to read what SEO experts of the forum have to say.

    @shailender and @nettiapina, That's exactly my point - articles are from 2012, and they're doing fine. So maybe all this paranoia about duplicate content is a little overblown?

    Again, bear in mind that the author of the article is actually pretty known in SEO fields, and I don't see why LifeHacker would risk any penalties just to host somebody else's guest post, even if it brings additional traffic. These people know what they're doing and they don't seem to be bothered one bit about publishing "duplicate" content.

    So another question arises then in response to @shailender and @nettiapina: you're saying that as long as we point to original article, it's not duplicate content anymore because it's now a syndication? Does this mean I can have multiple sites/pages/whatnot with the same content, all pointing to one original article? Can you see where I'm getting at?

    Also, does anybody know for a FACT that this is how Google's algorithm works? Because by the sound of it, Google bots would have to crawl the "duplicate" (read: published later than original) page and find a link back to the original. If the link exists somewhere on the page - boom, it's not duplicate; if it doesn't then it's duplicate. Pretty black & white, ey?

    ^ Now I'm not saying this is not how it is (because I don't know), but can anybody actually confirm that this is how Google bots work? Because it sounds somewhat dumb to me or rather too simplistic.

    I personally don't see how Google can have it both ways, unless they review websites manually. They either accept duplicate content or penalize it. Yes, it would be great if they can distinguish between good duplicate content and bad, but can they?

    LifeHacker case shows that it's possible, but I'm curious to know how exactly does this work...
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    • Profile picture of the author nettiapina
      Originally Posted by TLondon View Post

      you're saying that as long as we point to original article, it's not duplicate content anymore because it's now a syndication?
      No, I'm not. Wasn't too clear about it, but I tried to say that both sites are fairly strong even if Lifehacker is way more well-known than Buffer. A simple link will probably not do much when it comes to Google burying or not burying an article.

      I was hitting long keywords that probably have fairly low competition. Yukon was using even longer keyword. I'd make sense to me for Google to bury one of these articles if there was something else that seemed relevant.

      Originally Posted by TLondon View Post

      Also, does anybody know for a FACT that this is how Google's algorithm works?
      Even Matt Cutts does not have that kind of information. As always all of this is mere speculation.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        It is duplicate content. And you can have duplicate content on the same domain.
        People just heard duplicate content and faint or act like chicken little.

        Complete misunderstanding of duplicate content that gets some sort of penalty.

        Duplicate is: If you have one article on two pages of the same domain or subdomain

        Everything else is syndication.
        So if 10 people steal my stuff, post it, they are just syndicatin' ?

        Every big site, from wikipedia to ebay, from amazon to craigslist, and everything
        in between has duplicate content across the same friggin domain. And they
        and google could care less.

        Every one of these dupe content threads turns into a gag fest.

        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author TLondon
          Paul, pretty much my thoughts too.

          Thanks for chipping in, guys!
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        • Profile picture of the author nik0
          Banned
          Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

          It is duplicate content. And you can have duplicate content on the same domain.
          People just heard duplicate content and faint or act like chicken little.

          Complete misunderstanding of duplicate content that gets some sort of penalty.



          So if 10 people steal my stuff, post it, they are just syndicatin' ?

          Every big site, from wikipedia to ebay, from amazon to craigslist, and everything
          in between has duplicate content across the same friggin domain. And they
          and google could care less.

          Every one of these dupe content threads turns into a gag fest.

          Paul
          What you always seem to forget is that there's a point where the impressive authorative back link profile starts to outweight onpage factors.

          That's why huge authority sites get away with things you can't even dream off with your small / weak sites, same like 99.9% of us.
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          • Profile picture of the author paulgl
            Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

            That's why huge authority sites get away with things you can't even dream off with your small / weak sites, same like 99.9% of us.
            No, sorry. I don't choose to stay on the porch because I want to run with the big dogs.

            I pattern everything I do after big, authoritative sites. What else would I strive to do?
            I try each day to get closer to being a big dog. Why on earth would I want to choose
            to stay weak? But, like I always say, it's one more clue as to why so many fail.

            They're so friggin scared of their online shadows, they can't think straight. So we get what
            this forum is filled with. Misinformation, from nofollow to duplicate content, and everything
            in between.

