The “duplicate content penalty” myth is one of the biggest obstacles I face in getting web professionals to embrace reprint content. The myth is that search engines will penalize a site if much of its content is also on other websites.
Clarification: there is a real duplicate content penalty for content that is duplicated with minor or no variation across the pages of a single site. There is also a “mirror” penalty for a site that is more or less substantially duplicating another single site. What I’m talking about here is the reprint of pages of content individually, rather than in a mass, on multiple sites.
Another clarification: “penalty” is a loaded concept in SEO. “Penalty” means that search engines will punish a website for violations of the engine’s terms of service. The punishment can mean making it less likely that the site will appear in search results. Punishment can also mean removal from the search engine’s index of web pages (“de-indexing” or “delisting”).
How have I exploded the “duplicate content penalty” myth?
* PageRank. Many...