The Google Search blog posted an excellent post today on duplicate content. If you are running an affiliate website this is a “must read” post for you.
The synopsis is that one – there is no duplicate content penalty for duplicate content, but two – that Google works very hard to give the site with the most authority the full organic capital for the page that they have created. Google has become incredibly smart and with some of their new patents this past year on duplicate content identification, it is nearly impossible to scam them.
What this means specifically for website owners is to not stress out over duplicate content such as print version pages of your website, but for affiliate sites, and spin-off topic websites, just don’t expect them to really be able to place organically. The parent site will place as it has the site authority as well as the original content ownership in Google’s eyes. This also means if other sites are scraping your content, they may be dinged in this brave new world.
The take away from this Google post is that if you are using affiliate website content, better get a part-time job or keep your full-time job you may never be realistically able to get great organic website placement to be able to make a real living from an affiliate based marketing website.
For website owners that are thinking of spinning of topical websites to get better placement on a particular service, don’t waste your time unless your content will all be unique and you will really work hard to get placement on your spin-off site. Your parent site will simply have more authority and content ownership and the spin-off site will always place lower. (I have actually tested this approach for over one year now and find it to be a truth.)
So invest your time and money where it matters – your main website with great authoritative and unique content.