            Stay on the porch, and let the big dogs run.

            Paul
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            • Profile picture of the author nik0
              Banned
              Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

              No, sorry. I don't choose to stay on the porch because I want to run with the big dogs.

              I pattern everything I do after big, authoritative sites. What else would I strive to do?
              I try each day to get closer to being a big dog. Why on earth would I want to choose
              to stay weak? But, like I always say, it's one more clue as to why so many fail.

              They're so friggin scared of their online shadows, they can't think straight. So we get what
              this forum is filled with. Misinformation, from nofollow to duplicate content, and everything
              in between.

              Stay on the porch, and let the big dogs run.

              Paul
              Ok if you're able to pattern the backlink profiles as well then go ahead, kudos to you.

              Most consider it insane hard to achieve only a single real authoritive link, hence my posts are more tailored towards the ordinary people.

              I do tell you that it's easier to fail by copying huge sites right from the start instead of adjusting your site in a more Google friendly way for a brand new site and once grown bigger slowly following in their foot steps. I know they are designed in such way from a conversion point of view, to get the most out of it, but when there are no rankings there are no conversions either and when there's no traffic it's also harder to earn links in the natural way (unless you do massive link outreach campaigns obvious).

              I've build too many smallish sites (20-30 pages large) to know what I'm talking about and actually I prefer small sites (just easier for me to rank and scale) and stay somewhat under the radar, call me the underdog.
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  • Profile picture of the author puedall
    Duplicate is: If you have one article on two pages of the same domain or subdomain

    Everything else is syndication.

    Example Of Duplicate Content

    Lets say you have article ---->>> Bodybuilding secrets on

    1) www.yourdomaindotcom/bodybuilding-secrets
    2) www.yourdomaindotcom/yourblog/bodybuilding-secrets
    3) www.subdomain.yourdomaindotcom/bodybuilding-secrets

    Not Duplicate Content:

    1) www.facebookdotcom/bodybuilding-secrets

    2) www.diggdotcom/bodybuilding-secrets

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  • Profile picture of the author SEOJerry
    I would not get tied up in the jargon, all that matters is how Google ranks them. These articles are both safe unless they are being spammed all over the place to low PR sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author frettcarla
    It will not be considered as duplicate content if the rel=cannonical tag is applied on the copies. Otherwise it will be considered as duplicate only.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Duplicate content on different domains is all about authority, strongest domain/page wins, it's that simple.

    Notice the dates on both pages for the links in OP:
    • blog.bufferapp.com (July 11th, 2012)
    • lifehacker.com (7/25/12)

    Bufferapp posted the article before Lifehacker but Lifehacker is ranked #1 for the exact page title without quotes, both pages use the same page title. Lifehacker has more authority. Bufferrapp doesn't even show up in Google SERPs for it's own page title, the same title Lifehacker is ranked #1.

    Bufferapp does show up (#1) when you search for the lifehacker related page/title. Bufferap is pretty much buried in Google Supplemental SERPs, at least for that one page title.

    You also have to take into account the page title includes the word "How" which is what Lifehackers entire site is all about (how to do things...), that puts Lifehacker at an advantage, the same way it would put an authority site like ehow at an advantage (how to do things...).

    Look at the Lifehacker internal authority for the keyword how (how to do things...):

    Now combine all that Lifehacker internal page authority with the external backlinks that Lifehacker has pointing at those thousands of relevant indexed pages (how to do things..). That's some strong authority going on there.

    I didn't bother checking any shortail keywords, especially considering Bufferapp doesn't even show up for it's own page title without double quotes. It's possible their page ranks for keywords that have traffic but I don't have time to look.

    As always, it doesn't matter who owns the original content when it comes to SEO & ranking pages. I'm not suggesting to take content you don't own, I'm just pointing out that it doesn't matter where/when the original content first existed.

    This is why I laugh when people suggest to others they should post content on domains they don't own (ex: EZA), they're clueless If they think EZA (example) won't outrank a new/weak domain with their own content. EZA (example) banks on that free content by drawing in the SERP traffic that the original author could have been getting If they didn't submit their content to an authority domain & instead ranked their own page.
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