hailing all veteran hubbers! struggling with duplicate content rules

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  1. Alex Addams profile image89
    Alex Addamsposted 10 years ago

    Hubbers, I am struggling with duplicate content and need your advice. Sorry for the length, just really frustrated, and need some advice.

    All my articles are original. I've been blogging for years. I have my own blog, have done well with, and decided I'd like to migrate my content to HubPages (I only have a few on here now). I really like the HubPages family.

    My niche is men's grooming. I have several how-to articles on men's grooming, and I am in the process of developing a series of articles that are part of a set on body grooming (probably 10 articles, how to shave your back, how to shave your chest, how to shave your genitals, etc.). Each article has about 10 to 12 steps for each body part described. There are some steps that are the exact same step for each article (e.g. step # 2 might be clean/disinfect your razor blade, pretty standard, and I need for all my articles in this set). It doesn't make sense for me to re-phrase this step for every single article, but I'm afraid I'm going to run afoul of the duplication policy. When you look at each article in its entirety, it's high quality, makes sense, and has a good flow to it...I'm just getting stuck on trying to satisfy the duplication rules, while also trying to manage the "you might be banned if you continue to submit duplicate content."

    In addition, I've already made some pretty deep cuts in these articles because I was originally trying to make each article a wholly contained unit--a body of knowledge on the topic. For example, if I wrote an article on "how to shave your back" and "how to shave your chest," I would also include some peripheral knowledge relevant to these topics that may be identical to both articles--it's a bit like a template. For example, I might have: pros and cons of shaving these body parts, shaving methods  (razor/electric), best products for shaving these body parts, and shaving alternatives (e.g. waxing, hair removal cream, etc.). The problem was that this peripheral content was similar from article to article, but not identical, so I got flagged as duplicate, and was advised even paraphrase or re-phrasing was against the rules.

    This is where a struggle philosophically. One web searcher is searching for "how to shave your back" and another is "how to shave your chest." I can create a content experience with everything that user needs in one Hub (my preference) or I can relocate certain content within each Hub that applies to both Hubs in a separate hub in order not to run afoul of the duplication rules. These articles are high quality (I have the traffic and comments to prove it), but I'm being forced to create a content experience, that seems to be suboptimal.

    I totally get the duplication rules--there's been a lot of junk on HubPages in the past, and HubPages management has definitely needed to make some changes in order to keep this platform in good graces with Google. I totally get it.

    I love HubPages, and hope I can work around this, otherwise, I may have to find another platform. Which makes me sad, cause I've got potential here...100 articles in queue right now to migrate from my blog plus many new topics I want to add to my collection sad


    1. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Who advised that a paraphrase is a duplicate?  That is a new one on me, and almost anything we write could be considered a paraphrase of some other article out of the billions out there.

      I would definitely re-write all those actual duplicate paragraphs, though.  Sounds like you could have 20,30 or even 40% an actual duplicate and it will likely be picked up as against the rules.  I have a couple of things I've used in several hubs and always completely rewrite that short part.

      1. Alex Addams profile image89
        Alex Addamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this


        "Such paraphrasing or re-use of content from one Hub to another is prohibited by the terms of service you agreed to when you signed up for your account."

        And these were two articles, that according to copyscape, had only 5% duplication, and was a 4,000 word article smile

    2. Phyllis Doyle profile image92
      Phyllis Doyleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      One suggestion might be to put links in all your shaving articles that will take the reader to the first hub that gives instruction on similar preparation (ie: "peripheral knowledge relevant to these topics") .

      Also, are you creating groups to put your hubs in?  For example, your hubs are on men grooming, so you could have a group titled Shaving Body Parts, another for Hair Grooming, Facial Care, Nail Care, etc.  By assigning each hub to a group, all hubs in that group will be linked below the current hub.

      It might be a good idea to also write a hub on 'Care of your razor before, during and after shaving' or something like that then make sure you provide a link to this hub in ALL your shaving hubs.

      Hope this helps you.

      1. Alex Addams profile image89
        Alex Addamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Phyllis, thanks! Great ideas. No, I'm not currently doing groups, and need to...my concern on the creating additional articles, is that I'm constantly segmenting content into multiple articles that are all really part of one story.

        The one thing I can't stand is the paginated articles on the web today that require multiple clicks in order to get the full story--so just feels like I'm having to fragment this so much that the content won't appear as whole as it should.

        1. Phyllis Doyle profile image92
          Phyllis Doyleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          I so understand about the irritation of Paginated articles. I do not like to have to jump to another article to understand fully the one I am reading. When you have to fragment your hubs, it does take away from the "wholeness" of it.

          Assigning groups will help a lot. Other than providing a link to a hub that details razor care I do not know how else you can get past this issue and make it work for you. Good luck, Jacob.

