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Gareth Goddard

Is stealing articles better than writing your own for SEO

I know, my first thought was “no, stealing articles is wrong, and unique content is good for SEO”. However after reading an article on another SEO blog, while I would never steal articles to use for my own he actually makes a pretty good case for it, from an SEO perspective. Read more to see why.

Here are a few of the points he made that actually make sense from an SEO point of view.


If you’re going to the effort to write unique content – it should be on your site. Why throw out 200 pieces of unique content to the web for other people to steal. Your hard effort should remain on your site or within your own content networks. Now this kind of makes sense. I have to disagree on a fundamental level, that most of the article directories I submit to are human moderated and I’m pretty sure they would notice the same article being submitted twice. I’ve even had two unique articles rejected because they were on a very similar topic and covered similar ground. But I can see his point of keeping your effort to within your own networks


Point two is that if you’re submitting to most of these places you obviously aren’t too fussed about duplicate content. It is understood that on some level there is going to be duplicate content on the web, articles are a great example of this. The argument for stealing someone else’s article would be that the article has already had or not had its penalties for duplicate content, and you submitting it a few more times will not really effect that, so why risk the penalty with your own content, why not do it with content that has obviously survived the multiple submission process.



His other argument was that people are pretty much going to steal your article so why not do it back. Half the article directories state that when you submit your article you accept that it is now public domain and free for other people to use, and he even pointed out that owners of directories have been known to swap links in articles if that article gets a good amount of traffic. So if your great article about ipods starts ranking and getting traffic itself, you might find your article no longer contains your links. Sadly I checked this in the terms of a few sites and most state that “we can change and edit your article at any point for any reason”.


Its a dog eat dog world out there in SEO, personally I prefer to write unique articles for my submissions and its not a great feeling to think someone else will just take it and swap links out or submit it again under their own name but its somewhat expected to some level, but there really is little that can be done to stop it.

Tell us what you think in the comments below. Would you use someone else’s article? Have you used someone else’s, or have you spotted your content on the web on websites you didn’t submit it to with your links removed or swapped.