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Re-Purposing Content. How Far Is Too Far?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 jimloxley

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 05:15 PM

Hello High Ranking Forums,

I've been learning SEO few a few months now and am having some success. I've got a few year's journalism experience and am happy to work for 18 hours a day, and that seems to be a good combo for SEO progress. I still have a lot to learn! I heard about the forums from a Karon Thackston webinar am pleased to be on board. I hope to make a contribution and learn a thing or two!

So my question is this.

I've been writing a lot of articles (...) and there is one which is aparticularly good article idea. I've re-written it by hand, from scratch about 7 or 8 times for different sources. I've adjusted the title and, of course, ALL the wording and phrases each time. But the crux of the article is the same. It's a top 5-10 legal tips (sometimes I pair up the tips for variation) article.

I write a lot of other articles too. But I wonder. How many times can you re-use a good article idea for completely different sources before Google gets annoyed? I don't want it to think I'm using one of those 'spinning' programs.

Thanks!

Jim

#2 chrishirst

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:40 AM

This is one of those "How many roads must a man walk down" kind of questions.

Realistically an article that is rehashed by a human being isn't going to be an "issue", even an article that is used verbatim a few times isn't really a problem. It's when they are used as a "link building" exercise and dumped on every crappy "article bank" twenty or thirty times, then " rinse, spin, repeat" on the same crappy sites.

#3 jimloxley

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:44 AM

This is one of those "How many roads must a man walk down" kind of questions.

Realistically an article that is rehashed by a human being isn't going to be an "issue", even an article that is used verbatim a few times isn't really a problem. It's when they are used as a "link building" exercise and dumped on every crappy "article bank" twenty or thirty times, then " rinse, spin, repeat" on the same crappy sites.


Thanks for the response Chris.

Surely a verbatim re-use of an article would mean that only one of the pages got indexed while the others with the duplicates did not? Maybe I'm wrong.

#4 Jill

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:27 AM

Yes you are wrong. They all get indexed.

#5 jimloxley

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:32 AM

Yes you are wrong. They all get indexed.


Interesting. Thanks for the responses.

I may reuse the article concept a few more times without the fear then.

Jim

#6 torka

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:48 AM

Keep in mind, indexing is not the same as ranking. :)

Google will try (not always with a consistent degree of success) to NOT show many copies of the same thing over and over. So you don't want to post the same article verbatim all over the place.

But there's absolutely nothing wrong with reusing the same basic concepts or ideas for multiple different articles. Honestly, in many fields there are only so many good general concepts to work with. The "trick" is to find a unique and interesting way to say the same thing everybody else is saying (and/or that you yourself have already said before).

You may also consider repurposing your content into other forms: start out with a blog post, expand it into a newsletter article, combine a couple of articles into a whitepaper, rework the whitepaper into a webinar or podcast, create an infographic illustrating the legal tips, etc.

--Torka :propeller:

#7 jimloxley

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:02 AM

Thank you so much for the comprehensive reply. Just what I was looking for.

#8 qwerty

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:45 PM

It might be useful to think of it this way, since you're a journalist: you've written an original article, submitted it to some periodical, and they've accepted it and printed it. Now you'd like to rewrite the article and submit it somewhere else, and do that a few times.

You know you need to make major changes each time. If you succeed in doing that, you're not merely getting paid a number of times, you're actually demonstrating that you know this topic so well that you're capable of writing numerous interesting, informative pieces on it -- different pieces that may be targeted to different audiences, offering different perspectives, etc. If you can do that, everyone wins. If you fail, you're risking that the editor who looks over your latest submission is going to view it as nothing more than a rehash of an article he saw from you in a different paper.

In the SEO world, we've got something called "article spinning" software that takes an original piece, switches a word here and there with a synonym, reorders some of the sentences, and spits out hundreds of "unique" articles that are invariably garbage, but often manage to slip past a search engine's efforts to determine whether it's just a rehash of another piece.

The search engines aren't quite as good at this as a well-read editor, but they're working on it. If you can rewrite the article so that the result is something you wouldn't be embarrassed to submit to a reputable newspaper or magazine, then you're doing this the right way.

#9 jimloxley

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:48 PM

Awesome, I like the last bit especially, many thanks!

#10 DJKay

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 09:41 AM

My question is, would the rehashed article [whatever you want to call it] add additional value [information] for the user/person reading it? Would the new or updated stuff you added make someone read it to get that information? Article series that build on each other have long been an effective technique.

IMO, its fine to rehash/update articles if its updating information, adding new information, augmenting benefits/features, etc. For me, it it will help my users and its information they need/want, then okay. {Example: Jill updating her old articles on writing Title Tags or Meta Descriptions ~ Although she may say there was not a ton that changed :)}

Here is an example, albeit, not online but illustrates the point. I was at my Mom's on the cape, we had come in from the beach. My daughter and husband were asleep and I was up with my Mom watching Antique Road Show [one of her favorite shows]. She has seen just about every episode you can imagine but that night said to me, Oh! These new shows are great because they show you the original footage of the people and items and you get to see what has happened to the value they appraised the item at!

Antique Road Show takes its top footage of various pieces, pulls them out, replays them but then adds a little graphic at the end saying its gone up or down in value, since its original valuation.

It ads in a kind of game-show element without it being a game-show and my Mom talked profusely about she could believe or not believe something went up or down.

So my question to you, is the rehash article have some sort of quality like that?

Best Regards,

DJKay
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#11 Jill

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:00 AM

Yep, what @DJKay says is absolutely correct.

In fact, when I write columns for other publications such as my @TalentZoo articles, I'll often take old HRA or Search Engine Land articles that I've written, and re-purpose them for the different audience (while also updating them as necessary).
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