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Duplicate Content – my Rant About Duplicate Content

Probably the single biggest question I get asked about content marketing
is some iteration of this:can I write one article and put it in other places?

can I write the same article and put it in 2 places?

Or I get asked, can I write one article and then edit it a little and put it in 2 places? Or, can I write one article and put it in 100 places? Or many other variations of that question.

And when I say, no, I tend to get some iteration of this:

“well, what about in this special case, can I tell you about this
special case?”

It is like folks just want me to rubber stamp their variation on duplicate content.

Now, let me say this, what I am getting ready to say is my opinion. Many others have other opinions. My opinion isn’t necessarily right. But it is right for me. And so for me to tell you that my opinion is this or that, then to say, okay but there are all these special cases, and there may be some special cases, but for me to say, okay, here are all the special exceptions, I have found repeatedly that folks come back and say okay so what about this exception to the exception. This just gets silly and wastes my time. And I have found that most people asking these questions are only writing a few articles here and there anyway, so it really gets to be irrelevant anyhow. I’m just tired of spending time explaining how all the little exceptions could possibly work in their businesses, when I generally don’t use any exceptions in my business.

And all the logical arguments about how you can take an article and send it out 100 times to 100 directories to get inbound links still works, and how you can get higher rankings for your one article, they sound good.

But let’s face it, the search engines are telling us they don’t like that. That as they find ways to discourage it, they will.

But folks want to argue and say, yeah, but it works now.

Here’s the thing, it may work today.

But I am building my business for the future.

I’m building a content network for now AND the future.

I don’t want to build my business today and then rebuild it when the algorithms change in 6 months, and then rebuild it again in 6 more months when the algorithms change again.

I am building a solid business that can stand the test of time.

And it’s worked quite well for over 7 years now!

And if others want to do it any other way, it’s okay with me.

But if they ask me, well, can you please tell me that I can do this, then, no, I can’t tell you that I think that is the best thing to do.

I find in this business that folks are spending as much time trying to find out how many shortcuts can I take to do this, and hopefully the shortcuts will work out and maybe they won’t.

Instead, I teach my clients to build solid, from the bottom up.

In my coaching program, on this website, anywhere else I contribute.

It’s about doing it solid.

And every time someone asks me, well what about this one exception . . . sure, if someone else says do it, great, do it, but my opinion still is:

There are no special cases. One article. One time. Ever. Period.

Ok, here’s the scoop: one article, one time, ever. Period.

Even if I said something different in a live coaching call 5 years ago.

Even if I taught something different in a different context for a different issue last year.

Things change. Times change. My opinion changes. The search engines change.

Fast. The internet is changing fast. Some things that used to work work better than ever. Others do not.

Today, one article, one time, ever. Period.

Now, having said that, I recommend you DO turn your articles into audio or video or slideshare content. In fact, I highly recommend using your articles as jumping off points to multipurpose and create many pieces of content from your article. Content like audios, podcasts, videos, slideshares, etc. Just not print. One article. One time. Ever. Always.

The reason for this is that you want the search engines to find your content to be unique and original. They like unique and original. And when you post unique and original content, all other things held equal, they will feature you more highly in their search results.

If there are 2 versions of your article, your article is no longer unique and original.

Now, I’ve shared this in the past and folks will STILL ask me, okay, well, in this very special little tiny exception, can I write the same article and put it in multiple places?

Of course. You can do whatever you want to do. If you want to write articles and put them in 2 places so that subscribers can find them in 2 places, that’s fine. If that is your strategy, that’s fine. But don’t expect the search engines to feature as many of your articles. If that strategy has the intended effect that you want it to have, by all means do it that way. But if you want the search engines to feature your content in the best, longest lasting, most secure way possible, one article, one time, ever. Period.

Again, my opinion.

Another exception folks ask about is can I write an article and use it for inbound links? Sure. But I have found that it is just as easy to get inbound links by talking about your article in various places, and then linking to the article. You don’t need to do it by syndicating the article out.

Now, I KNOW this is controversial. And if you KNOW that another way works for you, then do that.

But this article is written to all the folks who want my OPINION on duplicate content.

This is my opinion.

And if you are hoping that I will rubber – stamp an exception, I won’t. I don’t.

One article. One time. Ever. Period.

Ok, I hope you get the point. I care about your rankings. And this is my answer about duplicate content. Now. Ever. Period.

Also: I hope you weren’t offended, belittled, sarcased, or any other thing that is negative because I’ve been sarcastic.

I’m simply stating my opinion about duplicate content, it’s the same opinion I’ve held for several years, it’s the guiding one I use in building my business.

— Sean Mize
Author of

Anyone Can Coach

How to Use Youtube to Get Lots of Targeted Prospects to Your Business
Final Results: 11 articles, 1 slideshare, 6 pinterests, and 3 videos in 3 hours and 42 minutes
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