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What is duplicate Content?

Updated on August 20, 2013

I wrote a hub about "What has Obama Accomplished in the Last Three Years" I wanted it to be factual so I inserted links to material that I used when doing my research. I published it and it was up for about three days with an opening hub score of 73 and several comments...and then it was flagged as being duplicate content. I found that if there is more than two links to the same domain, it will trigger the duplicate content flag. So I removed all my links and rewrote the article as best I could, being that it was all factual. I submitted it for publication and it was again flagged for duplicate content. I then deleted the hub because I did not want to chance being in violation for the third time.

I know the best way around this is to write hubs that only contain original material. However I'm interested in writing about political issues and presenting the facts, not just opinions. I like to do the research and get to the root cause of political issues. This raises some questions:

  1. How does one present factual material without it being a duplication of content?
  2. How are references cited without using links?
  3. Why are hubs about how to earn money online not flagged as duplicate content, when there are so many hubs of this nature all over hub pages and the Internet?
  4. Why are hubs that present specifications for reviewed products not flagged as duplicate content. That information can be found all over the internet as well?

When a hub does get flagged for duplicate content, it becomes a guessing game as to what caused the duplication. It is then up to the hubber to figure out how to re-write or modify the hub so as not to receive that violation in the next publishing of the hub. It would be nice if there was some kind of clue that could be provided. I realize monitoring is done via computers, but this does leave the re-write at the mercy of the monitoring system. If it was illegal use of photos or graphics, it should state the reason.

I may be confused, so if you can help me understand the policy, by commenting, it will be greatly appreciated. I love Hub Pages and the ease at which articles can be created. I also enjoy the forums and interaction with fellow hubbers. Perhaps we can all learn something from this.

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    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      6 years ago from Placentia California

      Thelma Alberts: You are welcome. I'm glad this hub and comments from co hubbers helped.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for the information I got from your hub and from the comments of our co hubbers. It´s good to know the reason why somebody is flagged.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      6 years ago from Placentia California

      Great, I'm happy for you...give it some time to work.

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 

      6 years ago from India

      Thanks a lot Sir for taking some time...I tried to follow your advice and I must say it is working somewhat.

      Thanks.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      6 years ago from Placentia California

      I looked at several of your hubs and I think you did a great job with the paragraph headings...great work.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      6 years ago from Placentia California

      ashish04joshim: I'm glad your hub got republished. I'll drop by right after I reply to your comment.

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 

      6 years ago from India

      Thank you Sir...and that hub upon 'depression' finally got republished...feeling so relieved.

      You had suggested me to use paragraph headings in my hubs. It would be so nice if you could visit some time just to see if I implemented upon your advice properly and what else I could do better.

      Thanks.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      6 years ago from Placentia California

      ashish04joshi: I know what you are going through. It becomes a guessing game. I wish you success in resolving the issue. Thanks for dropping by.

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 

      6 years ago from India

      Even I'm going through the same right now...

      I had published a hub upon depression and after two days, it was flagged as duplicate content.

      The same question I ask...there are thousands of articles upon depression, its symptoms, types and treatment...then why flag mine?

      I'm in the process of modifying it somehow, and republish.

      Lets see.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      6 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      This is what I think happens sometimes.... it is flagged by someone reading it through the hopper and hubpages has to respond by pulling it.

      At Ezines, all articles must be approved first by an ezines (volunteer) editor whereas hubpages are not.

      I like the idea of replying to their email, I did not know that was possible.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      Oh, I can definitely testify to the frustrations of being flagged for duplicate content. Whenever that happens to me I become really heartbroken. One day, I worked extra hard on a hub and it was flagged as duplicate content. What? I didn't quote anything - just wrote the hub and published it. Like you, I see a ton of articles on the same exact subject time and time again. I wonder why they are not flagged as duplicate content. I know HubPages is really strict about duplicate content, and that's OK. But, like the sentiment shared on comments here, it would be helpful to know why.

