Should HubPages Allow Duplicate Content?

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  1. lrohner profile image68
    lrohnerposted 12 years ago

    HubPages has no problem allowing its users to post duplicate content. This dupe content could rightfully belong to the person who posted it, or it could be stolen -- in fact, a lot of it is stolen. I don't know for sure, but I don't think they actually do anything unless a DMCA is filed.

    In light of Google's planned smack-down on sites that contain a lot of low-quality and dupe content, do you think they should allow users to continue to post duplicate content here?

    1. pauldeeds profile imageSTAFF
      pauldeedsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      When you use the hopper you are only seeing hubs that have been published in the last day or so (often in the last hour).   Many of those hubs are violating our rules and they will soon be unpublished (which is precisely the point, the hopper is there so that you can help us by flagging inappropriate hubs).

      A few numbers, to put things into perspective: 25% of hubs that newly published are unpublished within the first few days, with another 5-10% being unpublished within a month.   That means we are removing something like 5000-6000 hubs a week.  It's a big job.

      As for duplicate content, we identify about 15% of hubs that are published as duplicates, and more than 60% of those end up being removed (looking at the last 30 days).  In comparison, only 17% of hubs not identified as duplicates are removed.

      There are many scenarios where a hub or portions of a hub could be copied legitimately from another source.  We don't want to hinder people that are doing so, just because the majority of copied content is illegitimate.  Instead, we've tried to strike a proper balance with our rules on duplicate content, which include:

      - no promotional links are allowed on duplicate content
      - copying from  authority sites like wikipedia is prohibited
      - the more of your hubs that are copied, the lower your Hubber score (people that have nothing but copied content will quickly reach a score of 1)

      Please continue helping by hopping regularly and flagging hubs.  It helps us enormously.

      1. Michael Willis profile image67
        Michael Willisposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Wow. I just went into Hub Hopping and was amazed at the duplicates I came across. And hubs even was linked to the duplicate!!!
        Flagged for review and in ones that did not show link to duplicate I added a link to the duplicate in the explanation box.

        1. Michael Willis profile image67
          Michael Willisposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          And to add: One of the duplicates I found took made me wonder about "content" so I went to profile of hub and found 3 duplicate hubs and the member only here for 6 hours!!!

          1. Howard S. profile image90
            Howard S.posted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I do that often while HubHopping. I find that I can frequently flag the whole profile instead of a single hub. It's about twice the work for me, but narrows it down for the HP staff.

  2. skyfire profile image81
    skyfireposted 12 years ago


    Not just for google or any other SE but to remain free from junk/clutter.

  3. G Miah profile image79
    G Miahposted 12 years ago

    NOT AT ALL!!! There will be same information all over the internet if so!

  4. lrohner profile image68
    lrohnerposted 12 years ago

    I totally agree. I'm just looking to see what other hubbers think and glad we're on the same wavelength.

    1. Pearldiver profile image68
      Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Why Are You of All People Promoting Duplicate Content Irohner? hmm

      If we were all on the same wavelength, we would all be generating Duplicate Content... wouldn't we? hmm

      1. lrohner profile image68
        lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        No, no, no, PD. I'm not promoting it. I wish HP would do away with it. Right now, they allow it and I think it's the wrong decision. When I made the comment about being "on the same wavelength," I just meant that I agreed with SkyFire and G Miah's comments.

      2. frogdropping profile image79
        frogdroppingposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        lrohner doesn't agree with it PD - maybe you shoulda worn your glasses lol! She was agreeing with those that delivered a resounding NO! smile

        And per the OP - it's a no here too. Original content rocks - duplicate content sucks.

        1. Pearldiver profile image68
          Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Ohh FD!!

          I know what Irohner meant and I totally agree with her And you Frog... Well except for the glasses bit!

          - Down here, we def think different.. hmm

          - We Have To.... We Compete with Sheep sad

          - What I said sailed Right Over your bow and you missed it smile

          1. lrohner profile image68
            lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this


          2. frogdropping profile image79
            frogdroppingposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Oooops lol ... sorry Pd - my bad hmm

            You were having an irony moment. If you'd a raised an eyebrow woulda been a sure sign. Next time ... try harder lol

          3. WryLilt profile image90
            WryLiltposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            PD I got it first read. Then again I am an Aussie.

  5. Insight1987 profile image60
    Insight1987posted 12 years ago

    Let's be serious here. There's copyright infringement, there's the laziness of copying & pasting crap just to earn $, there's a cringe-worthy lack of TRYING...

    It shouldn't be allowed.

