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Duplicate Content is an Urban Legend

Duplicate Content is an Urban Legend… kinda!

Do you have web pages that are IDENTICAL to other pages on the web??? Identical as in EXACT???

I hope not! IDENTICAL is NOT GOOD!

OK, I have had many conversations with some of the top people in the business of internet marketing and we have come to some conclusions about why “duplicate content” is an overblown concern that just has too many implications to answer with a yes or no or black or white answer.

First off – everybody has a different idea in their head when they ask about it…

When people ask me about duplicate content they usually frame it in questions such as:

“Your system sounds great BUT how can 350 people all rank #1 with the same article?”


“Won’t Google penalize me if I have duplicate content on my site”


“If everybody else is using the same articles as me won’t I get penalized for duplicate content???”

The short answer is NO! NO! NO NO NO!

And I will elaborate on this so we can get some things clear.

DUPLICATE CONTENT should be a concern if you are STEALING an exact web page or article that you do not own.

In that case the copyright owner can ask Google to remove you from their index and they will. Not because it is a duplicate, but because it is STOLEN CONTENT!

Look at the phrase “DUPLICATE CONTENT PENALTY” and tell me what that means to you???

Is there a penalty???

Will they ban you???

Well, if there is a penalty there should be a Google webmaster guideline somewhere that says something like “NEVER use any content that appears on another web page or we’ll hit you with a penalty or ban your ass.”

Whoaaaahhh…. he said “ass” Chuckle…

If that were the case all the big PR 7 – 8 and up newspaper web sites would be purged from Google’s index for using all the exact same syndicated articles! That’s just not going to happen!


The web is founded on the principal that people share good things… they share clip art, pictures, music and WORDS!

How many times have you seen a blog that will reprint a newspaper article or press release??? Are they getting banned???

The nature of the web lends itself to sharing.

So, if that is the case, why would Google penalize a site just because a web site has a page that may have some of the same words… did you notice how I said SOME of the same words???

SOME because almost every web page on the net has OTHER words than the ARTICLE it is publishing.

My point is that pages in real life are almost never EXACT DUPLICATES! They all have different templates, different author boxes and links, different bios, different navigation links, different advertisements… I mean c’mon! The pages should have some identity of their OWN other than just copying and pasting an article. That isn’t smart. Add something!

If you are so concerned about other web pages having the same articles – add your own twist! Tweak the pages! Add your own words to make the page your own!

It’s so easy!

Simply add an INTRODUCTION – a middle COMMENTARY – a SUMMARY or CONCLUSION in your own words!

Maybe even add an extra paragraph!

How about adding some personality to your pages and don’t just settle for copy and paste! It’s really easy! Add your own words and you will rise to the top!

OK, now that I got that out of the way… let me show you an EXAMPLE where DUPLICATE CONTENT can get you in trouble (maybe not a penalty or banned, but maybe points off…)

There is a trend among lazy webmasters out there to build these huge MONDO DIRECTORY sites that use articles from the PUBLICLY ABUSED article directories (such as goarticles.com etc.).

These webmasters have a program or use a script that simply takes the articles as they are and adds them to a web page. Usually their template is sparse at best, and usually has very few extra words other than category links… (NEAR Empty templates are not good – they leave footprints – especially when 100’s of other “button pushing” webmasters are making huge directories with the same sparse templates and publicly abused articles! Can you say FOOTPRINT? It’s like saying hey – look at me – I’m pushing a button too!)

Now this case is a problem… because the sites will have hundreds or even thousands of “me too pages” and they’ll all have many factors in COMMON – not just duplicate content.

Now, it isn’t really the CONTENT/ARTICLE that makes it so easy for Google to find these “machine generated sites” – it is the AUTHOR CREDIT BOX – ie BIO!

The AUTHOR CREDIT is required by the author of the article and may not be tampered with. It’s terms and conditions state that you can use the articles on your sites BUT you must leave the author box INTACT links and all.

So what happens???

Hundreds and even thousands of pages with the SAME WORDS all have the same IDENTICAL AUTHOR BOXES and same exact TEXT LINKS! Many of these text links even point at pages that are on domains banned by GOOGLE!

Now this is what happens when machines make web sites using PUBLICLY AVAILABLE FREE to USE ARTICLES.

If you remove the links to the author’s site you are BLACK and maybe even breaking the law!

IF you are smart and use PLR Articles, or better yet Article Underground Exact Keyword Optimized Articles, you will NOT be forced to link to ANYONE! You are the AUTHOR and can put any link and bio you want in the author box! Or maybe even NOT have an author box.

So, if say 5 or 10 Article Undeground members all use the same article – so what! There will not be PATTERN such as a BIO BOX with the same links to use to hunt you down…

PLUS if you truly embrace the spirit of Article Undeground and are building REAL CONTENT web sites, you will want to make your article web pages UNIQUE.

The chances that ANY MEMBERS will publish the same EXACT web pages are SLIM TO NONE.

No TWO Article Undeground member’s article pages should ever be IDENTICAL unless the articles are pasted on blank pages.

OK… so I hear someone going BUT how can we all rank in the TOP TEN???

