Article Marketing and Duplicate Content Explained

If you’re using article marketing to market your website you’re probably concerned about duplicate content. This is content that is copied, scraped or paraphrased from another article (either your own or someone else) then published on article directories, websites, newsletters, etc.. Some of the top article directories don’t accept content that is not unique or original (where you are not the original author).

How Does Google View Duplicate Content

Google wants people to find the most relevant information when doing a search. If the search engine results contain the same or scraped content from other sites it turns the person off because it’s low quality. They conclude Google’s search results are inaccurate.

Google seems to be cracking down on low quality content as evidenced in this article

Matt Cutts (Google employee) summarizes…

Now, think about it like a search engine who has come across the following situation:

– Two pages appear to have roughly the same content
– Page B has a subset of page A’s content
– Page A was published before page B
– Both pages use images from page A’s domain.

When it comes time to rank the two pages, which one do you put first? If you are a user, which page would you like to see at the top of your search results? How would you feel if you were site A?
This means a paraphrased article will not rank as well as your original one. It would be better to rewrite the entire article if you want the article to receive its own unique rankings. It may take more time but it would be following Google’s Quality Guidelines

Should you use scraped content?

Here’s a video recommending you change 20% of your original content when rewriting it. You submit your original article to EzineArticles then submit a slightly different article to other directories.

This may work in the short term but long term it may not benefit you as Google is beginning to detect scraped content.

Here is an excerpt on “scraped content from Google’s Guidelines on “Little or no original content”

Some webmasters make use of content taken from other, more reputable sites on the assumption that increasing the volume of web pages with random, irrelevant content is a good long-term strategy. Purely scraped content, even from high-quality sources, may not provide any added value to your users without additional useful services or content provided by your site. It’s worthwhile to take the time to create original content that sets your site apart. This will keep your visitors coming back and will provide useful search results.


If two articles have exactly the same content Google will rank the original article first. The second article may not even appear in the search engines. The only time to publish duplicate content is when you want to illustrate an example with a quote (as evidenced in this article) or submit the same article to multiple directories because each have different audiences.

If you want to get the most juice (rankings, traffic) from your articles write another unique article instead of trying to rewrite it. Once you start writing the ideas begin to flow. If you try to edit your original article (to create a new one) it will stifle your creativity and take longer to complete.

Learn how to attract a continuous stream of NEW visitors to your website by picking up a copy of Article Marketing Strategy.

Herman Drost is the CEO of Professional Website Design Maryland


  1. I’ve been looking all over for information such as this. Thanks. I do think page rank should be more of a goal than traffic, as a higher page rank will lead to consistent traffic. Whereas blog links and article links are pretty patchy in terms of generating traffic. But it’s good to see a post that doesn’t totally limit the value of posting to article directories. It’s not a be-all traffic strategy, but every bit counts.

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