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MythBusting: Article Submission Sites Do Not Want Duplicate Content
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Duplicate Content and Duplicate Article Submissions: Apples & Oranges

This one is less a myth and more a misunderstanding of terms, but I’m so glad that someone asked this question:

The rules for many of the article submission sites specifically state that you cannot upload duplicate content. The restrictions further say that your article can be banned (perhaps you as an author as well) for submitting articles that have appeared elsewhere. Did you find a loophole?

A duplicate article is not the same thing as duplicate content.

First let’s get this straight: There is a difference between a non-original duplicate article and duplicate content. These two are apples and oranges.

It is very likely that the directory said that they did not want duplicate article submissions, not that they did not want articles that were already published elsewhere (duplicate content).

More on why it would be an unusual occurrence for a directory to request ‘no duplicate content’ towards the end of this post.

Duplicate Article = Submitting The Same Or Similar Article To The Same Site More Than Once

That is a definite no-no, and we ( do not allow it either. On our site and many other sites the offending article will be ‘banned’ (not published), and if you try to submit the same or very similar article repeatedly it could result in your account access being turned off.

My article submitter opposes duplicate article submissions and most publishers do as well.

However, we (and most article submission sites) do not oppose duplicate content.

You may submit an article that you have already published on your website or another article directory, so long as you have never submitted the article to us before.

The directories that you are seeing probably said they were sick of receiving duplicate submissions, rather than duplicate content. When a directory says that they do not want duplicate article submissions, they are saying that you should not submit the same article more than once to their site. So, you would not submit your article to them in August and then two months later submit the same or similar article to that site again.

Every publisher wants fresh content (sort of).

When I say “fresh content” I mean fresh to them (the article submission site), rather than fresh to the entire internet. Article directories do not want to have the same article submitted to their site more than once.

We have a “duplicate article” detection tool that we use at my article submission service that allows us to catch any articles that have already been distributed through our service. So, if the same or very similar article has already been submitted to us, we will not distribute it to our network again. That is how we avoid duplicate article submissions to our publishers.

Duplicate Content = Single Website Publishing Same Content Multiple Times

Duplicate content is something entirely different. There is a lot misinformation around relating to ‘duplicate content’, but the penalty only applies to a single website that publishes the same content multiple times – not to multiple websites publishing the same content.

While the search engines don’t see it as a problem if multiple web sites contain the same content, this doesn’t mean that they want to show their users the same article on a ton of different sites in the search results; they want to show a variety of different content that may be helpful to the user.

So search engines do recognize duplicate content, but that doesn’t mean they penalize sites for publishing content that appears on other web sites on the internet– syndicated content plays a big part on the web and how the web works (eg. RSS provides an easy method to spread syndicated content).

Why would it be unusual for an article submission site to require ‘no duplicate content’?

Many times an article directory will ask you not to submit duplicate articles (submitting the same article to the same site more than once), but it would be extremely rare that a directory would not accept an article that is already published on another site (duplicate content).


Article marketing is all about republishing articles–that is why they are called ‘free reprint articles’. Publishers get the content from article directories and then publish that content on their sites.

Article directories are not expecting that the content on their site will be unique–that is not the nature of an article directory. They will, however, expect that you do not submit the same article twice to them, as it is no benefit to them to publish the same content on their own site repeatedly.

See the difference?

What about

Although I have never experienced this issue myself, I have heard reports from people who are manually submitting articles that they have had articles declined at Ezine Articles because their article was already published some place else first (under their own name, so the issue is duplicate content, rather than plagiarism or duplicate articles).

So, the issue I’m hearing reported is that EA requires completely fresh content and that it is published on their site first.

Because I am submitting automatically and our system submits to as one of the very first places it submits to, I have not run into that problem. I also tend to trickle out my own articles using our ArticleTrickle functionality, eg. over 90 days, so it’s going to be several days before the same article appears elsewhere or shows up in search engine listings.

If you are submitting manually to EA and wish to avoid this problem, an obvious solution therefore is to submit to EA first before your other submissions. Generally, the sites in our network do not require that an article is not published elsewhere.

Thanks so much for your question. That is an easy one to get confused on. I hope this clears things up!

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Apples & Oranges – They Don’t Compare by TheBusyBrain

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11 Responses to “MythBusting: Article Submission Sites Do Not Want Duplicate Content”

  1. VERY helpful. I am now clear on the difference between article submissions (which I totally understand why that would be bad) and duplicate content (again, makes total sense) and am also relieved to hear that SEO is not necessarily impacted if you have the same article showing up in different locations.


