We received an interesting question in one of our blog posts the other day and we wanted to highlight it since it comes up a lot. If you’re publishing content online, you’ve most likely heard of the penalties that can come from publishing duplicate content. What many readers wonder, however, is whether or not the fact that their press releases are republished hundreds of times across the web counts as duplicate content.
“Do you have to worry about being punished by the search engines for having the same copy/content “released” through various websites? Is the same press release being disseminated by a number of sources going to be seen as duplicate content by the search engines, and thus my linked-to conversion page will be lowered in ranking as a result?”
What you’re talking about is what people refer to as the ‘duplicate content penalty’ – which is often misunderstood and is not really a ‘penalty.’ A search engine’s goal is to show its customer (the searcher) the most relevant and useful content related to a particular search query. It would NOT however want to show the user 10 or even 2 of the same exact pieces of content.
In that case, when there are pages out there on the web with the same content on different URLs, the search engine will choose ONE of those URLs to present to the searcher — just not all of them — but that’s all that you need in a search result anyway.
This doesn’t stop the fact that if your content is published on multiple news sites, PR sites, blogs, etc that you will earning multiple backlinks to your site, which can strengthen the ‘ranking power’ of your website.
Aside from that, people find content through many different sources other than just Google — so having your content available on multiple channels only increases the odds of your content being seen.
We normally advise people not to post the full press release on their own website, but instead to either use the News Widget to display their headlines or to put the title and summary on their website and then link to the full release.
In short, having one of your press releases published all over the web is GREAT and only helps, not hinders. Thanks for the great question — hope this helps!
Have you noticed any positive or negative effects of posting your news releases in multiple places online?
This great photo courtesy of J. Scott 2 via Flickr.