Content marketing is more than just blogging. I hope you understand how it works.
Content marketing is referred to as the entire process of creating content, publishing it on different online platforms, and promoting it wherever your target audience is.
If you are into content marketing, you must know that it is a common practice to republish your old content on different platforms.
Two of the most commonly used platforms for republishing old content are:
So many blogs, online businesses, and content marketers regularly publish their old content on LinkedIn and Medium. They do that for the following two purposes:
- To exploit and reach different groups of relevant target audience that reside on those platforms, such as LinkedIn and Medium.
- To drive more traffic than they would have otherwise received by just publishing those posts on their own blogs.
However, there is a small problem with this technique.
The possible issue of duplicate content.
Explaining Duplicate Content
No, it isn’t something technical or too complex that requires a lot of explanations or examples.
A duplicate content is just that — duplicate content. A piece of content that has been published on the web for more than once can be referred to as duplicate content.
But what is the problem?
Duplicate Content Leads to Possible SEO Penalties
The problem with duplicate content is that it leads to plagiarism and a possible search engine penalty.
As you must already know that Google — and all the other search engines for that matter — hate plagiarized or duplicated content. If a website is caught for copying someone else’s content, it won’t be ranked higher in the search engines.
As a result, that website will not be able to receive free organic traffic from search engines — which is one of the most common and cost-effective ways of driving targeted traffic for most website and blogs.
So … Here’s the Issue
Now that you have the basic understanding of the background, here is the problem.
- Many content marketers republish their old content (that they have already published on their blogs) to other online platforms, such as LinkedIn or Medium.
- It is a proven method to extend a brand’s reach and drive more targeted traffic and potential new leads.
- But this process — while effective in generating traffic and leads — poses a problem of duplicate content and possible search engine penalties.
But, does it really?
That’s the question that we need to answer here.
Ryan Battles did a research by publishing his posts on LinkedIn and Medium. Surprisingly, duplicated content — or search engine penalties — didn’t come into equation. The contents were exactly the same, but it didn’t affect the search engine rankings for his blog posts. In fact, his original articles were always ranked above the contents that he republished on LinkedIn and Medium.
Jennifer Slegg also has an opinion on this issue. In one of the posts on SEM, Jennifer states:
”Having duplicate content will not penalize a website in any way, and it does not affect pages on the site that aren’t duplicated. So just because you have duplicate content does not mean your site will never see the light of day in Google, just those duplicate pages could be hidden way.
Seems like good news, right?
But you cannot be always 100% confident when dealing with search engines and its fabled algorithms, and how the search engine ranking factors actually work. So, it is always a good idea to act prudently.
There are a few different ways that you can use to safeguard your website from potential search engine penalties.
- There should be at least a gap of 7 — 10 days before you republish a piece of content.
- Reword the entire article if you can. The time you spend on it may not always be worth it, but you will have to decide on it based on how big your audience is and how popular your particular topics are.
- Use canonical tags to ensure that search engines know which is the original article and should be given preference over duplicated or republished contents.
Republishing content on other platforms is a good content marketing strategy that often drives more traffic and new leads.
While the issue of duplicate content isn’t that big of a problem, it should be still avoided as much as possible. Use the techniques mentioned in this article to make sure that you stay clear of any possible search engine penalties.