      I did some research about what Google considers duplicate content and Google says duplicate content is when the same content appears on the same web domain. Well, since HubPages is the primary domain and our pages are subdomains, then multiple hubs about the same subject would be considered duplicate content. On the other hand, Google does not consider it duplicate content if the same content is found at multiple other domains. Also, for people who write about newsworthy subjects, Google does not consider it to be duplicate content even if it is found multiple times on the same domain. News is news and Google doesn't rank a site down if there were one or a hundred news articles about the same subject. It's news and anybody can talk about the news.

      I'm so sorry I could not answer your question. But, I am going to follow this hub in case someone reads and comments. We might find our answer then.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      6 years ago from Placentia California

      mary615: Thanks for your advice. I copied a photo of Obama from a creative commons site and copied a graph of his "bikini chart" on the economy, which is in the public domain. When I rewrote the hub, I inserted the url for both graphics, but it was still flagged as duplicate. I don't know if that caused it or the links I had to other sites to validate my assertions about his acomplishments. It's a guessing game.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      6 years ago from Placentia California

      michiganman567: Thanks for your advice. I appreciate you dropping by.

    • peoplepower73 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Russo 

      6 years ago from Placentia California

      PWalker281: Thanks for your comments and advice. When I say I write about facts, I create a text hyperlinked about an assertion and then link that to the an internet site that would backup that assertion as fact. An example would be: "Health Care Reform eliminates pre-existing conditions." The word pre-existing is hyperlinked to a website page on healthcare.gov where the reader can verify that assertion as law. Therefore it is a fact, not my opinion. I did that through out my hub, but not to the same domain each time. I hope I have clarified my position. Thanks for the question. I will look at the hub pages that you recommended.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I got cited for a duplication because I copied a poem that was on the internet. I did not get permission from the poet. So I learned my lesson on that one! I think we are all bound to have duplicate content when we do research, but we have to be careful not to quote exactly, I think. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • michiganman567 profile image

      michiganman567 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      I think that I would avoid linking to pages all together right now because Google might consider your hubs to be "spammy" (which is probably why you can't link to a page twice). You can probably type the link without hyperlinking to avoid the problem. It isn't hubpages fault, or any effort to hassle you. It is Google coming up with new algorithms that penalize "spammy" posts.

    • profile image

      PWalker281 

      6 years ago

      Hi peoplepower73, I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say you are basing your hubs on facts. Are you taking content from the Internet and inserting it in your hub? Are you paraphrasing the factual information (i.e., repeating the facts but in your own words)?

      My understanding of duplicate content is that it is taken word-for-word from an Internet source and included in a hub, and that source can even be your own content, so it's not necessarily about plagiarism. It's all about publishing "original" content.

      I have read many hubs that have taken content from the Internet and included it in quotes or italics and a link to the original source. I've done this several times without my hub being flagged. Also, check out WingedCentaur who writes hubs about politics and economics. He does a lot of quoting in his hubs, except his sources are typically books instead of Internet sites. But it might give you some ideas about how to reference your sources. DocSonic is another hubber who references his sources very well.

      I got the duplicate content flag when I first started writing here over 2 years ago, but it was because a hub I'd written also appeared on one of my blogs. After taking the post off my blog, I discovered that a scraper site had stolen the cootent and posted it on their site. I eventually got the hub republished though and wrote a couple of hubs about the experience that you might find instructive.

      You can always write to the HubPages Team (reply to the violation email) and ask them to be more specific and tell you exactly what you did wrong, although I can't guarantee you will always receive a response. One of my pet peeves about this site is that, instead of telling you exactly what you've done wrong, one or several rules that you supposedly violated are cited, and it is left to you to figure out exactly what you did wrong. A how-to crochet hub I wrote a while back was recently unpublished for supposedly violating several rules. I wrote HP back, questioning each supposed violation and showing that the hub, in fact, had not violated anything. The hub was republished the next day. I wrote a hub about this experience, too. I agree that it's frustrating when you have to figure out what you did wrong instead of being told specifically how a hub violates a rule.

      Anyway, I don't know if this ramble helped you any. If you have questions, let me know, and I'll try to answer them.

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