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Blogging 101: Original Content vs. Duplicate Content

How to Write a Blog: Original vs. Duplicate ContentIn this installment of our Blogging 101 series we’ll be discussing content — which are the words we use in each of our blog posts. We’ve already talked about content length and quality, and now it’s time to take a look at original content vs. duplicate content.

Original Content

So, this one’s pretty straightforward. Original content is exactly what it sounds like: made from scratch, unique, one of a kind. It’s content that you’ve written yourself, even if that means you’ve drawn from other material (which you can site in your blog post) for the information. Google likes this type of content, and so do readers.

Duplicate Content

Remember when we used to make carbon copies? Whatever we wrote or typed on the top page of a document was transferred, by a piece of carbon paper, to the page behind it. This is a good way to think of duplicate content, which is something you’ll want to avoid using on your blog.
Many bloggers I know like to highlight other bloggers. They’ll find a fantastic article, decide to share it, and post it verbatim on their own blog with a link to the original bloggers site.
Although ethically this is completely fine, search engines might interpret this “carbon-copy repost” as duplicate content. This could negatively affect one’s search engine ranking. Why? Because just as a teacher doesn’t want students copying homework from each other, Google doesn’t want to see you copying content from someone else’s site.
So, what do you do if you want to highlight someone else’s blog post?
Summarize what it’s about in one or two paragraphs. Then add your authentic opinion to the mix. Finally, place a backlink in your blog post that leads readers to the full post you’re highlighting.
Now you’ve effectively highlighted the information AND shown your expertise by chiming in with your opinion. You’ve created a back link, which helps boost the authority of the blog you’re linking to — and all the while you’ve avoided creating duplicate content.
Happy blogging!
Be sure to check out our other posts in the Blogging 101 Series:
Blogging 101: How to Write a Blog Post
Blogging 101: What is the Purpose of a Blog?
– Blogging 101: The Art of Writing Awesome Blog Titles
Blogging 101: What are Tags & Categories
Blogging 101: Blog Post Frequency & Length