Duplicate Content

A How-Not-To Guide

Welcome to the Online Writing Genie duplicate content (DC)
how-not-to guide.

One of the best ways to approach online article writing is to rewrite part of one (or selected highlights from a few) of your webpages. But how do you avoid just copying your original content?

Read on and all will be revealed.

What Is Duplicate Content?

It's a fancy phrase for copying something from one webpage and publishing it elsewhere.

As well as being just plain wrong, there's no point. Your aim is to reach the first page of Google and other search engines (SEs) for as many of your articles and webpages as possible: when the SE spiders crawl a page full of DC, they won't even consider it and you won't get ranked.

People won't find you on any SE results pages anytime before, ooh, let's say...when hell freezes over.

How To Avoid It

Paraphrasing (AKA rephrasing) is fine and easier than creating new content! For example:

Travelling with young children is often challenging, but is well worth it

can be paraphrased as

It's worth thinking carefully about going on holiday with young children, but there are lots of advantages to it

Take part of your webpage (eg 5 of the 7 tips for safe driving), paraphrase it - then in the resource box you can say 'for more tips on safe driving, visit (add the link to your site)...' Don't save your best content for when and if the reader clicks through to your site - show it off in the article.

Summarise an entire page in your article. Going into less detail is a clever way of paraphrasing. Of course this is only recommended for relatively long pages (say, over 800 words long).The link to your page will provide added value through the extra info...

...as long as there actually is some discernible added value.

For example, an article summarising 5 lifestyle changes to beat cancer might link to a page detailing one person's experience of making these changes. Human interest stories can be incredibly compelling if pitched correctly.

Base your article on a wide subject. For example, this page is a hub page - meaning it has quite a few subpages, as you can see if you scroll down it. I wrote a tips article using paraphrased content from across this whole section.

Basing your article on a hub page in this way increases the likelihood of visitors sticking around your site longer, which improves your SE ranking.

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