SEO Answers #15: Reseller Content Duplication and Protecting Your Original Content
by Ross Dunn, CEO, February 22nd, 2007.
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"Who is duplicating who? Who says which article URL is the original?"
Answer: Excellent question. The fact is there are a few ways to ensure you are chosen as the primary content provider. The best option is to require that all who syndicate your content provides a inline text link directly to your original posting of the article. For example they would say something like this at the end of the article included in a link: "SEO Answers #15 by Ross Dunn". This way everyone who repost's your article is sourcing your content as the original.
If you do not source the original release in this manner the website who publishes your article and gets the most attention for it (via links or publicity measurable by Google) will have a better chance of being chosen as the original content provider.
In conclusion, unless you strictly enforce your ownership to the article you may not get the final credit when Google is forced to guess who published it first.
For more info here is an article on article syndication content duplication I recently wrote.
"If I use the content I receive as a reseller is it considered duplicate content?"
Complete Question: "How about duplicate content for resellers where the manufacturer or producer of a product describes a product with technical details and so on. Do I have to rewrite text, create my own descriptions? Or is Google able to recognize that i have to use the original text from the manufacturer and not to punish me?"
Answer: Google has a powerful algorithm that may be able to determine "right" or "wrong" duplicate content. That said, I would not rely on it. In this scenario I would rewrite the product descriptions wherever possible and improve the optimization of each description while I was at it. After all, many default descriptions are boring and less than ideal for rankings anyway.
But allow me to remind you of one thing... If you are talking about a shopping cart system where you have thousands of widgets and they all appear using similar text then DO NOT be overly concerned about this duplicate content; it is not a threat to your rankings. Yes it is usually ideal to have unique content but in this case just concern yourself with balancing this duplicate content with added value within the rest of the site. You can do this by adding unique pages dedicated to each widget. These pages can be created whatever unique content you want (diagrams, specs, reviews, etc.) but they ultimately serve to introduce a particular widget to users (and search engines) while providing direct links to the appropriate section of the cart.
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