by Steve Shaw (c) 2010   

Judging from the questions I regularly see on this topic, there appears to be some confusion regarding the terms ‘duplicate content’ and ‘duplicate articles’.

What is the difference between these two terms?

Duplicate Articles:

A ‘duplicate article’ is an article that is submitted to the same publisher twice. No publisher wants to receive duplicate articles. Publishers want authors to submit articles that are fresh. By ‘fresh’, I mean that the article is completely new to the publisher. 

Of course your articles will be on the same general topic as the website that you are marketing, but each article must be different, offering new tips, new ideas, and new techniques. No publisher should look at your article and think, “Déjà vu – I feel like I’ve seen this article before!”

You very well may look at a publisher’s guidelines and see that they do not accept duplicate articles. That is a normal practice for publishers, and it is not the same as not accepting duplicate content.

Duplicate Content:

Duplicate content refers to an article being published on multiple pages on the internet. Usually the term ‘duplicate content’ is associated with how search engines perceive an article that is published on many sites.

There is some misunderstanding about how search engines regard duplicate content. Google does not punish a website or an author for having an article published on more than one site. With article marketing, the goal is to have your article republished on many sites, and the whole purpose of article directories is to provide free reprint articles to publishers.

So, search engines do not regard it as being a bad thing to have a piece of content published on multiple sites. This does not mean that they want to list every instance of the article on the internet in the search results.

A search engine will likely show only a few instances of an article on different sites in search results, meaning searches done by your target readers for keyword terms associated with your article.

(Of course if you do a Google search for your article title putting quotes around the title, you will be able to see a list of the places where your article is appearing.)

Are Most Online Publishers Opposed to Duplicate Content?

No, they are not – article directories in particular are not usually opposed to receiving articles that are published elsewhere, provided that you are the exclusive copyright holder of the article.

Article submission sites want you to submit content that belongs to you and that you have not previously submitted to that same site before.

Why are Most Article Directories Okay with Duplicate Content?

The whole purpose of an article directory is to provide free reprint articles for website owners and ezine editors. When an article is published on a directory, the goal is that the article be republished on other websites.

Most article directories will not require or expect that they will be the only site on the internet that contains your article. The very nature and purpose of an article directory goes against that expectation.

This is not to say that there are not a few directories that prefer to be the first website to publish your content. You can check the editorial guidelines at the article submission site to see if the site has such a rule.

As I mentioned, most online publishers are fine with accepting your articles that have already been published on other websites. (Remember, these are articles of which you are the exclusive copyright holder).

If you have the impression that a directory does not accept articles published elsewhere, then double check that you are not confusing ‘duplicate content’ with ‘duplicate articles.’

About The Author

For more info on how you can use article marketing to reach thousands of potential prospects for your website, go now to Steve Shaw is an article marketing expert and founder of the popular article distribution service used by thousands of business owners.

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