How I Got Fooled By a Blogger To Publish Duplicate Content ?

I recently started accepting guest posts on LionBlogger. Though I always do a background check on the guest authors and the articles they submit. But the most recent guest post that I accepted on duplicate-content-4IFTTT and Internet Marketing turned out to be a duplicate content. I wouldn’t have known about this if it wasn’t for Joseph Efoghor of BizSuccessGuide.

He was the one who warned me about the duplicate content on LionBlogger. Now, let’s take a look at what actually happened.

What actually happened ?

A guy named Matthew Woodward sent me an e-mail a week ago to let me know that he wants to guest post on my blog.

Here’s an image below of the e-mail he sent to me.

duplicate-content
To be honest, he was featured on the Problogger Bloggers to Watch : Reader’s Choice post on Problogger . I also checked out the SearchEngineJournal link he provided in the e-mail and everything seemed legit.

duplicate-content-3

The Culprit : Matthew Woodward

I also checked out his blog – http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/ . I had no idea that the post he submitted was a duplicate one and had submitted it to other places as well. So, I didn’t do a Google search on the post because I never thought in my wildest dreams that it would turn out to be a duplicate one.

I published the post on Wednesday, even got 2-3 comments on that post. But then yesterday, I got an e-mail from Joseph Efoghor warning me about the post. To my surprise, the same article was published on BizSuccess Guide a day after it was published on LionBlogger.

Here’s an image below of the e-mail Efoghor sent me.

duplicate-content-2

As you can see the same post was published on BizSuccessGuide. After I got this e-mail I did some Google search and found the article on another place as well. Here’s the link to it – IFTTT for Internet Marketing.

I immediately deleted the post because I didn’t want to be penalized by Google or anything. Furthermore, I don’t like this kind of people who are just hungry for backlinks and would go to any lengths to acquire them.

Conclusion

After this incident, I will be more strict on accepting guest posts from guest authors. At present, I am also looking for quality guest posts on my blog which simply means that I wouldn’t them accept if they’re not good enough.

What do you feel about this incident ? Have you faced a similar incident ? You can share your views with us in the comment section.

Author: Lahaul Seth

A programmer and a web developer, he is the founder of Lion Blogger. His main hobbies are web design & development and providing freelance writing services to clients.He works full time as a Senior Systems Engineer at Infosys Ltd.

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  • That is very unthoughtful of him, i hate people who are evil minded

  • Never trust a beer drinking Englishman ๐Ÿ˜‰ ..just kidding…now, seriously, I plan to work with guest bloggers too in the future, after my blog is a little more established. What is your opinion how I could start to meet people who want to contribute to my site ?

  • Great article with good description. Thanks a lot for writing this post.

  • This is really bad. He also sent me a copy of that to publish on my blog. I read through it, though I never made a copyscape test, I never really liked that article, so I sent him a rejection mail.

  • Really , some people drop so down just for backlinks!! It’s saddening. Well, I too wanna guest post here, what’s the minimum requirement ?

  • Matthew being an SEO, should know better..

    It’s not about what Google thinks, it’s about following the road to success & like it or not, Google is the Biggest Search Engine in the world, with market share out of this world.

    Unbelievable..

  • I’m truly amazed when I hear the old ‘the sky is falling’ phrase in regards to duplicate content. All you have to do is look at a news item to realize that google WILL post content that is the same on multiple locations. Also to make things really interesting, try this little trick. Change your theme to something different for a few weeks. You may find that most of your traffic from the search engines will just disappear! Did you change the content – no and YES. The post is only a small part of the content. The page as a whole construction is all of the content. So, my point is, if you post ‘duplicate content’ and then post it in a different blog, then the content as a whole really isn’t the same anymore. I have to agree with Matthew on this one. The sky is definitely not falling.

    -just my 2cents, Frank

  • Hey Seth,
    You’re doing the guy more good than harm. His main motive of submitting the guest was for a quality backlink and he has gotten that for free with you linking to his blog in this post.
    I was tempted to check out his blog and that of course courtesy to you. That would obviously improve his rankings.

