It might surprise you to learn that there are several advantages to using duplicate content. For many years, most marketing blogs and news sites published articles that emphasised the importance of keeping your content fresh, regularly updated and overall, as unique as possible. Generally speaking, this is great advice but marketing is rarely simple and there are numerous instances where posting duplicate content can actually be beneficial. This is our guide to some of the lesser-known downsides and the surprising advantages using duplicate content on your site.
As anybody who uses social media to consume news, current affairs and opinion pieces will tell you, it’s not uncommon to see the same article reposted several times over the course of a year. In some cases, especially with content that creates a lot of user engagement in the comments section, pieces can resurface for several years after they have been originally published and still enjoy very high numbers of views. This approach works best when you have already established a solid base of followers and also requires a certain standard of written content. Good quality articles that aren’t time sensitive are often referred to as a type of “evergreen” content, which essentially means they contain information that will stay relevant for some time. Though it is important to remain current with things like news articles, press releases and product based content, engaging, well-written articles on your industry or any related areas of interest can be posted numerous times over the course of several years.
Wider Potential Audience
Content performs differently, depending on when and where you post it. An article that gets posted in the middle of the night may not perform as well as something that appears on everybody’s feed as they’re waking up with their morning coffee. The ideal time will obviously depend on your business niche and more importantly when your users are online. To ensure your best content gets seen, posting any good quality articles multiple times throughout the day can be a good strategy. This is especially true on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook where content moves fast and there are some extremely complex algorithms dictate what people see and when. Use your discretion but consider organising numerous social media posts throughout the day based on different user groups. For example, office workers scrolling on their commute, home workers on a lunch break or casual users checking their feed before bed.
Duplicating content across multiple platforms is essential when you’re trying to launch a campaign or new product line. Though you may need to adjust the format slightly, the core message and any particular wording you have chosen will need to remain exactly the same. Though it’s not the most subtle of approaches, it is one that is still used by marketing professionals everywhere. If the content is good enough and people continue to engage with it, making multiple posts will usually just increase the number of views it gets. Sharing articles that promote certain principles or ideas that you believe in can also be a great way to add depth to your brand identity. Rather than flooding your site with “unique” content for its own sake, take a close look at what people are engaging with. There will almost certainly be articles or blog entries that have way more views than the others. This is the content you can potentially share on numerous occasions.
Over Sharing Can Make Content Perform Badly
It might seem counter-intuitive in a climate of constant retweets and shameless promotion but exercising a little restraint when it comes to sharing content can actually be a good move. Think about how you feel when you see the same advert for the tenth time in one evening or have to read the same facebook promotion every time you log on. Most of us will naturally begin to switch off or even begin to associate the repetitious content with something negative. Even good quality, evergreen content can lose potential if you post it too often. Be proud of your best content, by all means, but don’t push it so hard that it begins to grate on your audience. Pay close attention to the number of views you get whenever you post so you can manage duplicate content more effectively.
Certain Types of Duplicate Content Will Harm Your SEO
Where posting a well-performing article about your industry a few times will generally do positive things for your hit rate, using the same words and phrases over and over again in web page copy will not. Though there is technically no penalty for duplication according to Google, sites that are badly written and overly repetitious will always perform poorly in comparison to sites that have been written with SEO in mind. In some cases, such as product descriptions and lists of services, a certain amount of repetition is unavoidable, however, it is never advisable to copy and paste large of chunks of text from page to page.
Getting the Balance Wrong
There’s a fine line between a meticulous, time-sensitive approach to getting your best content out there and just spamming indiscriminately. The latter is always harmful, no matter what anybody tells you. In the long run, if your company establishes a reputation for filling timelines with exactly the same article numerous times a day, it will result in either restriction being imposed by the platforms themselves or potential customers voting with their feet and blocking you. Keep track of how many times you have posted an article and also use techniques such as abridged posts, teaser posts or links within other articles to avoid directly sharing exactly the same thing over and over again. Duplicate content isn’t a bad thing, per se, but the process you use matters as much as the quality of the information you are sharing.