The Truth About Duplicate Content And PLR

One of the questions we're sometimes asked at Content Sparks is this: "If I use your blog posts on my site, will that affect my SEO or will my site get penalized by Google? Am I creating duplicate content and isn't that bad for my site? Let's explore this topic more deeply and uncover the truth about duplicate content and PLR.

Duplicate Content Gif

What's Duplicate Content?

Duplicate Content is the same content in multiple places on your own domain. Many sites have duplicate content. In fact, it's very easy to create without even realizing you're doing it. For example, if you offer a printer-friendly version of your articles, that's duplicate content. Duplicate Content happens most often on eCommerce sites where the product descriptions can be very similar. It's rumored that if you have a separate, mobile-friendly version of your site, you're creating duplicate content. But I've yet to find an article to support that rumor. 

So duplicate content is the same content, on the same website

Similar Content & Duplicate Content

When Google sees multiple unique URLs with the exact same content, the problem isn't that it's duplicate content; it's actually similar content. Whilst the words on the blog post may be the same as someone else's the code behind the website is different, and other elements are different. Only the content that the reader sees is identical.

So, when a searcher is looking for "PLR Content" and the search engine sees there are 17 seemingly identical articles, they apply a filter. The strongest site, the one with the most authority wins. Well, 9 times out of 10 it wins. The challenge here is that search engines can't easily know which content to show for the search query. So it's going to show the article that is most relevant and valuable. That may not be the article on your site.

Scraped Content

Once upon a time, someone, somewhere invented a tool that copied the article on your site and posted it on theirs. It's always an exact copy. Due to some sharp SEO skills, these "scraped" articles sometimes ranked higher than the original. Ouch! This is actually against copyright laws in the U.S and other countries. 

I know people will have you think that search engines are stupid, and they need to be "trained". But they have sophisticated learning systems that are able to identify and establish scraped content, and then apply a filter to that content so it doesn't tarnish the search results. 

If your content is scraped, and you cannot wait for the search engines to resolve the issue, you can file a DCMA notice and slap a warning on the content. 

Syndicated Content

What? Hang on, Sharyn! I only wanted to know about duplicate content and PLR, and here you are sharing all these other types as well. What on earth is syndicated content?

 All of the content types I'm sharing with you are often confused with duplicate content.  Imagine for one moment you write the most amazing article ever, and it goes viral. You get an email from HuffPo asking if they can put the article on their site. You say, "yes!" and start imagining all the fantastic traffic that will go to your site. 

News sites, or sharing your own content on multiple platforms, is another issue that's confused with duplicate content. That's different from using our done-for-you blog posts, and you can find more information about how to deal with that in this article from Moz -

But you don't get floods of traffic when HuffPo puts their article on their site. In fact, you no longer get any traffic at all to that article. That's because a traffic filter has been applied. Again, nothing to do with duplicate content, and everything to do with site authority.

So What Happens When I Use a PLR Article?

Customize, Customize, Customize

When it comes to using our done-for-you blog posts, the secret to being found and getting the right traffic is to customize it to your audience and add your own content where possible. For example, add additional points, examples, and graphics that are directly relevant to your audience. That includes changing the title, sub-headings, and other key bits of language to ensure your audience knows it's for them.

Note: Targeting working moms? Then put that phrase in your title along with examples in your posts. Aiming to work with tech startup founders? Put that into the post and search engines will know that when someone searches for "tech startup marketing tips", your blog post on the topic is the one to show.

Ensuring Your PLR Content Attracts Attention

There's nothing more powerful than adding your own experiences to a PLR Article. For example, If I were to take an article from this pack I'd choose this one - How Email Marketing Can Help Your Business: It’s All About the List

The post opens with the following paragraph:

Even if you run a brick-and-mortar offline business, an email list can help you grow your customer base and build deeper relationships with them. Through the content you share with them there, they’ll become buyers and brand advocates. Here’s how it works.

Here's how I'd make that paragraph "mine":

Coaches: It doesn't matter if your business is predominantly offline. An email list can help you grow your customer base and nurture relationships with them.  How does that happen? Through the content you share with them! Email is more personal, and over time, your subscribers will become buyers and brand advocates. Ready to dig deeper?

As you can see, we both started with the same PLR Content, and I included my audience, I referenced a myth they have around email lists (I don't need one because my business is offline) and I kept the reference to customer base. Then, I tailored the rest of the paragraph to my audience. 

This isn't duplicate content, it's not the type of content that gets you into trouble. It's the type of content that a coach would see, and feel that it was talking directly to them.

The Next Steps Using PLR Articles

We recommend you start with quality PLR Articles. As these are the foundation of your blog posts, it makes sense to get the best quality article for your budget. If you purchase a poorly written article, you will have to do more editing and more research. Low quality PLR articles not only waste your time and money, but they drain the joy from your life.

Once you have your PLR articles, the next step is to copy and paste them into your site and edit them.

1. Create a new headline - bonus points if you include your ideal client in the headline

2. Edit the opening paragraph so its appealing to your audience

3. Add a branded image with your logo 

4. Add a little story or your experience into the content. Not essential, but it really helps your audience connect with you.

5. Add your call to action - ideally to subscribe to your email list, or depending on the content, direct them to your sales page.

6. Add a PS reminder of the main point and your call to action

7. Schedule your post ready to go live!

PLR Articles can be used as-is, but we always recommend you add value to your content by adding some customization. It can take 2 hours+ to write a blog post from scratch, or just 20 minutes to edit a PLR Article so your audience loves it. 

  • PLR, or done-for-you blog posts, will give you a steady stream of content.
  • PLR Articles don't have to be used as blog posts. They can be repurposed for videos, live stream scripts, infographics - the only limit is your imagination!
  • They'll save you hours and hours of time as well as grow your audience
  • They can easily be handed to a virtual assistant to customize if you're too busy to do it yourself

As you can see, duplicate content isn't really an issue when it comes to PLR Content and White Label Courses, and you won't feel a negative impact or traffic filter if you follow the tips I've shared with you.

Remember this the next time someone tells you horrible things will happen to you if you use PLR Articles: They have just enough knowledge to be dangerous (to your business) but not enough to help you overcome it. You can always share this article with them - they'll love you for it! 

Over to you, what are you going to create your next blog posts about?

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