Is unique content of any relevance?
I have came across quite some posts and questions about the topic unique content. Many web master and newbie web master have heard the word unique content before and even can imagine what it might be about. But very often not everything is very clear. To remove the all the rest of the “fog” and to show what unique content is I have written this post.
Where the Internet gained it’s value from?
To its very basic foundation the Internet as we know it today got its value by giving people the possibility to communicate with each other easily and fast AND by providing information, that are freely available. For example articles and media like audio and video. As nowadays e-commerce plays a bigger role I have to mention the 3rd big part that makes the internet very valuable – the capability to order products online.
However let come back to the unique content/articles.
Daily new content is being added by web-masters, either because they want to “say something to the world”, helping others by distributing their content or because they want to earn money.
The Monetization of the Internet
The last one is called monetization and basically means to earn some hard cold cash with websites by either selling some ad-space, promoting affiliate products or by selling own services and products.
Now there is nothing wrong, to make money with a website. No very often … it is even good that a web-master tries to make some cash, because then he gets the necessary funding to also release more cool tools and content in future. However here comes the problem …
Some web-master, lets call them the ‘lazy/very busy’, want and try to make money online without actually having content or anything they give in return.
Does this work? – No, of course not, because nobody has any interest in invaluable pages.
However to go around that problem of having no content, the lazy came up with another technique. They just copy/scrape the content of other webpages.
But wait isn’t that forbidden, because my own material is copyright protected (intellectual property)?
To my understanding I would say so. Unless the copied content gives reputation to its original source or is being modified to add value. Many article cloners don’t do this though.
After all today more content is being copied and stolen everyday then ever before in history and with more powerful computers and faster networks it gets easier everyday. Small spiders and robots are build just to crawl the net and copy content.
It might be ok if spiders crawl and catch content to create something unique like price-comparison engines for example. Something unique that also helps others and gains some value to the Internet. Though it is not OK to just have a scraper copy content, then maybe automatically rewrite (by using content spinners) it a bit and then distribute it as own content.
Why is copied content bad? Isn’t it good to have content spread around multiple times?
Well it depends, but in general it can be said that it does not make sense to have the very same content listed at different places. And search engines surely don’t like it at all.
The task of search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others is to show where relevant content to the searcher’s keyword can be found. What does a Searcher/User say when the same content is listed at 10, 20 or more spots of the search engine results? Is this going to make him happy?
But the search engines want happy users, because they only make money if they have happy users that result in a lot of traffic and even more users.
That is why search engines try to do its best to deliver only relevant unique content to the user.
And that is the thing – nor the search engines neither the user has any advantage of duplicate content or a “trash-stuffed” Internet!
How to filter unique content?
Well that question is a little tricky. But one thing can be said, the process contains a lot of different parameters. One major parameter is where the content is found first (next to other parameters like authority of the site, the content is found on, etc.)
Now lets imagine a crawler copies your content, distributes it on his own page and Google, Yahoo or Bing (former msn) visits him before they visit you?
The possibility is high that his but not your content is being listed in the search engines. And with bad luck your page even gets worse rankings for other pages too, because of the duplicate content penalty.
Sucks, doesn’t it?
To make a long story short I want to emphasize that unique content does count! And this is not just to have something unique on your page, but also to get traffic using the search engines.
How to prevent to fall in to the duplicate content penalty and how to protect your content, this will be written about in the next post.