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Will Using Rel Author Prevent Duplicate Content Issues?


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#1 Dr.Marie

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:28 AM

I wrote an article that has recently gone viral and a number of veterinarians are asking me if they can post my article on their websites. In the past, when people have wanted to repost articles I have said no. However, I'm thinking that in this situation I may tell them they are welcome to post it provided they credit me with a link back to my site.

I could offer code in the form of an iframe, but as the people who are sharing this content are not very tech savvy I'm not sure if this is the best idea.

My thought is that because I have used rel author Google will recognize me as the rightful original author of this content.



What do you guys think?

#2 jonbey

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:36 AM

I would say no. Suggest that they write a paragraph about the news / story on link to your article.

#3 EGOL

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:19 AM

Viral content is the most difficult type of content to produce and the most valuable for the success of your business. It pulls traffic, attracts links, gets shared, makes you money, builds your brand.

Every time you give it away you divide the effectiveness of your own content and cut your own traffic income.

You are lucky that these people are asking permission. If you start giving your content away like free popcorn then people will see it everywhere and assume that it is OK for them go grab it for display on their own sites. When they do that your copyright mark will probably not be present, your link will probably not be there and the content will be shared with words like... "look what Dr. Jenkins has on his site"..... "look at this great article that Dr Wilson wrote".

See how you lose credit and control? You are also losing income.

Some people will say.... "but they are giving me a link!"..... Sure, but how many links will it earn on their site? Those could have been yours.


Lots of people ask if they can republish my articles and I really enjoy saying "yes" to people. However, as hard as it is for me to say "no" I find a way to do it nicely.

Sometimes I simply tell the truth and say...... We make our living from publishing articles on our website. If we give them away there will be no reason for people to visit our site and our reward for producing the article is not received. So, if you like that article please do us the favor of sharing it with your visitors by linking to our site. Thanks.


The duplicate content problem isn't on my radar screen with these requests because the reasons above are a big enough deal breaker for me.

My thought is that because I have used rel author Google will recognize me as the rightful original author of this content.


I would not trust this. Google can abandon rel=author next week... then can change their mind on how they handle it. That is simply a job that they delegated to webmasters because they can't determine who owns anything. They could stop looking at rel=author next week because they have other things that interest them. I have not heard anybody singing that rel=author solves duplicate content problems.


There is a middle ground. You could write a short and sweet summary of the article that they can use on their site. That eliminates the duplicate content problem and if you give the reader enough information to make them hungry about the topic you will get a visit from them and a link from the website. Anyone who is interested enough in the topic to link, tweet or like will probably use your version of the article as the target.


I would only make an exception to my "no giving content away" policy if I had a "message to get out"... and then I would give it to everybody everywhere.... or if the article would be shared on a site that has 100x the visibility of my site or if somebody like the Pope was asking to republish on his site - but I don't think that the Pope will be askin' for my topics. :)


You have a difficult decision. Good luck!

Edited by EGOL, 05 April 2012 - 11:27 AM.


#4 jonbey

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:35 AM

Egol is correct there! Today I checking content and filing some DMCAs and there was one case where someone pasted my article into an article directory and then that was copied elsewhere, and another where an article was placed on a blogspot blog and then copied all over the place. So that was 2 websites that got credit for my content.

#5 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:36 AM

Another possibility: Create a separate, shorter article on the same topic. Think of it as an intro piece that the original article more fully explains, and indeed, in the new shorter article, is a link to the more comprehensive one. Offer that article to those interested instead. You may even want to throw in something visually interesting into the new shorter article so it has some sort of extra goodness that the vets will get out of choosing to use that one instead.

#6 Dr.Marie

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:01 PM

Hmmm...good points guys.

I'm thinking I'll post instructions on the site on how to link to the article. It sure is hard to say no...but really makes sense.

#7 jonbey

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:08 PM

Think of each article you write as being like Coca Cola's secret recipe. Makes it easier to say no when people ask for it for free.

#8 AbleReach

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:44 AM

Here is another option.

Some sites have an "embed this quote" link - check out quotesdaddy. I've seen similar but with "cite this article" text that can be copied and pasted. Why not end every article with "cite this article" in text or a popup? While you're at it, you know how peer reviewed studies are prefaced with a summary? Create one of those and put it at the end of the long version, with a notation to the effect of "this article is copyrighted content that should not be duplicated without permission. If you want to publish it on your web site, please use this summary."

