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Website SEO: 3 Easy Ways to Avoid the Duplicate Content Penalty

Updated on January 14, 2010

Duplicate Content Penalty? Pshaw . . . What Penalty?!

Many online marketers are concerned about the duplicate content penalty. They need not worry, as it’s really not a penalty at all as far as website SEO goes. Learn exactly what the duplicate content penalty is, as well as why it’s actually not a penalty at all.

HOWEVER, you should not have content on your site that can be found elsewhere. This is a website SEO no-no. Your site/blog should only be filled with original content. Why?

Because original content is what makes your site/blog unique. Uniqueness (along with in-depth and informative content) is what drives repeat visitors, brand awareness and customer loyalty. And not for nothing, but if you fill your site with content that can be found other places, those other sites may show up in results ahead of your site – even if it’s your content!

Talk about defeating your website SEO efforts.

In spite of all of this you may be thinking, “But, I don’t have the time or resources to come up with original content all the time.” Well, there are ways to get around having duplicate content on your site – AND – get more mileage out of one piece of copy. Following are three ways, in fact, to do this.

I. Write Two Versions of Your Content: As an SEO copywriter, this is actually one of the things I do all the time. I’m an avid article marketer, so when I write a piece of SEO content (blog post or site article), I’ll sometimes rewrite it – usually more generically – to use as articles for article marketing. This way, I’ve satisfied a website SEO basic – no duplicate content on my main site/blog.

AND, I’ve gotten extensive mileage out of one piece of copy – by distributing a more generic version to free article directories.

Website SEO Article Marketing Tip: According to the comments I receive from readers of my blog,, this is one of the best SEO tips I’ve ever given. What is it?

Depending on how long the version is I’m going to put on my website/blog, I’ll put a link from the more generic version of the SEO content I distribute to article marketing sites to the more in-depth version on my site. This gives readers a reason to click through to your site – which is, after all, what article marketing is all about.

II. Synopsize the Content: What I mean by this is, only syndicate a synopsized version of your content, not the whole article/blog post. Major news outlets like the Associated Press (AP) use this method all the time.

This is another favorite SEO marketing technique of mine. I use it the most when I start up a new minisite, and want to use the search engine juice from a more popular site to push mine up in the rankings.

This is excellent in terms of website SEO, as your content will show up in many places from one single query typed in by a surfer – and they all will point back to your site.

III. Use a NoIndex Tag: This is an advanced website SEO tactic. By using this tag, you’re telling search engines (SEs) not to crawl and index the content. Why would you want to do this? By telling SEs not to index your content, your site becomes the main outlet for it. Because of this, many will link to your site so that the content can get found.

This means tons of backlinks. And we all know the website SEO value of backlinks, right? In case you don’t they’re website gold. Backlinks drive traffic; hence sales and leads. Learn more about why backlinks are important to increasing website traffic.

Website SEO & The Duplicate Content Penalty: Conclusion

Content rules on the internet. And, you need a constant flow of it to keep your site ranked well over time. But, if you have a limited budget and limited time, using these three website SEO tactics, you can stretch one piece of content to get the most out of it.

Easy Ways to Avoid the Duplicate Content Penalty


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    • profile image

      SEO Specialist Chennai 6 years ago

      I would definitely only use white hat methods here, to make sure the content is still readable.

    • profile image

      Dan Hodgins, Founder, 6 years ago

      Just Tweeted out these 3 brilliant SEO and content multiplication tactics to my personal and business Twitter accounts - @danhodgins and @getspotta.

      Really like your content leverage strategy, and how you systematically approach content creation and syndication. Will definitely start using these strategies for Spotta- the business idea, innovation and trends email newsletter that I run at

      Thanks again!

    • Flaura78 profile image

      Flaura78 6 years ago from UK

      It is really easy to avoid duplicate content, and is it does not take too long to re-write an article at all, if you have been writing in the same niche for a long time. I would definitely only use white hat methods here, to make sure the content is still readable.

    • profile image

      Website Value 7 years ago

      I don't think it's about having duplicate content for example product descriptions... it's about having more duplicate content than original content.