    • The article that I have linked to had his post. It doesn’t anymore. His duplicate post on that link was removed. I forgot to remove that link. Thanks for the heads up anyway and for dropping off a comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lesson learned but I am still wondering why on earth someone will try such cheap stunt for links when he is featured on problogger and have published articles on search engine journal. He can surely do some very great stuff with such reputation. May be the person who contacted you is using someone’s fake identity ๐Ÿ˜•

    • Nope, he was using his own identity. Check out his comments above. He was doing some kind of experiment.

    • Helooo its NOT for links. At least read the comments before making your statement

  • Now I see it’s a hot debate
    Maybe a good idea to draw more attention ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • You like debate, don’t you ? I agree. It brings traffic. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This is actually part of a broader experiment/case study that will demonstrate precisely why syndicated content isn’t harmful when done correctly (emphasis on the CORRECTLY) and how it can be used to improve brand awareness and traffic – but need the data to write the post.

    It will also explore the ‘safe’ ways to go about this practice while building authorship and preparing for the upcoming fundamental changes in how Google ranks websites this year.

    I’m sick of seeing the syndicated content is bad/your life is going to end if you use it lies that get spread around forums – there is only one way to prove otherwise, and this is it ๐Ÿ™‚

    As someone that is playing the devils advocate here I was wondering if you would mind sharing your thoughts on a question I have asked a lot of people to build my understanding from all angles. Syndication is a topic that sparks fires under people and from everyone I’ve spoken to so far so I’m keen to learn the motivations and reasons behind this.

    If you look at this search https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%22The+beauty+of+the+phone+is+the+highly+crafted+design+encompassing+a+larger+screen+size%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a you can see over 3,000 people have published that on their own site.

    What are your personal thoughts/observations around why Google chooses to index over 3k pages of duplicate content?

    This is what I’m trying to get the bottom of, on one hand Google doesnt mind, on the other they hand out penaltys.

    I expect I have opened a can of worms with this one but over time I fully intend to dispell any myths around this – this is just round 1.

    What is your personal/hands on experience of syndicated content and how it effects search?

    • The first publication of this article, should in theory, get the most Google juice. I’ve heard stories of this not being the case. Anyway, I don’t think anyone has a problem with syndication. They have a problem if an author submits an “original” post to 10 different blogs that only publish original content.

      Matthew do you think Lahaul would have published your article had he know you were submitting the same material to multiple blogs? No, of course not. That’s why you didn’t tell him.

      Google defines duplicate content as similar content published as new on the same site.

      • Hi,

        Why does it have to be about Google juice? Why does every decision have to be based on what Google likes.

        What is wrong with publishing something that is helpful and highly relevant for your audience even if it has being published somewhere else?

        Your basically putting Google as a higher priority then helping your readers.

        Why? That is very short sighted

        What wasn’t mentioned in the article above is I actually included authorship markup with every single article and linked them from my Google+ profile so the attribution always came back to me.

        This explicitly states to Google this was syndicated content and isnt to game the system for links as your not hiding anything like the traditional guest poster would do.

        As you can see from the above comments though, Matt Cutts got everyone terrified and acting in a mob mentality on the basis of things they have read, and never tested themselves.

        Hats off to Google!

        • No one said we are putting Google as a top priority. but we do have to maintain a Google friendly site for getting organic traffic. And if you really don’t care what Google likes why did you put the author link in your article in the first place. Also, you yourself said that Google hates guest posting. So, why submit guest posts in the first place ?
          BTW, content syndication on different sites and submitting duplicate guest posts are two different things.
          And You are losing your cool because someone has finally spoken up against you.

          • Hi,

            Matt Cutts has announced blogs that accept guest posts will be penalised (explained in great detail here http://www.problogger.net/archives/2013/02/15/why-blogs-that-allow-guest-posts-will-be-penalized-in-2013/).

            So I’m baffled when on the one hand you say your trying to maintain a Google friendly site and at the same time deleting guest posts that aren’t in anyway gaming the Google system or displeasing them, but are happy to publish posts that do?

            I am interested to know how you consider content syndication different to submitting a guest post?

            I’m not losing my cool – but I will prove my point with data over opinion.

