As more Domainers begin to focus on development the issue of duplicate vs .unique content comes-up a lot. If Google finds-out you have duplicate content on your site simply for the purpose of deceiving the search engines you could find yourself ranked lower or de-indexed completely. What most people miss is the difference between duplicate content and syndicated content.
I’ve heard many people say that if someone steals their article and puts it on another site they will get dinged in the search engines. First let me dispel this myth. If you are the original author and were the first one to index the article in the search engine, you are the original source. As the author you are of course not restricted to publish your content on only one site. Your content may be syndicated across multiple sites without causing any harm to your search ranking.
Heck – it’s not too hard to imagine that an article I write for this blog about ccTLDs would also be interesting to someone who reads ccTLDInvestors Magazine, an online magazine that I run. If I put the same article on both blogs some might say that I’m creating duplicate content and both of my sites will suffer. No – I’m actually taking my own content, that I have the right to distribute how I please, and providing it to another site with a difference audience that would also appreciate the article.
Take a look at press releases. It’s easy to find the exact word-for-word press release across hundreds or thousands of sites online. This is syndication, people pay good money to get their press release duplicated across multiple sites. They aren’t creating duplicate content, they are syndicating content so it can reach a larger audience and you can too.
Duplicate content is really about putting content on your site the might not be useful to the reader or factually correct but just targets search engines. Distributing this across a large number of sites could be considered duplicate content, it’s not adding value to your niche and it is clearly targeting search engines. Remember, there is nothing wrong with writing search engine optimized content, just make sure you’re not using one article across a ton of sites just to rank well.
At the end of the day fresh unique content is king. Just don’t forget that other people might want to help you promote your content and share it with others, and this is syndication, not duplication. If you haven’t yet read Google’s detailed FAQ on Duplicate Content you can read it here.