Web Marketing

Tech - Web Marketing
By: anonymous - at April 6, 2013

How the Google Panda and Penguin Update Algorithms Affected Me

Okay I admit it, I have used duplicate content in the past to try and make money!
Google Panda Kicked My Ass!You heard me right, I was lazy and didn't want to write anything so I was obsessed with cranking out duplicate content sites (aka scrapper sites).  Why?  Because it worked, that's why.  At least up until those damn furry animals came and pooped on me lol!

First off, can you make money using duplicate content?
This is very good question, and I think I can answer this for you because I have experience with 6 niche sites I made comprised completely of duplicate content (scrapper sites), alongside with a few sites using unique content only, and a few sites with a mixture of the two (50% unique and 50% duplicate).  The short answer is yes, but how much are we talking about compared to unique content?

Duplicate content has worked remarkably amazing up until Google recently starting rolling out major algorithm updates (called Panda) back in 2011.  These updates literally dropped the traffic of duplicate content sites considerably (as what happened to mine).  Nowadays, duplicate content is only about 10-20% affective as it used to be.  Unique content is where the money is at now, as it should be.

Google Has Always Been Concerned with Duplicate Content!

Today I have about a dozen web sites that have been aging for over 7 years now.  A few years ago (before Panda/Penguin) one of my sites got completely banned from Google even though I had developed many quality backlinks for that site. Why was it banned?  Well, 100% of the content was duplicated from articlecity.com and ezinearticles.com.  It was getting some search engine traffic (a few hundred a day for about 5 months).  Google then looked at my site personally (they sent me an email, that's how I know) and quickly saw that all the content was taken from just those two sites.  As smart as Google is, they put a ban on it.  Not a single page was then indexed by their search engine, and I did not receive any search engine traffic from Google anymore.  But other search engines, such as Yahoo and MSN, indexed all the pages, and I have some traffic trickling in from them.  Considering that it is my site and it still took a lot of work to construct all the pages for it by obtaining articles from those "ezine" sites, I honestly believe Google did the right thing.  You shouldn't just make sites for Yahoo and MSN's search engines because most of the search engine traffic comes from Google.

And this happened in 2008, before those furry animals appeared on the web.  But this didn't stop me from keep trying duplicate content!  So this didn't work, but what kind of scrapper sites did/do work?

Duplicate Content Works if Done Right

I have a few sites solely made from duplicate content, and they have been well indexed and highly ranked on Alexa great in the past, and have made me a decent amount of money.  The key to make duplicate content work for you without extreme penalties is all about where you obtain the content.

From my experience, I think Google has "flagged" specific sites so that if people take content from these sites and put it on their site, it will have a negative impact on your site, making you more likely to get banned from Google's search.  Which sites do I think are "flagged" by Google?  Sites like ezinearticles.com, articlecity.com, and goarticles.com are most likely monitored to see if people are taking their content to put on their own site.  So be warned if you take any articles from these sites and put it on yours because it will most likely have a negative impact on your site.  If the majority of your content is taken from just those sites, it is very likely your site will be frowned upon by Google.  Later on I'll share you more of my secrets in how I made duplicate content sites work for me.  But first I want to show you how the Panda Updates affected me.

Traffic Spikes from Duplicate Content

Duplicate content created major traffic fluctuations before the Panda update.  This still generated traffic and money for webmasters.

How the Recent Panda Update Affected Me

Up until the Panda update (in 2011), one thing I have noticed is that the sites I've built using duplicate content have experienced weird traffic fluctuations.  I would experience periods of no traffic whatsoever that was followed by explosive increases in traffic.

This is most likely due to Google's search engine algorithms detecting the duplicate content and dealing with it in different ways from time to time.  For the sites I used all unique content, the traffic remains more steady and strong over time. 

One of my duplicate content sites is purely a scrapper site that I started in 2010 as an experiment.  It performed VERY NICELY for about a year before the Panda came and kicked it's ass!  Check out it's traffic:

This is a World of Warcraft Guides Site From 2010 - 2013:
Google Panda and Penguin update algorithm affecting a duplicate content site's web traffic overtime (Graph using StatCounter).

This was my 3rd duplicate content site I ever built.  On Jan 22nd 2010 it went from 20 visitors a day to 4,000 (instantly from Google search queries) and stayed there and steadily rose for a whole year after that. It was getting around 20,000 visitors a day for an entire year.  I was so ecstatic of how well it was performing despite the fact that I took all the content from forum posts.  I was able to make enough money to quit my day job and do this whacky stuff full time.

Other sites were also scrapping these same popular forum posts and putting them on their sites as well.  Starting around 2011, the Google Panda updates started rolling around and kicked the site out of the web (not completely though)!  The site still brings me some traffic every day (around 2,500 a day right now), and I have not touched the site since 2011.  As you can see the site is dying, but the amount of work I put into it vs the amount of money I made from it was insane though.

And I admit it, the site deserved the Panda Slap.  I never complained, and I don't care, I'll just learn from the experience and move on.

Best Places to get Duplicate Content From

As you can see, scrapper sites (or duplicate content sites) are a dying fad!  They worked nicely up until the Panda / Penguin updates started rolling out in 2011, now you must focus on unique content if you are looking to get massive search engine traffic.  However, If you are still interested in obtaining a tiny amount of traffic from making duplicate content sites, then read on..

You should only have about 3% or less of your total content from "ezine" article sites like the ones mentioned above.  The rest should be taken from less well known sites that have not been around for a long time.  So where do you get duplicate content from?  Well this is a good question and I can say it is not easy.  It does take time to construct a site from duplicate content because you need to take content from a multitude of sites.  Also you should generally make sure the content is legal to take (not copyrighted).  I like to browse forum topics and take content from forum posts or news group discussions.  I think forums are very good places to look for content.  You can join chat rooms, copy lectures taken from people in the chat rooms, and use them for content.  But the key here is to make sure the content you take is not just from one site or from a couple sites.  It must be very sporadic and not too obvious to Google that the content on your site is not just duplicated from just one site.

Another alternative to obtaining duplicate content from article housing sites (sites like ezinearticles.com articlecity.com, and goarticles.com), is to take the articles from these sites and use a "spinner" program.  A "spinner" program works by scrambling text around essentially rewording it to make it appear more unique.  There are many of these programs available, but the one I like best is elite article marketing tools.  These programs still take some time to scramble the text correctly, but you should have no problem with elite article marketing tools.  The problem with spinning articles is sometimes they are kind of crummy to read, so it is up to you if you want to experiment with this.

Content RulesContent is King!

Overall if you want a strong site that will last for years down the road, then you simply can't go wrong with unique content that users actually enjoy reading.  Remember content is KING on the Internet!  I have a feeling as time goes by, search engines will get stronger and stronger at weeding out duplicate content, and even content that is simply not good to read.  So do yourself a favor now and stay away from duplicate content as much as you can.  Down the road your website will perform better and be much stronger with original content instead of duplicate content.  Currently, it is possible to get away with using duplicate content somewhat if it is done correctly.  Me personally, I have moved onward to 100% unique content written by humans only for now on :)  I am done with duplicate content.

Good luck!  I hope this article helps with your internet marketing decisions!





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