    I even saw Hubs where ENTIRE ARTICLES were merely copy and pasted from other sites, JUST to get page views, etc.

  6. ns1209 profile image64
    ns1209posted 12 years ago

    No especially after Google's recent announcement - it does not add quality and often is just copy and pasted and they don't even own the content. The site will benefit as a whole.

    I do myself have 1 article here that is duplicate content and is mine and on another site I used to write for but that was mainly an experiment and to get used to the site.

    I really think from now though articles should have to be original and it will benefit all of us.  Very little good comes from unoriginal Hubs.

  7. kevinwang128 profile image41
    kevinwang128posted 12 years ago

    this is actually a very tough problem to solve

  8. Mark Ewbie profile image82
    Mark Ewbieposted 12 years ago

    No.  I think it's curious why the check doesn't work both ways but I guess there's technical reasons for it.

    Otherwise, what is the point of putting some effort in and watching thieves get away with it?

    1. lrohner profile image68
      lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      The funny thing, Mark, is that they do check for duplicate content, but that's it. It's allowed to stay. Technically, it could be duplicate or it could be stolen -- HP doesn't seem to care unless someone files a DMCA. I assume they immediately take the content down if that happens.

      1. Pcunix profile image90
        Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Of course they can't easily tell if it is stolen.

        Therefore, the simplest thing is not to allow it at all. I absolutely agree.  There is far too much of this junk here.

  9. livewithrichard profile image75
    livewithrichardposted 12 years ago

    I'm not if favor of duplicate content here either but in the case of people taking their content down from other sites and re-posting it here, I'm all for it. 

    There is an easy fix for those cases: place an 'exclude from SE indexing' on the dupe post and let it remain until it is no longer found in the cache of the other site.

    1. Pcunix profile image90
      Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, that might work also.

    2. lrohner profile image68
      lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Yup. I totally agree.

      1. livewithrichard profile image75
        livewithrichardposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Maybe this should be suggested to the staff.

    3. Pearldiver profile image68
      Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Really Rich?  That's an excellent idea.... I would be most happy stripping my work out of places like Helium... they won't even respond to sending me my P/W that I had forgotten.

      I'm sure as time goes on.. writers are going to have to decide that certain sites really are their home ports and hold the best of their works...
      How do you gain a PR4 on a site like Helium?
      I can't even get paid what pennies I've earned there and I was just a baby.. Not like Randy or Hollie.

      There is a lot of strength here Community-Wise.. that is a Major Asset to the site and to the writers.

  10. Holiday Hannah profile image61
    Holiday Hannahposted 12 years ago

    It doesn't take very long, maybe 15 minutes, to rewrite an article. So I agree with the rest of you, allow original content only.

  11. sunforged profile image72
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    Although it would not effect me at all - other than an artists interview series I have where the questions are duplicated across multiple (my) locations on the web (but the answers are unique) which triggers the flag ... in general I dislike sites and services that change user agreements after users are entrenched more than I dislike any proliferation of duplicated content. See the current Xomba complaints as an example, Factoidz did something similar, eHow etc.

    But it might be nice if the user who posts duplicate content had to somehow prove they owned the content (like stick some unique string of numbers into the original post for some checker-bot to read) before they could repost it - that wouldnt add to staff hours but could still block plagiarism and remove the impetus for spamming the site a bit.

    I cant think of a good reason to post duplicate content on Hubpages, but some people might have some archival reasons or have stuff that they want to reach the specific hubber community without being concerned so much about search engines ..etc.

    There are actually tons of legitimate human based, archival, editorial reasons a traditional site may have duplicate content and still be a very good quality resource.

    A commercial site may make comparisons of a product and use the standard press release/product info

    A site may collect the best of the web in any category - so one can access and read all the best of something (by human taste) without making hundreds of searches. (assuming author payment/permission)

    Its kind of a case of letting the bad apples spoil the bunch, spammers and plagiarists should be blocked and dealt with in their own right without effecting the genuine publishers (again, not sure what that could be at hubpages ... but many signed up here with the impression they could republish old content if they liked and built up followings and brands)

    In short, I hate terms of service changes - deal with plagiarists in a more specific manner, the site as a whole (Should be) is a far cry from being significantly duplicate and would not be damaged by any proposed penalties by G , should they ever effectively occur

  12. sunforged profile image72
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    oh, and I realize its a bit out of scope, obviously, the balance of legitmate sites using significantly duplicate content managed by human editors to the massive number of scraper sites built every second is def going to weigh in the direction of the spammer/plagiarists.