#9 EGOL

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:01 AM

I visited some websites that automatically embed the html code for a link into your copy/paste buffer when you copy something from one of their pages.

I think that is a good way to force a citation and a link that many people would allow on their blog or webpage.

Edited by EGOL, 15 May 2012 - 12:46 PM.


#10 Dr.Marie

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

Thanks folks. I actually did end up doing something similar to what you are suggesting. I added a "click here for linking instructions" box at the end. Perhaps I may change that to "Instructions on how to cite this article." I like that.

The summary is a good idea as well!

#11 jonbey

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:28 AM

Yep, I do what Egol mentions. Use Tynt. Sign up, pop the code in the footer and you are off. If anyone copies your code manually then the link is added at the end.

I got the idea after seeing it on another website.

Example:


this is some copied text .... this page is so great every lazy webmaster just scrapes it!


Read more: http://www.whydomyra...t#ixzz1sTbzicSA


That is how it comes out.

For RSS copiers I use Wordpress SEO Plugin by Yoast and add "we love (domain)" to the bottom of all feed posts.

Does it help? No idea.

One SEO idea:

do a search for "Read more: http://www.yourdomain.com/" - this will show all the times that someone has copied your content and it has got indexed in Google. Then contact the webmaster to see if they would either improve or fix the link - sometimes people just paste plain text and the link is not active.

I have about 1,520 results for my domain - that will keep me busy!

#12 Dr.Marie

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:16 AM

I wanted to ask some more questions about this topic. I am about to publish a new article that took me about 40 hours to research, prepare, and write. It is very likely to be shared and likely copied as well. With my last article I had many veterinarians who wanted to publish the article on their websites (and some who did, without permission.)

My plan is to write a short summary and allow webmasters to copy the summary provided they give a link back to the original source (i.e. the full article). I'll give them the option of cutting and pasting, but also provide an iframe solution. I also plan to offer the article in a pdf form that veterinarians can print out to give to their clients.

I have some questions:

1. On the page with the summary, should I rel canonical this page back to the orignal source? That way, if it happens to attract links, the links will be credited to the main page. Also, I would think this should eliminate the risk of Google thinking I have duplicated my content.

2. I know we've covered this before, but should I put the PDF in a folder that is non-indexable by search engines? Can you rel-canonical a pdf?

Thanks guys!

#13 EGOL

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:45 PM

From what I have seen Google is giving a very weak reward in the SERPs if anything to authorship that is claimed by using rel=author combined with a google + profie for the author.

Other people grab my stuff, post it and rank above me.

Google needs to crank up the value of original content that is attributed to a person.

I see blogspot blogs monetized by adsense outranking claimed content for verbatim queries.

If you have claimed your content and are seeing pirated versions ranking above you speak up. Google needs to know that you are waiting for them to protect your authorship as they have promised.

Edited by EGOL, 14 May 2012 - 12:48 PM.


#14 jonbey

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:01 AM

No it won't!

I use rel=author and have the author bit on my search listings. Just realised today one of my articles (a review) has been listed 250ish times on Google, and I do not even show for the first sentence of my review.

So, rel=author suddenly seems a bit useless in this respect.

#15 iamlost

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 02:26 PM

So, rel=author suddenly seems a bit useless in this respect.

Snicker. :tissues:
:poster_oops: is that mean of me?

I see NO evidence that rel=author is being used to combat scraped content appearing in query returns.
I still believe that the reason Google introduced rel=author was, and remains, to encourage G+ takeup with subsequent rational of making G+ the primary means of discovery of an author's other work.

Sadly, while I see it being widely repeated that rel=author is/will be used to combat scrapers I (1) have seen no evidence of such and (2) have not found one Google source that even hints at it. Happy to be proven wrong in this instance :) so point me where I've missed...

#16 jonbey

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 04:55 PM

I reckon it is still early days. Google likes to test these things manually. So my suspicion is that for the time being they will use it to help manual checks - to see who is running a real business and who is just creating websites and profiles to game the engines.

It is very easy to spot a fake profile, and likewise it is sometimes easy to tell from a social media profile when someone is really serious about their business / brand.

I guess the main thing is that Google knows that people who run many websites and use those as mini-networks etc to bolster SEO are also the ones who tend to hide behind anonymous names and profiles. I guess that in time this will become more automated as their systems learn to tell real people from fake people.

Then again, maybe they just thought it would be a bit of fun and will scrap the whole thing next year for something else in search.



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