  2. relache profile image73
    relacheposted 10 years ago

    Most likely it's the "template" part of your formula that's messed you up.  Paraphrasing winds up reusing the same words, even in a different order, and that can still trigger a mechanical filter which is scanning to see how much of the content (words) on one page are the same as on another.

    1. Alex Addams profile image89
      Alex Addamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah, that's what I thought...and debating whether this is still the right solution. Not sure that there's anything wrong with it...HubPages has been dinged because of the history of dubious content, just not sure that I need subject my readership to those rules.

  3. Glenn Stok profile image96
    Glenn Stokposted 10 years ago


    All the answers you got from the others are useful. In addition, I have another thought for you:

    You say that you are migrating your blog content to HubPages. This makes me think your problem is duplication with your previous published articles.

    Did you delete all those articles on your blog? And if so, did you wait a while and check Google, Yahoo and Bing, to be sure they are no longer indexed? It may take several weeks for these three major search engines to remove the indexing. Once they are no longer indexed, you can try to publish on HubPages.

    1. Alex Addams profile image89
      Alex Addamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Glen,

      Yes, I agree, very useful answers--and looking to see how I can make this work. The articles on my blog are fine, no duplication, it's just this small series I'm trying to put together that's the issue.

  4. Alex Addams profile image89
    Alex Addamsposted 10 years ago

    All, thanks for the very thoughtful comments. In an effort to remedy the issue, I started tweaking the one article that was already published, and in the process triggered a duplicate on the good article! I don't know how, it was already published and the other articles that are related to this haven't been published, and there's not content on my other blog either related.

    It's sleepy time for me, so I'll investigate your options further tomorrow.

    Warm regards,

  5. profile image0
    calculus-geometryposted 10 years ago

    I'm confused as to why you would move content off a successful blog to HubPages -- where you have to part with 40% of the ad earnings and follow stringent rules that prohibit you from writing more freely about more risque topics, such as how to shave your junk, etc.  And of course, rules that prohibit you from recycling parts of your own content.

    Not that I want to discourage people from writing here...but it's always more lucrative to manage your own site.  I'm just genuinely curious as to what motivated you to do this.  Or do you still manage your blog?  Did you sell the domain name or something?

    1. Alex Addams profile image89
      Alex Addamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Calculus, I'm just tired of maintaining a site. I want to focus on writing not the backend of a website--that's all. However, I agree with you totally, and if there were a blogging platform out there that was super simple to use that had integration with an ad network, amazon affiliates, and viglink, I'd be set! smile

      1. profile image0
        calculus-geometryposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I completely get it and also have a site that I don't maintain frequently because it is a lot of work!  My account here is mainly a compilation of my old teaching notes, not a high CPM topic and thus not worth putting on my own website -- hope I didn't sound like a hypocrite. smile

        I like Phyllis's suggestion to take the content that is the same across the shaving articles, expand it into an in-depth hub, and then link to it from each of your body part-specific shaving articles.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image86
        Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Personally I find my blogs less work than HubPages (using Wordpress).   There's not a huge amount of work involved in the back end, other than occasionally updating the theme and plugins (which is not usually crucial anyway).   Approving comments is pretty similar on both, if you're using a good anti-spam comment filter like Growmap. 

        The thing with HubPages is that you never know when rules will change - and when they do, you will usually have a limited time to edit all your Hubs to make them compliant.  That's a problem you will never have to face on your blog. 

        Also, you'll find your work is stolen far, far more frequently on HubPages because unscrupulous  people use it as an article directory for their own blogs. So you'll need to be constantly vigilant - if you're writing on popular subjects, I'd be checking all your Hubs with Copyscape once a month or at least once a quarter, then you'll have to chase down all the thieves and file DMCA's.

        Then there's the need to check your Hubs regularly to ensure they stay Featured - if they become unFeatured they are invisible to virtually everyone.  They will become unFeatured if they don't get enough traffic - it's not about quality.

        Remember also that there's no way for people to subscribe to your HubPages account, so you have no way to identify your readers and you can't build an email list.

        As for monetizing - there are plenty of Amazon and eBay plugins to automate those ads on Wordpress.  Plus there's Skimlinks and Viglinks (Skimlinks has just released a new editor app to make it easy to identify merchants).

  6. Alex Addams profile image89
    Alex Addamsposted 10 years ago

    Marissa, I think the rule changes are what make HubPages a huge advantage though.

    HubPages is plugged into the search industry and the voice of Google--their business completely depends on it--they have to be in the know.

    Whereas, if I'm off running my own blog, I'm not really plugged into the search industry. I'm affected by it (and sometimes don't know why), so it's good to have a champion in your corner.

    One of the reasons I'm moving my content to HubPages is because this; my content was performing well on my blog for a while, and then it started to drop. Now that I'm back on HubPages, it's doing better than it ever did before, and partly because I'm having to restructure my content to the quality standards set by HubPages. As a result, I'm also earning more money too.


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