Sensible question of considerable importance and great sophistication.

Yesterday I wrote something for the local tourist board. Since I did it for free it belongs to no one, but will it affect their Google rankings or whatever it's called if I add it to my portfolio before they put it on their website?

17 REPLIES 17
lysis10
Member

No, but a lot of people are misinformed about "duplicate content." Duplicate content is fine. There is no duplicate content penalty. 

 

I think content is uploaded as an image anyway on Upwork? So then you wouldn't have to worry about them finding the content in search anyway.

I'm more worried about the tourist website being penalised for 'copying' my content. I don't really know how the internet works really, or where the Cloud is located - does it cause global warming?

Is it something that can be credited to you as author?  You could get round it that way, and put a link to the tourist board website.


@Ramon B wrote:

I'm more worried about the tourist website being penalised for 'copying' my content. I don't really know how the internet works really, or where the Cloud is located - does it cause global warming?


Nope. No such penalty. That's a myth. 

I'm not concerned about my authorship, I just don't want the Bury St Edmunds tourist board to be penalised by Google because I posted the article I wrote for them on Upwork  first - I've become more civic minded in middle age.

It's not so much a question of authorship but of Google knowing that the article was written for the tourist board. Sorry, I am not being very clear.


@Ramon B wrote:

I'm not concerned about my authorship, I just don't want the Bury St Edmunds tourist board to be penalised by Google because I posted the article I wrote for them on Upwork  first - I've become more civic minded in middle age.


The duplicate content penalty is a myth. Google doesn't care who wrote whatever first.  The algorithms have no idea. All it knows is that it crawled some content and indexed it. You could be the first or 47th person to publish it. It has no idea and the algorithms don't penalize for duplicate content. It's more about user experience.

 

You're fine and the client's site will be fine too.

Will it appear on Google if it's on my profile page?

I think it will. But I have just googled something on my profile, and in fact, it only shows up in my virtually extinct (non-merged) Elance profile and about 30 pages in!

 

But you may well have a much higher showing than me!

 

Why would Google mind so much? There must be thousands of replicated articles that do not get Google bashed.

I'm just concerned that the tourist board don't get knocked down in the ratings because I've already used it. However, since cutting-and-pasting bits of it doesn't turn up any results relating to my profile, it looks like the profile portfolio doesn't count as text.

Then I will use it. It has already been described as 'a work of almost boundless energy and a pervasive melancholic wit that reminds one of the paradox inherent in seeking immortality'* and 'One of the greatest works concerning mid-Suffolk supernatural folklore yet written'*

 

 

 

 

 

 

* By me

* Also by me

I have previously posted thumbnails of my work in my portfolio. Regardless of whether or not it also appeared on the client's website, I think it was above board. I'm sure the Google search algorithm is capable of handling the higher importance of the article appearing within a domain which is related to the article, rather than the article appearing on a worker profile page.

Ramon, since you are really concerned why not wait to put the article in your portfolio until the Visitor Bureau publishes it?   Ask them for the pub. date and explain why -  🙂

 

 

This is probably the best article about haunted houses in the Bury St Edmunds area ever published on Upwork. My profile gets viewed approximately three times a week - we're talking heavy traffic here. Therefore, to deprive my public of such a work would be like banning art aficionados from the Sistine Chapel.

 
tlsanders
Member


@Ramon B wrote:

Yesterday I wrote something for the local tourist board. Since I did it for free it belongs to no one, but will it affect their Google rankings or whatever it's called if I add it to my portfolio before they put it on their website?


The worst thing that will happen is that Google will ignore one copy or the other, not hurting SEO  but potentially eliminating SEO value they might gain from the piece. The goal there is just to have unique content showing up in search rather than multiple copies of the same article. However, the reality is that they don't do a very good job of it, and frequently when an article is published across multiple channels, several copies rank.

 

 

No, they wouldn't because Upwork is not relevant to the query. A user typing anything "haunted houses" in search would not want Upwork in their SERPs. Google will pick up on this and not rank the site for a term like that.

 

Duplicate content is not an issue and if another site ranks above you for your own content it's a sign that your own site has quality problems.