  13. lrohner profile image68
    lrohnerposted 12 years ago

    @Sunforged - My question was prompted by a recent bout of HubHopping. I've hopped hundreds of hubs in the past few days (brain mush, I know...), and what I found was pretty astounding. I would have to say that a bare minimum of 50% of all of the hubs I hopped were duplicate or stolen. The stolen ones were easy to spot, as they came from places like Wikipedia, Food Network, IMDB, etc.

    As for the legitimate duplicate content, the majority of the ones I saw were ones where someone took their article and then posted it here and then on 8 to 10 other sites (EzineArticles, Article Alley, etc.) on the same day or within 2 to 3 days.

    I agree that there are sometimes good reasons for duplicate content, your press release example being one of the best. But honestly, it's out of control here. Full stop. And I won't even get into the article spinners that are all over this place like bees on honey.

    I'm afraid that the bad apples here have become an orchard, unfortunately. smile

    1. Pcunix profile image90
      Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      And it is seriously making me wonder if I want to be here.

      I don't want to pull my content. That's very drastic and it kills 8 months of work.

      But if the place is primarily junk, why do I want my name associated with it?

      It's a thought that crosses my mind regularly, and hub hopping always brings it to the front of my mind.

  14. frogdropping profile image79
    frogdroppingposted 12 years ago

    Maybe the HP team need more staff to keep an eye of such things? IDK how much time they need to spend moderating and how many staff hours they can allocate it.

    I see lots of crud on general wanderings - I don't need to wander along the HubHopper. I'm amazed at times at how blatantly some new users flaunt the rules. I reckon they can read as they're wick enough to exploit the TOS as soon as they shut the door behind them.

    I figure keeping on top of who's doing what, where and why is a mammoth, ever increasing task. For what they do manage to do - I take my hat off to them.

    1. Pcunix profile image90
      Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think they necessarily need more staff.  They just need to get some spine.

    2. yenajeon profile image70
      yenajeonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Perhaps they need to hire more staff? I feel as if HP is growing when comparing their traffic to Squidoo traffic at least...

      There are what? 13 staff members?

    3. lrohner profile image68
      lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Well said, as usual. I remember being flabbergasted when I first found out what a small staff they have. They do deserve giant kudos for all that they manage to get done.

  15. Money Glitch profile image62
    Money Glitchposted 12 years ago

    I agree, it would be good to eliminate duplicate content, especially the articles that are just "cut and pasted" into another site. When getting my grad degree all papers under went such scrutiny to identify plagiarism. 

    If more sites like HP adopted this ruling: a) Google would love us even more and possibly provide higher page ratings b)this would establish precedence for other sites to follow and c) would give writers more time for creativity verses spending too much time filing DMCAs. smile

  16. Michael Willis profile image67
    Michael Willisposted 12 years ago

    I can agree when a hub is a duplicate from somewhere else. The only issue I see is those who have their work stolen from Hubpages.

    I have a hub that has been stolen and I found out because of the HP notification symbol. I checked in the "Copied Hub" and followed the link.

    I filed the DMCA and within 24 hours I found my hub not removed, but the site owner I guess took it badly and then proceeded to post my "copied material" on 2 more pages by different author names.

    I then sent another DMCA to the site owner and the site host. Still have heard nothing from these people and I still find my material copied.

    Since I am not wealthy, I cannot afford to hire an attorney.

    So I don't see why HP would punish me for the illegal actions of others! And the same could go for others who write original content.

    As it is now HP has been gracious helping me with this. As well as a couple of other hubbers with info.
    So I would be careful just un-publishing someone's work too quickly. Punish the guilty, not the innocent.

    1. lrohner profile image68
      lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      The HP staff is able to distinguish the "stolen" material from "duplicate," probably by publish date. Hence the "copied" vs "duplicate" notations on the hubs. So I really don't think unpublishing someone's copied work would ever be an issue.

      1. Michael Willis profile image67
        Michael Willisposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        That is good! I like the part where HP shows they have or may have found a copied hub. This allows us to go after the guilty party.
        Also, since the site I found my hub copied showed no signs of using Adsense for the Ads, I cannot go that route.

        It is infuriating that people will so blatantly do this, especially after you notify them "you caught them" and then they continue or add even more.

        One reason I do write out my hubs on Word before I add it to Hubpages is I have the written proof saved and dated.

        1. Pcunix profile image90
          Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          No, that's not proof.  I can put any date on any file on my computer. Publishing is proof.

          1. Michael Willis profile image67
            Michael Willisposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I figured when I published on HP, it was more official. And since thieves are copying...I assume their host also have a date when they publish the copied material as well.

