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What you need to know about duplicate content (PLR)

It seems like with every update to Google’s algorithm, website owners again become concerned about duplicate content. They panic about article marketing, accepting guest posts, and using PLR. And most of their concerns are truly unwarranted.

The truth is, duplicate content as Google defines it is almost always as a result of a deliberate attempt to game the search engines. And even when that type of duplicate content is discovered, there is no true penalty – in other words, Google will not delist a site because they suspect a duplicate content issue. They simply will not show you the duplicate pages.

Those pages are instead placed in the “supplemental index” that appears when you reach the end of the search results and see the words:

“In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 30 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.”

Article Syndication is Not Duplicate Content

Contrary to what many software developers and “linkbuilding experts” will tell you, adding content to (or using content from) an article directory will not result in a duplicate content problem with Google. Google is smart enough to recognize syndicated content when it sees it – and will list the results accordingly.

That said, if you build an entire website using nothing but articles snatched from directories and un-rewritten PLR, your site probably will not rank well in the search engines. Use syndicated content and PLR sparingly, and make sure your site has other, well-researched and written content that will not only attract visitors but also provides a good user experience.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is similar to article syndication in that it involves the website owner publishing content he or she did not write in exchange for a link, but in an ideal world, a guest blog is unique content you won’t find elsewhere.

However, you’ll probably want to spot check any guest posts you receive from people you don’t already know, since not everyone is aware of this unspoken rule. Just paste a couple of sentences between quotes into Google, and see if anything pops up. Or, if you have a Copyscape account, you can check there as well.

Using PLR

PLR, or private label rights content, is a shortcut that many site owners use to speed up their content production. Basically, they purchase the right to use pre-written content – but other people have also purchased the same content, which is why duplicate content can come into play.

Here’s the thing about PLR, though – you should never use it “as is.” It’s meant to be a starting point, not a finished product. Edit it, add your personal stories and opinions, and turn that PLR article or blog post into something completely new. Then you won’t have to worry about it being duplicated on any other site.

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