          • Ps. Thank you for actually publishing my comments and allow me to voice myself here! This post will get a lot of traffic from my follow up I promise ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ouch.. Not nice. I had the same experience but with paid post. i saw that the article was dublicated at least 5 times on different resources.. I dunno if it’s correct but I guess i wouldn’t do like this anyway( Well, bad experience is also experience, right ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Hi,
    I’ll publish a follow up on my blog shortly that will fully explain the experiment.
    Interesting how you are all terrified of using high quality syndicated content :S
    Just out of interest may each of you explain precisely why you do not want to use syndicated content?
    I’m shocked at the general short sightedness & fear Google has instilled in each of you.

    • The problem is Matthew you didn’t tell anyone. You weren’t transparent. If you were, your post likely wouldn’t have been published on all these different sites. Lahaul and the others were under the impression that your piece was an original to them, first time published. You left the part out. Why? Because you know they probably wouldn’t have published.

      Syndication is when someone else picks up your original. Social Media Today syndicates, Business 2 Community syndicates. these are two examples of sites that republish content.

      If I take an original piece and present to five different blogs as a guest post I would be acting deceitfully. It has nothing to Google, don’t use that as your scapegoat. Stop with the spin. You got caught and called out. You were wrong. Period.

      • Hi,

        Where did I give the impression it was an original piece?

        Is the fact that is of high quality and helpful to their audiences not enough or is that less important than pleasing Google now?

        I’m not aware of any rule that states a guest post must be original. In fact in SEO terms Google have made it pretty clear they hate guest posting.

        When you publish a ‘unique guest post’ do you actually ever think your publishing a unique piece? Most guest posters just rewrite the arficle for each site that wants to publish it. Essentially your publishing spun content.

        While syndicated content tagged with authorship markup back to my profile across lots of sites is the opposite of ‘gaming the system’ and much more favoured by Google.

        Yet nearly every commenter here would rather me take the approach of trying to game Google and put all of the blogs at risk by not being transparent with the syndication and authorship.

        And last but not least – why is guest posting so tightly related with link building/google/seo – what happened to branding, traffic and now authorship? When did internet marketing become Google/SEO marketing.

        I havent being caught out with anything – this is the basis of a case study that I’ll be publishing. Spend some time on my blog and you’ll see how transparent I am.

        Post like this and all of the comments are worth their weight in gold and clearly demonstrates the need for the case study I’m conducting

        • If you really want to conduct experiment for your case study, then I suggest you create more blogs yourself, publish duplicate content on them and link them to your Google+ profile. Why are you conducting experiments on other blogs ? Because if Google penalizes someone, it will be the owners who accepted your guest post and not you or your blog.

  • Hey Lahaul Nice Post . A blogger must always be careful while accepting guest post and should use tools like copyscape to check the content. Again Nice Post. Enjoyed reading your article

  • Lahaul – Thanks for sharing this story. Matthew came up on my radar about a month ago. He does videos on backlinking which I wouldn’t suggest in today’s climate, but surprised and angry to hear about your experience.

    Sending content as original to another blog that has already been published is inexcusable. Yes, if you’re accepting guest posts, Copyscape is a must. It’s like $5 for 100 checks, so well worth every penny.

    • I am still confused about why he would go to such desperate measures. Creating backlinks is good but you can’t just do whatever you want. For future guest posts, I will be very strict on the quality and whether it’s unique as well.
      Thanks for the comment, Steven. Keep visiting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This is strange Lahaul,
    I’ve also visited that guys blog before and never thought he could get himself involved in such an obnoxious act. But what i like about this is that it serves as an eye opener so as to be more careful next time. The internet is filled with duplicate contents and we should do our best to minimize it.

    Thanks a lot for sharing man.

    • Internet is a dangerous place. And as bloggers we need to be extra careful on whose post we accept on our blogs. Thanks for the comment, man. Keep visiting. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I think the problem is you just read that syndicated content = bad and believe everything you read without testing it yourself.
      Definition of obnoxious no?
      Ya’lll going to love the case study off the back off this!

  • Hey Lahaul,
    You got to be careful when accepting guest post. Half the time I get submitted ideas that are pure garbage. Don’t know how many times someone has sent me a guest post on blogging tips! Always make sure you run them through Copyscape. Maybe you should forward this post to him ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It was a mistake on my part not running it through Copyscape. I will run everyone of them from now on through copyscape to be safe. BTW, he already took down the article from one of the other site he posted on.

  • I really feel bad for you brother. You must be careful from next time before accepting guest post on your blog. Make sure you review the guest post thrice before it go live on your blog.

