The issue of *duplicate content* has been bugging me for quite some time. Those who have purchased my Nuttiebums report know my opinion on this. For those who don't have the report, I will give you my short opinion on *duplicate content*.
I will start off this post with what the herd (herd means people who follow the gurus' advice instead of using concrete data as evidence) and then I will put my 2 cents. :)
1. Don't submit the same content both to your site and ezinearticles: If you want to save your butt from Google, you need to submit only unique content to ezinearticles.com. Bottom line, don't post the same content on your blog that you have also submitted to ezinearticles.com, and vice versa.
2. Submit unique versions of your article to each directory: If you want your articles to show up whenever a user searches for a specific keyword, then submit unique versions of your article to each directory. This way, you won't be penalized by Google for duplicate content.
3. Post your content to your blog first, and leave them to get indexed by Google first, before you submit content to the article directories. This way, Google will look upon your site as the original source of the content and thus will acknowledge your authority on the subject.
Ok, now here are my opinions on each of these statements:
1. I can reject the first one outright as a silly figment of imagination of some 'guru'. You know I have been niche marketing for close to one year and there have been many times when I have submitted the same content both to ezinearticles.com as well as my own site, and then a few months later, when I searched for my target keyword just to test out if the 'duplicate content' gurus are right, I found that Google is showing up duplicate results both from ezinearticles.com as well as my own site: yep, the same article with the same title and content.
2. As for point no. two, let me straighten up this thing first: if I am not wrong, this myth was propounded by a guy as a pre-sell hook to his content rewriter software. Needless to say, he used this myth as a bait to attract the sales. ;)
Now, here is my take on it. First of all, I don't submit my articles to hundreds of directories any more. Yes, when I started out, I used to mass submit articles at first, but then I noticed that it neither bought me any traffic nor any high pagerank to my site (it was one of my first niche sites, by the way). On the other hand, later I started a site from scratch by submitting articles only to ezinearticles.com, goarticles.com, ideamarketers.com, and a few others, and today my new site's pagerank is the same as I had gained by mass submitting articles in case of my first site: both are PR2. Actually the PR of my older site did not increase one bit during the long time I spent in creating my newer site. That is when I realized that mass submitting articles to hundreds of article directories is not always helpful, and canceled my paid membership to Articlemarketer.com. For one, most of the mass submission sites such as Isnare and Article Marketer submit your articles to a few high quality and several low quality sites. When your article sits on several low quality article directories, it automatically loses its value in the eyes of the search engines. This is also the reason why, in my Nuttiebums report, I recommend Article Post Robot as a better service than Article Marketer. With Article Post Robot, you can just select all the high quality article directories and then submit your articles to them.
Hmm, in case you don't know it, I suggest you submit the same article to all the directories. Don't listen to what the gurus say. I value my time and I would rather spend it in writing some more unique articles than producing hundreds of rewrites of just one article in the quest of submitting 'unique versions' of it to each directory. And my traffic has not been affected a bit. One thing I have noticed is that regardless of how many article directories you submit your articles to, Google will always come up with the article you submitted at ezinearticles.com as the top (and sometimes, the only) search result on the first page. So there is no need to submit unique articles to all the other directories because most of them hold very little value for Google.
3. As far as point no. three is concerned, my practice has always been this: I post my content first to my site before ezinearticles.com. And while I don't know if it is a related consequence or not, but I have noticed that more often than not, my site comes second or third to ezinearticles.com whenever I search for the keywords I used in my article. So I concluded that it must be true that if you submit content to your site first, Google looks upon you as the authority on the subject. So I recommend posting your article first to your site. But remember that search engine rankings always depend on the pagerank as well as the age of a site, so unless your site is very old and has a pagerank of 7 or more, you will always end up below ezinearticles.com and not the other way round. :)
I hope my post helps you see the real truth about duplicate content. I have, in my own little way, tried to separate myth from reality based on my own experiences.
What has been your experience? Post your comments here as I value your comments a lot! And who knows, your opinions might let me discover the issue of duplicate content in a whole new perspective? :)