Many of our affiliates have used duplicate content over the years to fill their affiliate websites with good quality copy – and in the past, they saw great results with this, whether it was morally right or not.

However, times have changed. Google’s artificial intelligence has grown to such a point that duplicate content is now nigh-impossible to rank with – and may even get your entire website penalized.

Have you been using duplicate content on your affiliate sites? You need to remove it, sooner rather than later!

What is classed as duplicate content?

Duplicate content is any large body of text which appears on the internet more than once. It’s usually generated by marketers looking for a quick, easy way to add content to their site hoping for a quick boost in their rankings. Sadly for them (and luckily for the original creator), these days Google is one step ahead of this kind of trick.

Why does it harm your Google ranking?

To put it simply, if your page of content is the same as 5 other website’s, Google won’t rank them all. This copy is only going to rank once – and Google will make sure the only one which does is the one it deems to be the original.

So at best, you’re simply wasting your time copying and pasting someone else’s content into your website. You might as well spend that time writing something new and rankable.

At worst, Google will see you as a ‘bad web citizen’ and penalize your entire site for using dodgy tactics. In effect, you’ll give yourself a bad reputation and the Google gods will become wary of you.

A better way

The very idea of content creation is to provide better information than anyone else. This is how you rank at the top – because your information is genuinely more helpful to the reader than anyone else’s, and Google notices this using measurements such as ‘time spent on site’ and low bounce rates. With this in mind, why would you want to copy someone else’s content anyway? You need yours to be better than theirs!

To rank for a specific keyword phrase, you need to write a new piece of unique content which not only covers everything all the competing pages combined cover, but more besides.

So if you want to outrank a page which covers ‘the ingredients in D-Bal’, but the competing page only covers the key names of the ingredients, yours needs to be the page which covers not just the ingredient names, but what each one does, where it originated from and how it works. Of course, it’s not difficult to see which one Google will deem more useful.

What if someone tries to copy my content?

You don’t generally need to worry about this. As I mentioned earlier, Google has a pretty accurate way of deciding which piece of content is the original.

It’s more or less guaranteed this will happen to you at some point in your online marketing career, so don’t focus on it. Trust Google’s system to take care of duplicate content, and concentrate on building fantastic, quality content your readers will love and trust.

Do you have duplicate content on your site? Try rewriting that article in a unique, more useful way than the original and see how the new piece ranks. Let us know how you get on in the comments below!