SEO Exceptions: When Having Duplicate Content Substantially Benefits You
You’re probably frighteningly aware that having the same content on more than one page of your site or the same content on pages of different sites is a huge SEO no-no. Put simply, the stereotype is that if they’ve got different URLs but the same content, Google’s algorithm automatically condemns one site to SEO hell! There are exceptions to every rule — and knowing the exceptions to the SEO duplicate content rule can drastically increase your site’s reputation and awareness.
Your NACD. Your Public Identity.
Your (NACD) name, address, contact information, and description (biographical or corporate) should be identical wherever they’re being posted. Keeping these identical increases your reputation, credibility, and makes you look consistent and trustworthy.
In fact, the more you duplicate this content across your sites and other people’s sites further raises awareness of you or your company. If you’re including a photo of yourself or brand images, make them consistent as well.
As long as you’re not intentionally spamming your NACD everywhere and anywhere, Google’s algorithm will recognize it for what it is and won’t treat it like normal duplicate content.
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For authors: it’s when you allow another site to publish a copy of your content which is already on your site.
For businesses: it’s when you publish (with permission) content from an author’s site with attribution to the author.
Duplicate content for both these scenarios will magnify your reputation and awareness if the duplicate content’s source is higher ranking than your site.
A business example of this: If your site sells health products and a respected physician blogger allows you to republish one of her blogs. Your site and business will experience an increase in traffic and reputation due to some of the trusted physician’s regulars becoming aware of and visiting your site.
An example for authors: If you’re a health blogger and a large health news site publishes one of your blogs (MSN Health, WebMD, etc.). Almost instantly, some of that health news site’s traffic will pour onto your site and your awareness and credibility will increase.
How can you syndicate and avoid the wrath of Google’s algorithm? The “rel=canonical” tag. If the site with the duplicate content uses this tag to point back to the original content, Google’s algorithm will recognize that it’s a permitted copy and won’t penalize.
A caveat for businesses: Following these syndication rules doesn’t allow you to have the majority of your site’s content be copied from other sources without SEO penalties. Google’s algorithm will lower your rank if you have little or no original content.
Having duplicate content can significantly increase your exposure and reputation. Two safe ways to do so are posting a consistent NACD and syndicating to higher-ranking sites. For syndicated content, use the “rel=canonical” tag to let Google know the duplicate content is permitted by the original author.