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When Article Marketing Becomes Content Theft

Today I found some of my content from an old article that I wrote being used on a site inappropriately, specifically, without the bio and associated link. For some time, article marketing has been touted as an effective component of an overall Internet Marketing strategy. As I was recently preparing an SEO plan for a new site, I came to a conclusion – I don’t think article marketing is worth the effort any longer. I was listing the Pros and Cons, and realized the Cons seem to outweigh the Pros, at least in my opinion. Here is what I came up with:

In theory, the “Pros” are pretty basic:

1. More inbound links.

2. Getting your name out there as an expert.

3. Branding? Well, I think that’s a stretch.

If it all works according to theory, that’s great. But here is where I have some challenges – the “Cons”:

1. Diluted content value. After everyone from here to India (no offense to India) scrapes the content, there is no value in having it on your site and you will likely suffer a duplicate content penalty.

2. Bad inbound links. I am finding more and more site that are scraper / spam sites using content that I had put up; this equates to links from bad neighborhoods.

3. Content Theft. That is the phenomenon that occurs when someone uses an article in violation of the TOS. This is the most egregious of violations, and smells of plagiarism (yikes!).

With that in mind, I am tempted to expose all of the sites that are plagiarizing content, but I don’t think my wife would get excited over me taking on yet another “cause”. Ironically the site that stole my content calls itself – apparently that’s not the only thing shallow about the site.

So does anyone want to take on this project? (the real question is does anyone have more free time than me?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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4 Responses to “When Article Marketing Becomes Content Theft”

  • Are you linking in the bio to the original article published on your own site?

    If you link to the original, it helps Google to work out that that content is yours, and it has been syndicated. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, but Google does do a fairly good job, eventually of working things out.

  • That’s an interesting point; from what I have seen, most people just link back to their home page. For me (back when I was doing articles), I created a similar piece for my site so the content would be unique, and hopefully unique enough for the SE’s.

    Thanks for the visit.

  • John:

    I write around five articles per week and submit them to ezinearticles. I do not include the article on my own site.

    I vary the anchor text and I have to say that in my opinion article marketing definately does work. The articles however need to be of a certain quality and also need to be unique.

    I certainly would not out source to India however cheap it might be!

  • oldschool:

    Five unique articles per week is a lot of writing, but I am sure it gets you lots of traction. And if you write them yourself, you are sure to convey what you want conveyed without having to alter what is sent to you.

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