    Good luck,

    • Yep, I have learnt my lesson. I will be very strict from now on when I’m accepting guest post. Thanks for the comment , Amrik

  • This fraud sent me the same email (matt@matthewwoodward.co.uk – his email id) before a couple of days by requesting a guest post on my blog. As you have shown an image of his email, i got the same mail. But then something knocked my attention and that’s why I didn’t publish his post on my blog. As i am a daily reader of your blog, I noticed that post on your blog after 3-4 days of refusing. he sent his post in HTML, isn’t?

    • Actually, he sent me the post in HTML format in his first email. This guy is really desperate for backlinks and stuff. Even I was desperate for backlinks when I first started blogging but I didn’t resort to such desperate measures. Thanks for sharing your experience.
      BTW, nice to know you’re a daily reader of LionBlogger. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Nothing to do with backlinks ๐Ÿ™‚ Has Google got its fist so far up your arse that everything has to please them and must be about SEO/backlinks?

  • Bro. I think one way or another, his blog is getting promoted. ๐Ÿ™
    Unlink that blog and just use the text with .com !

    • The one that I have linked to isn’t his blog. It’s someone else’s blog (first commenter on this post) on which he guest posted with the duplicate content. Anyway, the article has been removed now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks anyway, Amal.

  • Lahaul,
    Thanks for fulfilling your promise to write a post on this incident. To say the least, I was really embarrassed by this development. I paid a visit to your site and saw exactly the same copy of an article that was on my blog also on yours. This prompted me to do a copyscape on it and found out it was on several sites.
    I believe we should have a proven reputation as bloggers. There are some funny things we must avoid in our quest to make money.

    • Someone had to bring this whole thing out in the open. That’s what I did. Thanks for commenting Efoghor. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I salute your courage. I would have done same if I had enough time. Kudos man!

      • I have half the case study written already and will bring it to my wider audience.
        This post and the response to my experiment proves you all need educating about syndicated content.
        Do you know anyone else that published posts like this in response? I will feature each of them because they underline my point of people being terrified of syndicated content.

      • Now after reading what I have to say you may think that I am hired by Matthew Woodward but it’s not the case. For a different reason( a quotes website) I had sometime ago asked Kim Roach about what exactly is duplicate content penalty? Here’s the reply-
        “Hey George,

        Great to hear from you!

        There are very few people who truly understand
        Google’s duplicate content penalty.

        The only ‘penalty’ is for duplicate content
        WITHIN the same site. Not from one site to
        another.

        If you search for ‘marilyn monroe quotes’ you’ll
        find many, many pages with the same content.”
        So there was nothing wrong in what he did. Matthew publishes awesome content, so awesome that I have stopped reading lot of other blogs. While you may be feeling that you have turned the world upside down there’s nothing great about what you have done. Even press release sites syndicate the exact content word to word. The only penalty that comes is from content that is thin and useless. Matthew did not provide useless content, I am sure of that. I will be publishing the same ” DUPLICATE” post on my blog. He is not building links to his site, just trying to get a diversity in authorship. Even without building a single link he thousands of pageviews within months of launching his site and that’s something to envy. If you get some time go through his tutorials…

  • Lahaul,

    Thanks for letting me know about this issue, the article was first published on my blog on 14th March and then on Joseph’s blog on 15th. I have mailed Matthew to get the 15th march article down asap else I will do the same thing which you have done here.

    I am really shocked that blogger like him are doing such things and he said he won awards for blogging. I am totally disappointed.

    • Thanks for the comment, Vishal. I am shocked as well that a blogger like him can go to such desperate measures.

      • Avi

        Lahaul bro, was it really him or any other trying to destroy his reputation? This article is also in his blog and it was published on 11th of March. I jus checked it. What email was used by him?

        • Yep, it was him alright. He sent the e-mail from this e-mail – matt@matthewwoodward.co.uk.

          • Avi

            But why is he himself playing with his reputation, it’s not good. So much craze for links is just not that good.

            • Anyone that reads my blog knows that I produce case studys and then publish the data & learnings.
              You all need educating about syndicated content clearly – my case study will do that (:

              • Oh God ! I am regular visitors of Matthew Woodward’s blog. Still feeling amazed to see that he did such task that will surely destroy his reputation.

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