  2. Tony says:

    I agree with Laurie. I had taken that to mean that if the same article was on say 100 article sites that it would work against you

    Clearly that is not the case in which case the extra backlinks will be highly valuable

  3. bob says:

    I’m just getting started with IM and the thought of writing multiple articles to submit to a variety of directories was intimidating. It’s enough to get the site running and writing content for the site without thinking about writing many articles for distribution. This information is very helpful in knowing the difference between article submission and duplicate content.

  4. A Williams says:

    Thanks this was very useful info.

  5. Jim Robinson says:

    Just a point on E-Zines, they do accept articles that have been published elsewhere, and I have correspondence from them confirming that fact. When I first started about a year ago, wishing to get platinum status as soon as possible, I did submit articles that had appeared on Helium without any problem, I got platinum after ten articles 7 of which were from helium but since then I only submit “unique” articles to e-zine, and all my e-zine articles get the best feed back of any of the sites I submit to.
    What E-zine does specify and insists on is that the articles be totally written by the author of the article, or, that the author has the rights and title to the article.

    I have a question from this, does submit my single article, without re-writes, to more than one directory? I’m still not sure how this works yet, being a newcomer here. And are subscribers getting good enough results, or any evidence of that?

  6. Steve Shaw says:

    @Jim Robinson: Thanks for your input Jim and for relaying your communication with EzineArticles.

    I too have never experienced any issues with submitting articles to EA that have been published elsewhere, nor am I aware of any members of having that issue either.

    The only times I have heard anything like that was in comments left by readers of this blog–a few seemed quite sure that they were not only asked to submit content that had never been published anywhere else on the net, but that they needed to have a title that had never been used on the net before either.

    I thought it sounded a little unusual, as it rather goes against what article directories are about. All I can say is I have never that experience, nor am I aware of any of my clients having any issues like that with EA either. I’m glad to know that you have also not had those issues.

    Thank you for your questions about–here is how it works:

    You submit your article to us (you can submit as many as you like), then we distribute your article to our extensive network of targeted publishers.

    You may create article variations if you like–we offer a few ways to create article variations. If you submit an article with variations, we will submit a variation to each publisher. It is feasible, depending on how many variations that you create, that each publisher could receive a different version of your article.

    Please note that each publisher only receives one version of your article. Let’s say you create 100 variations for your article–each publisher just gets one variation. People create variations like this to help with duplicate content.

    Or, of course you may submit an article without any variations. In that case, the same article will be sent to each publisher (and each publisher only gets the article once).

    Just some background on, and this will give you a good idea of our customer satisfaction:

    We were the first automatic article submitter on the net, and we have been at the forefront of our industry since we began. Some of the many things that we are proud of:

    Top notch technical advancements–we are always developing new advancements and upgrades to the service.

    Customer service–we are known for our stellar customer support team. Just check out our testimonials (I’ll give a link below).

    Ongoing training of our members–this is something we are passionate about. We have a lot of contact with our members and provide a lot of training/teaching tools for them to help them succeed. I know that it can be a bit overwhelming when you’re first getting started, and we try to do everything we can to help folks understand what they should be doing and how they can be better.

    This training even spills over to the article marketing community in general in the form of this blog–we are happy to help anyone learn about article marketing, even if you are not a member of

    Customer feedback:

    Try our main page here:

    Also, lots of great feedback in the comments on our Squidoo lens.

    I hope this helps–any other questions, just let me know.

  7. Thanks for clearing this up so well. I never understood with RSS and all of that how article directories could have a problem with duplicate content once all content belong to the same author.

    The Ezine Articles issue is real – they do no accept articles published elsewhere apart from your web site. So the thing to do is to publish there first then to other directories.

    Thanks again for another clear-cut answer.

  8. SEO Company Vancouver says:

    Yes I agree with Gil, the thing to do is to submit to EA first then when the articles are excepted do other submissions. I have been article marketing for over 10 years. Does anyone know of an effective, affordable article submission company ? Warmest regards, TH

  9. Steve Shaw says:

    @SEO Company Vancouver: Hi TH,

    In answer to your question:

    Does anyone know of an effective, affordable article submission company?

    Yes, I highly recommend That is my article submitter, the service that is associated with this blog. We would be happy to help you get started and answer whatever questions you have.

  10. Articles says:

    Good article Duplicate content is abound on the internet. Article websites don’t like the same article submitted more than once to it’s own site. It doesn’t reward the author with anymore traffic or ranking, but more than likely with get Google on their backs.

  11. Jaya Lakshmi says:

    Using articles directories is a tried and tested method for building backlinks but the goalposts have moved.It is now a case of quality rather than quantity.I tend to submit 10 unique versions of an article to the top ten directories.Then I spin the articles and dripfeed them to the the “also ran” over a period of time.This method works for backlinks and traffic.

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