When you are implementing a content marketing strategy, you invest a lot in your content.
You spend hours cultivating knowledge, brainstorming article ideas, creating compelling headlines, writing and editing stories that your customers and prospects will love.
You do all this only to have your content show up on someone else's blog word for word.
What do you do? The first inclination might be to get mad. Avoid this.
The truth is that the person who copied your content may not have any idea that this is frowned upon. The web is all about sharing right?
They may not understand the negative effect that duplicate content can have on both the copier's site and the original source site. Ranking actually can decrease for both parties.
Watch this video from the head of Google's webspam team, Matt Cutts, discuss the subject. It is 1:44s long.
So what do you do when you find your content on someone else's site?
This recently happened to me with my article on LinkedIn Best Practices. I saw something in my news feed that looked familiar.
It was my article, word for word, being shared as someone else's. I noticed that while they did not acknowledge me as the author, they did post a link to the source. In Google's eyes (watch the above video for confirmation), that is not good enough.
I took a deep breath and sent a friendly email. I have included a template from my experience.
Hi RECIPIENT NAME,
I couldn't help but notice a familiar title in my news feed today. I am flattered that you thought my post was worthy of sharing. Many people do not know that pulling full articles word for word can actually negatively affect your websites ranking in search results, but also the sources rankings as well. It is an issue known as duplicate content.
I am sure this stuff may be news to you and seriously, no hard feelings. It is nice to know that my article was worthy of being copied. I worked hard on that article (and those ideas). But we do need to correct this. (The image is even pulling from my bandwidth)
If you would like an article on the subject for your blog, I would be happy to create an original guest post on the subject framed around RECIPIENT INDUSTRY, that links back to the original article. This could help us both in the long term.
Let me know your thoughts.
- Chris Handy
Here is a link that explains some of the things that can be done to source great content properly. http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33098/How-Not-to-Steal-People-s-Content-on-the-Web.aspx
The bottom line is to smile and ask for what you want in the nicest way possible. Informing them about the negative effects of duplicate content will usually do the trick. This one snafu could actually help you build a long-term guest blogging relationship.
Happy blogging :)
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