Addressing the “Issue” of Duplicate vs Curated Content
A good curated content definition would be “syndication” and it’s not necessarily always a bad thing. After spending time getting to understand the way Google works, I think it’s safe to say that not all “duplicated” or as we define “curated content” is unacceptable. Hear me out…
Blatantly and maliciously duplicating another’s entire page or article content is certainly grounds for plagiarism if not copyright infringement, however, it’s good to consider what could be happening when someone duplicates and “curates” your content.
If another blogger finds that your article is an outstanding addition to the niche that they are involved in they may want to show your content to others. What would be the appropriate way to do that? Rather than just copy your entire page, or just place a hard coded link within their article, they may decide to do what some people don’t fully understand and think is completely inexcusable….curate your content.
What that means is that your content may be duplicated (say up to no more than 40% verbatim). To do so, the blogger should write an article or post that begins in their own words, making introduction to your content and explaining why they feel the information is so important for them to read.
Jack is a Dog Trainer and he runs a dog training site. Jill runs a dog grooming site. Jack has lots of fans that would be interested in dog grooming, so one day Jack climbs over to Jill’s site and finds a great article his viewers would be interested in. He copies out the first say 30-40% of the lead in to the article and saves it for later use. How should he proceed?
1. Introduction – Jack’s own words (50-200 words max.)
2. <Jill’s Content with full credits> Perhaps ending with an open-ended sentence (ie. The way the groomer handles the…)
3. Then a referral statement (ie. For more of Jill’s wonderful information about dog grooming you can read the “Entire Article” (using the words “Entire Article” in a link structure pointing back to Jill’s site.)
4. Jack’s closing remarks and thanks to Jill.
(Keep an eye out for my next article which will cover The 5 Types of Curated Content.)
Is there a benefit to curated content?
You have to understand, this is totally legal and actually very beneficial to BOTH authors! News writers do this daily when they curate content from the larger news agencies (such as API). They normally write shorter (or longer) articles related to the original content and encapsulate the content within their own articles.
Not only is this good business, it’s gives authority to the original author’s content. I’ve even seen folks give kudos to curators and thanking them for using their content to enhance the learning experience for their audience. Both writers gain some well-deserved backlinks and normally (when done right) Google uses this “curation” process as a means to actually identify the authoritative content.
How Does Google Feel About Duplicated or Curated Content?
“Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results. If your site suffers from duplicate content issues, and you don’t follow the advice listed above, we do a good job of choosing a version of the content to show in our search results.
However, if our review indicated that you engaged in deceptive practices and your site has been removed from our search results, review your site carefully.” ~Google
Of course there are those that are just out to steal other people’s works, everyone is aware of that. But for all intents and purposes, you should be honored that someone felt your content was worthy enough that they felt they should share it with their respective audience. You’ve just been syndicated!
Should I be upset and put up a fight if people copy my content?
I certainly recommend using Copyscape.com if you feel people are trying to steal your ideas and making them their own, however, I’ve never been a big proponent of complaining over people using my content. It only shows the world that my stuff was so good that everyone wants to use it! It’s one thing if people are stealing your trade secrets and calling them your own, it entirely another if they are duplicating your content to show you an authority in your niche.
I can always find some more stuff to write about later!