THE HAGUE, 27 May – “Personal Repository?” No, no, I know it’s a monumentally not-sexy title, but don’t slit your wrists – yet – read it anyway! It’s good for you! I’m actually writing this as part of the month of May #MMONBI, aka MMO Newbie Blogger Initiative. This issue might not be the first thing that comes up for a new blogger, but actually it’s not a bad idea to think about before it comes up. So, let’s say someone like me, for example, says to someone like you, for example,
Hey, why don’t you do a guest post on my blawg!?
Probably not the first question on your mind, but still a relevant one is: Do I Cross Post or Duplicate Post it to my own “Blog” (aka “Personal Repository”) or just post it there and leave it at that.
SEO WORLD ANSWER: Just post it once and leave it alone.
VANEEESA’S WORLD ANSWER: You should always post everything to your Personal Repository!
The SEO World answer comes firstly because Search Engines like Google, Bing, et al, “penalize” duplicate content found on more than one site by giving both sites lower results ratings. It’s even possible to have the crappy result that you write a post, it gets scraped by someone with more clout than you, and your original post ranks lower than whoever ripped you off. Apparently this isn’t that common, but you get the idea. Some peeps who find their content scraped will file DMCA takedown notices, others apparently will go to the heroic lengths of rewriting their own original post so that it doesn’t match the scraped copy!
Beyond the search rankings, if someone invites you to write for their blog, whether they’re paying you a lot, or nothing at all, there’s often a desire for exclusivity: we commissioned the piece, and we’d like peeps to come here to get it.
You can’t ignore these and other arguments, still, in Vaneeesa’s world, you’d always post all your work to your own personal repository. If I spend a couple days writing a piece, “Fmufma” for Blog-X, and then a year later Blog-X goes down… all my work is just lost? Even if Blog-X never goes down, I still think having both copies makes a lot of sense: you might get to my Fmufma article thru Blog-X because they’re the authoritative source on Topic-Y, or you might get to the Fmufma article through the iRez blog because you’re poking thru all the stuff I’ve written. Both paths to the content make sense and not having one seems counter to the open and accessible aesthetic of our time. Then again, most peeps probably won’t get to my article thru Blog-X or thru iRez, they’ll probably get there by Googling “Fmufma,” so not messing up your SEO standing is kind of important.
And the answer is… uggh… IDK!
Anyway, that’s the question. I’m a real SEO noob myself, so if anyone has better info on this or any opinions, please shout out! I do think it’s a pretty important question, after all we want the best search rankings we can get for our efforts, but I think in the 21st century of voice for everyone not being able to post your own work to your own personal repository just seems crazy. And the idea of “exclusivity” seems way 20th century to me. Like “limited edition digital print” and other ridiculousness. We’re all Aggregators or Remixers or Rebloggers or Curators now. We shouldn’t be penalized for practicing our human and 21st century birthright of remixing, we should be rewarded for developing visionary curatorial trajectories.
R E L A T E D . M A T E R I A L S
• Matt Cutts / head of Google’s Webspam team
• Google Webmaster Central / YouTube