Well, first off, if you have made a really valuable unique web site and have used a variety of aricles with your own words added, your pages and sites will be earning different REPUTATIONS. Different links… different rankings…

In other words, not all of you will have web pages with the same KEYWORD DENSITIES plus will have EXTRA WORDS on the pages. And you’ll be getting links from different sites with different text…

It’d be next to impossible to do everything other members do excatly the same way… especially if you practice a little creativity!

PLUS! Let’s face it! Some members will publish pages and get links the WRONG WAY. You can’t assume everybody will be doing everything exactly the SAME way!

There are a MILLION and ONE ways to do this SEO thing! If there were only one or two ways it’d be impossible to one up your competition, but there are MILLIONS of ways! You really do have a shot at kicking your competitions ASS!

Whoahhh… he said ass again…

BUT YOU ASK: 350 members can’t fit in the top 10, right???

So while it may not be possible for 10 pounds of shit to be stuffed into a 5 pound bag, it WILL be possible for 350 members to build 1000’s of unique and individualstic web pages that each get their own share of traffic from top rankings on 1,000,000’s of possible different word combinations.

400 articles x 400 words each = 160,000 words before you guys even add your own words – How many possible combinations of words are there, especially if you add in the words from your templates, intros, commentaries, titles, bios, resource boxes etc?

Close to infinite. An awful lot of possible phrases for all OF YOU GUYS TO RANK ON. tHERE IS no shortage OF WORDS TO GET TRAFFIC WITH!

If you guys want to be successful, you need to start thinking OUTSIDE of the BOX!

Sure, we all see the OBVIOUS but the few of us that will see the UNIQUE opportunities to get traffic will get rewarded.

I do my best to help you guys that join as Article Undeground members to see the possibilities, so don’t worry that you’ll need to invest a lot of time snooping for new angles. I do all that research and give training so you guys save time and can focus on doing the things that will make you money.

My JOB is to think OUTSIDE the BOX!


Now, there still may be a few skeptics out there going – “I don’t buy it” I won’t get top rankings and can’t compete with the other members…

Don’t be a sourpuss! Think positive! Think success!

HEY! Please believe me – the OTHER members are the least of your worries…

There are MILLIONS of SEOE’s (Search Engine Optimization Experts) out there trying to get the top positions and their share of free search engine traffic.

The members are NOT your competition – they are your FRIENDS!

In fact – strength in numbers will help you get TEXT LINKS and ADVICE that go against the whole concept of competing with your “fellow members”.

And it just isn’t possible for most members who “go the extra yard” to use all 400 articles. It’d be highly unusual if ALL members use any 1 article! There are just too many! And if you stay a member (like most do!) you’ll get more articles and more and more!

And guess what? Members DO stick around because they get value – even beyond just the articles. So believe me when I tell you that not all of the members will be using every single article!

Still worried YOU won’t make the top ten??? I hope not but if you are…

Let’s go ahead and PRETEND that you WILL NOT get 1 single visit to your articles from the search engines (you will)…

Just by announcing your articles in the 22 Article Announcements blogs that are included with Article Undeground it will help you get visits to your web site!

I mean you almost can’t help but get traffic if you put the articles on your web pages and announce them in the 22 member’s blogs… 

Yes, the blogs themselves have over 100,000 pages and growing indexed by Google and the other search engines. So even if YOUR PAGES do not get free search engine traffic (and they will get lots) YOU will STILL get TRAFFIC FROM THE BLOGS!

So, if I can ask that you put the issues about DUPLICATE CONTENT and COMPETING WITH THE OTHER MEMBERS out of your mind, and instead focus your energy on building web pages with REAL CONTENT and GETTING GOOD QUALITY LINKS you will get your share of FREE SEARCH ENGINE TRAFFIC.

IF however you are looking for a PUSH BUTTON SOLUTION or a machine generated way to publish hundreds or thousands of JUNK PAGES, then Article Undeground is NOT for you!

You must be willing to do some creative work like adding extra words to your pages and doing a little writing and making some of your own creative decisions, like what your target niches will be and how YOU organize your articles so your web sites are UNIQUE and reflect YOUR PERSONALITy not the personality of someone else who makes decisions for you!

You need to be in charge! It’s your future! Play a part in shaping it! It’s fun and it’s easy so don’t let the concept of work scare you! This is a great way to make a living! It’s almost not even fair to call this WORK!

Mike Liebner on Facebook


  1. […] http://www.mikeliebner.com/internet-marketing/duplicate-content-is-an-urban-legend-kinda/ […]

    Pingback by Mike And I Agree On Duplicate Content… | Liz Tomey On Internet Marketing — March 8, 2008 @ 11:42 am

  2. I think you talk a lot of sense. I have lots of duplicate content on one of my sites and it sits in the top 10 for many keywords. I do have my own content as well, but it illustrates the point you are making.

    Comment by Get Ex Back — January 28, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

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    Comment by شات كتابي — December 30, 2010 @ 5:40 am

  5. The web page has to be a very close copy to receive a ban from google.

    Comment by Seedbox — February 20, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

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  7. There’s no penalty but Google will not index it.

    Comment by Glennda — May 26, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

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  9. Hi, is there a penalty of some sort for posting the same content (albeit your original content) on each page of your site? For example, if you have a brief bio/about section and you include it on each page? Does Google notice that at all? Thanks for any help and very helpful post.


    Comment by Eric — September 6, 2011 @ 10:50 am

  10. This should be every webmaster’s concern. Content theft has become a really serious issue nowadays.

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