I was recently talking to a customer about why their gold investment website wasn’t attracting any traffic whatsoever. This wasn’t a matter of only a few visitors trickling in but rather a case where the site had zero traffic. After reviewing the blog posts, I decided to do a quick search to see if he was using duplicate content. As it turns out, I opened up a whole can of worms about this particular project that I thought I would share with readers of the blog as it ended up being a very valuable lesson for both the client and myself.
The client had decided to use content that he picked up at a popular webmaster forum and was labelled “semi-exclusive”, meaning it would only be offered to a few clients for publishing. When I took the first line from an article and did an exact search at Google, I came up with 8 pages of spidered content that was identical to what he had published on his site.
One of two things may have happened. The first and most like scenario is the possibility that that person he purchased the articles from sold it to more people then he should have. The second possibility could be that one of the purchasers used them as articles for submissions to various article directories for SEO purposes, submitting the same articles over and over again. This can lead to other webmasters and “auto-blog” sites picking them up and publishing them on their own web properties.
When I showed him the evidence, he was quite shocked and commissioned me to create some new, keyword related articles to replace this duplicate content. You are definitely taking chances when you purchase semi-exclusive content and my recommendation would be to use that money to hire a freelance writing service to create fresh and unique content for your website or article submission purposes.
Do you have a negative experience with semi-exclusive or duplicate content? Leave me a comment as I’d love to hear about your experience and how you handled it.
Thanks for reading!