Making Free Content Articles
Free content articles are
provided to publishers with the only price being asked that the
article include a bio or comment about the author and a link back
to the authorís website. Both publisher and author generally consider this to be a
fair trade. The
writer gets published, and the publisher can boost their site
content without handing over a small fortune for the privilege of
All is well and good with this
relationship except for one thing, and that has to do with the
publisherís desire to add content to the search engine to
develop incoming traffic. Search
engines will index everything on the website, but reprinted
articles may not carry the same weight as if they were an original
Search Engines and Duplicate
Most search engines include what
are referred to as ďduplicate content filtersĒ.
The purpose of a duplicate content filter is to prevent
1000ís of the same article from showing up for the same search.
While most freebie articles arenít a huge problem, other
articles such as those provided through syndication sources like
UPI and AP can be replicated 10ís of thousands of times in a
Free articles manage to get
caught up in this mix and often do not help to bring in traffic.
Google will often index this as duplicate content, and the
page will not show up well in search results.
However, changing the authorís article is simply not an
option. By agreement,
you are required to keep it as written.
Getting Around Search Engine
There are three ways around this
depending upon which direction you want to go and how your site is
laid out. Each of
these will either directly or indirectly get your articles indexed
and help build your traffic:
The Summary Page method
Ė I happened to recently stumble along this method quite
accidentally, and in fact it happens to be the easiest way there
is to avoid the duplicate content penalty.
Some may also consider this to be the most ethical
While leaving the actual article
alone and accepting the duplicate filterís results, you can
create a preceding contents page for a group of articles that will
not trip the duplicate filters.
So if you had five articles on developing a business plan,
a contents page about business plans would list and link to each
article and provide a keyword heavy sentence or two about each of
the articles. It adds
one more click to the readerís task, but the ability to scan for
the exact nature of each article can more than make up for the
The content splitter method
Ė This only works with long articles, but it really does work
well. Letís assume
that you have a free article that is 4500 characters in length.
In anyoneís book this is a good size article and one that
well qualifies for the content splitter method.
There is no such thing as ďan
average page of contentĒ, but a reasonable one is about 1000
characters long. For the purposes of comparison, this page is 4694,
characters, counting spaces.
With that in mind, take the 1500 characters and split it up
into 2-3 pages and link the three together with an into sentence
in italics indicating that the content has been split.
When this is done, search engines only see part of the text
and it does not accurately compare with an indexed full version of
the original. Sometimes
the first page might catch the duplicate filter, but it is rare
that any of the subsequent pages will.
The editorís note method
Ė While keeping the article the same, if a publisher adds about
two paragraphs of his own comment ahead of the article in a
different font and titled ďEditorís NoteĒ, this is often
enough to turn the article into an original where search engines
are concerned. You
can add comment about what the reader will find in the article and
summarize it. A
minimum of two paragraphs seems to be required.
The warning here is that you
should not publish the article until you have provided the
editorís note. Otherwise,
the article may initially trigger the duplicate filter and it will
never go away.
The editorís note method also
gives you the opportunity to add paragraphs that are particularly
heavy with keywords and thus increase your chances of being found.
For those that are willing to write a bit, this is an ideal
method for increasing your traffic.
Each of these methods have been
fully tested and found to be very effective in getting new
articles indexed in a way that brings readers in.
are also welcome to reprint this article so long as you reference
this website accordingly with a live link:
of SeniorMag http://www.seniormag.com/marketing/index.htm