Links On Republished Duplicate Posts Pass Value?

An observation I think that links on duplicate posts which have been stolen – duplicated and republished – still pass anchor text value (even if it is a light boost).

Take this Cheeky beggar…. –  he nicked my what is seo post I did in 2007 and stripped out all my links (cheek!) and published the article as his own (well, haven’t we all…).

Well he stripped out all the links apart from one link he missed:



Yes, the link to http://www.duny* is actually still pointing to my home page. (Hey, maybe this guy is just complying with my copyright license ;) )


This gave me an opportunity to look at something…..

The article itself wasn’t 100% duplicate – there where a small intro text as far as I can see. It’s clear by looking at Copyscape just how much of the article is unique and how much is duplicate.

So this is a 3 yr old article republished on a low quality site with a link back to my site within a portion of the page that’s clearly dupe text.

I would have *thought* Google just ignored that link.

But no, Google will return my page for the following query:

Google SERP

This Google Cache tells fibs, but is pretty accurate this time:

Google Cache

… which looks to me as Google will count links (AT SOME LEVEL) even on duplicate articles republished on other sites – probably depending on the search query, and the quality of the SERP at that time (perhaps even taking into consideration the quality score of the site with the most trust?).

How to take advantage of this?

First, you get an idea of just how much original text you need to add to a page for that page to pass some kind of anchor text value (perhaps useful for article marketers). And in this case, it’s not much! Kind of lazy though.

It seems, syndicating your content via RSS and encouraging folk to republish your content will get you links, that count, on some level it seems (which might be useful for longer tail searches). I still always make sure even duplicate (in essence) press releases and articles we publish are ‘unique’ at some level.

Google is quite good at identifying the original article especially if the site it’s published on has a measure of trust – I’ve never had a problem with syndication of my content via rss and let others cross post…. but I do like at least a link back, nofollow or not.

Original Articles Come Top (usually)

Want to republish my content? Please. Do. :)

ACTUALLY – In 2013 – I don’t allow people to syndicate my content on other blogs in full. It can result in my work featuring on low quality blogs – which is something Google does not like in 2013!

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16 Responses

  1. Robert says:

    Interesting find. I’ve always believed that no matter how lowly the link may seem that it’s got to be worth something (if not reciprocated). Generally they’re not worth pursuing. Could this be Google’s way of trying to prevent “Google Bowling?” The other engines seem to give you even more credit than Google do.

    • Shaun Anderson (Hobo says:

      I usually take a link anywhere, as it’s a potential for traffic, if nothing else. :)

  2. Seoidiot says:

    Ok so get rss for category in wp Set up category as ‘oldbutgood’ Add the yoast rss feed link plugin Submit category posts to article submission and pr sites via api Not sure the value is there though

  3. Randy Brickhouse Sr. says:

    Hey Shaun, What’s a Cheeky begger? The theft of an article has happened to me before. It was weird the way it happened. Ezinearticles had done something screwy. I won’t go into details. I had forgotten all about it, until your post here. Hey Shaun, guess what? I voted for you. The stats showed you were in third place. Good luck! Thanks and God bless.

    • Shaun Anderson (Hobo says:

      Thanks Randy :) I don’t really get to heated up anymore about my content being ripped off – I kind of expect it. :)

  4. Brett Pringle says:

    Interesting find Shaun, Wonder if there is any connection between this and Goog following “nofollows”? :) But then as you say, the results may dictate on what factors are used to provide those results Seems that links are still links in essence, even if they are dup articles, or nofollowed. Content and links evaluated separately? Any bets on a sudden increase in republishing of old articles for link value… lol

  5. Mark says:

    No mention of article spinning?

  6. Shaun Guido says:

    It’s actually been this way always .. Links have always counted from “duplicate content”.. just the content itself won’t rank. So while the link counts it’s coming from a page that Google has determined isn’t worth of display .. so it counts a little lesser. Think of it like a PR hybrid … But when Google crawlers and grabs the links — you win.

  7. David Blizzard says:

    We came to this same conclusion, but not in a good way. Once we started building a few links for a new client and she only had a few links to her site when we started. One of the first articles we published had a keyword rich link back to her site and it got picked up by about a dozen article scrapers and BOOM! She fell for that search phrase rather than going up. We didn’t see improvement until we acquired about 20 new links with varying text including some with just the URL as link text. That was about 2 years ago but to this day if the customer has a week link profile we definitely hold off on articles. Kind of a backwards way of agreeing with you but I do believe that the scraped/duplicate content links count, for better or worse.

  8. TradeShow Ninja says:

    hi Shaun, Interesting insight, but I don’t know if it help or hurts my understanding of google. :) Just when I’m pretty sure that some links are ignored by goggle, it then looks like everything counts, at least a little. Arghhh! Anyway, I’m curious how you stumbled across this “cheeky bastard’ (I would call him something else, but I think it my get my comment banned)? Steve

  9. Matt Chandler says:

    I certainly wouldn’t class myself as an SEO geek, but reading this thread prompts me to ask the question about article marketing. I’ve asked several other people but with no truly satisfying answer. You can use article spinners to allow you to post a “different” article on lots of article sites & blogs, or you can just find the 10 best article sites (ezine, etc) with high PR and post the exact same (i.e. duplicate) article on those 10 sites. But which is better? Do you get “penalised” for doing it the second way? This thread would seem to suggest the answer is no. And if that’s true, then what’s the point of the spinners and all those article marketing sites??

    • Shaun Anderson (Hobo says:

      I certainly wouldn’t overdo either of those. If I published 100 duplicate articles with the same text link on article sites, I’d expect to get slapped a bit, but it might be the case that the links are just ignored. I prefer different articles with different anchor text when article marketing, and I stay away from the main networks.

  10. Kelly says:

    I’m usually cautious about duplicate content, although I’ve heard that having some really does no harm…

  11. Deep Ripples Bill says:

    We’ve seen similar. As has been said, virtually every link has some value. Investing time and resources in low value links seems like an obvious waste of time. But even then, some links that start off crappy can get “happy” months or years down the road. I would agree with what Shaun seems to be saying about article networks. The main ones don’t seem to be worth much, rarely providing any link value at all.

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