        2. lrohner profile image68
          lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          You should sign up for Edweirdo's HubDefender. It's found hubs of mine that were stolen that HP didn't pick up. Although, sometimes ignorance is bliss. smile

  17. sunforged profile image72
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    if it helps, just in case all were not aware, the hub hopper only displays hubs that fall UNDER a certain score - yes many are new and will quickly rise but its made to showcase garbage


  18. WryLilt profile image90
    WryLiltposted 12 years ago

    I'm all for a complete ban on duplicate content - over say 10-15% of the hub (that allows for quoting small excerpts from places).

  19. Pearldiver profile image68
    Pearldiverposted 12 years ago

    As Sunforged and I have done in the past on 3 occasions what you do is Hammer the Site, the Host and the Thief as a joint exercise... in this way you set them against each other and you plant a thread on the net to which we all (@HP) can put our weight behind!

    It doesn't take them long to conform as Every mention or post is effectively calling them a Thief - which of course they are.. as they KNOW What They Are Doing!

    We Can Establish here a Continuous Thread specifically for Stolen Content Notifications - Name the hubs stolen, the site that has the content on it, details of he entity and any other HP hubs found there!  It will not take long for people and SEs to take notice!

    OR.... COLLECTIVELY SET UP A SITE that does the job and is promoted by all of us!

    1. Pcunix profile image90
      Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I suggested creating a forum section for this a while back. No interest, apparently.

  20. Len Cannon profile image87
    Len Cannonposted 12 years ago

    Someone copied parts of a hub I wrote and it was removed within like 12 hours.

  21. profile image0
    KJS411posted 12 years ago

    No way to duplicate content. It doesn't benefit the reader and doesn't stimulate the mind of the writer. What's the point? Even when considering the revenue portion isn't it more satisfying to earn a few bucks with original, researched, well thought out hubs than a quick copy & paste. I personally don't get it and surprised it even exists. It must be more difficult than I thought for HubPages to weed out the regurgitation and not allow it to be published. Great chain of responses on this topic.

    1. Haunty profile image75
      Hauntyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think the point is, even if the content is duplicate, it might rank way better if posted on HP than on the original site. HP domain is 10 years old and it has several other advantages.

      It's not to say I wouldn't take my content down on the other site if I were to post it on HP.

  22. Pearldiver profile image68
    Pearldiverposted 12 years ago

    Paul I'm sure that there are a few of us that would be only too pleased to regularly hop these... over and above those that currently do and in different Time zones.. me included. I personally don't know what to specifically look for without having to destroy my own creativity with rubbish from these sort of guys, that I've seen when I have hopped.

    If the team can make up a fact sheet to guide us specifically and email it, then sure happy to help with some spare time or a set no per day. Why don't you make a 'volunteer' thread and send us a guideline.... 5000 - 6000 substandard pages per week is crazy and all a waste of valuable time.

  23. lrohner profile image68
    lrohnerposted 12 years ago

    @Paul - Thank you so much for your response. As Frogdropping said before, a huge thanks to you and your (very small) team for all that you do.

    I certainly don't know the technical aspect of how you determine what is duplicate or not, but unless you only release "bad" hubs into the hopper (which I don't think is the case since I read some really great hubs in there), the number I've seen that are duplicate or stolen was well over 15%. Maybe it's a full moon? smile

    Then there are cases like this:

    This hubber has been here two months and has 21 hubs. I randomly picked three of his hubs, and all of them had substantial portions that were copied from a variety of other sites, and he evidently just got his first Duplicate Content flag.

    I guess I'm just going to trust that you know what you're doing and you won't allow anything to go on here that will cause a Google slap. That's my main concern.

    Edited to add: PearlDiver's idea is great. If you don't want to release a Fact Sheet to the general public, maybe you can train a group of volunteers. I'd happily add that to my HubGreeter duties.

  24. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 12 years ago

    One of the things I read about the new google changes is that when google is going to slap down duplicate content, they will know whose is the original and it won't be slapped obviously. BUT they did also say that if a mistake is made and the owner of the original content gets slapped, their only recourse will be to do a re-write of their own article!!

    I totally agree with the OP of this thread. Disallow duplicate content because I am beginning to hate certain other (writing) sites on the internet that repeatedly post dup content of mine, even though their admin is quick enough to take it down when I complain.

    How do we know loads of other sites don't feel that way about Hubpages and our copied content?
    How much less work for the staff if it just isn't allowed - a dup content warning comes up when you write so that you can't publish it - with exceptions being allowed on application to staff.


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