In case you didn’t hear, a couple of weeks ago Search Engine Land leaked the official Google document with the updated quality guidelines for the manual website raters. A friend of mine forwarded the document to me and I have to admit, it was a bit intimidating – 125 pages! I intended on reading it and summarizing my thoughts, but since Dr. Pete already took the time to do it, I thought I would just reference his post and highlight one important factor that stood out to me. To read the whole post, go here: 16 Insights into Google’s Rating Guidelines
Important Factor #1: Copied Content Can Be Relevant
For us, this is huge. Everyone has heard of duplicate content and for several years now it has been clear that duplicate content (AKA as “Copied Content”) on your website (direct content from someone else’s website, verbatim) has created issues, even penalties. However, it wasn’t until the Panda update that Google truly devalued syndicated content. Sites hosting articles and press releases, which are clearly intended to be duplicate, got hit hard with the Panada update and many large, well known sites (such as eHow.com and articlecity.com) experienced a dramatic decrease in their organic search engine rankings and traffic.
However, according to the Google quality guide (and Dr. Pete) Google “officially recognizes that copied content isn’t automatically low quality, as long as it’s well-organized, useful, and isn’t just designed to drive ad views.”
So, we can use syndicated or scraped content, we just have to do so carefully – got it.
My advice? If you are going to use this technique, make it as legitimate as possible. Use content from other sources, but insert it into your own relevant, unique content as a quote or reference it as a resource – meant to enhance your piece, not replace the need for unique content altogether.
Also, if you are ONLY using content from other sources and not contributing anything unique, just know that you will never get as far as a site with unique content on the same subject. And, according to the guide, if you have duplicate content and it’s wrapped in ads, there is a pretty good chance you’ll be flagged as spammy anyways.
If you have websites that need fresh content and don’t have the time, ask us for help. We have professional writers who can rewrite your website content, start from scratch or can write fresh blog/article copy for you as often as you like – just ask us!