A while back I was looking to add content to my Germany Travel website, but I just wasn’t in the mood to write and didn’t want to outsource it to someone for mediocre quality.
Believe it or not I made that website to honestly help tourists in Germany, so I wanted good info. So I turned to Wikipedia. Although there is no guarantee the info is 100% accurate, it’s typically relatively good stuff.
So I created a new page about Mountains in Germany, copied a bunch of content entirely from Wikipedia onto the new page and published it.
A few months later, not only is the page ranking, it’s OUTRANKING Wikipedia, from which it was copied for “mountains in Germany” and “German mountains” (without quotes) and holding a top 10 ranking for “Germany mountains” along with several other phrases.
Many of these phrases are also holding a top 10 ranking in Yahoo as well.
Granted, these phrases aren’t extremely competitive, but most people would take 592 unique visitors each and every month from a page they just copied and pasted I believe
Why is this Duplicate Content Ranking so Well?
Simple – Optimization! If you type the phrase “mountains in Germany” or “German mountains” into Wikipedia, you’ll get a page saying “No page with that title exists.” But if you type in the names of each of the different German mountains, you’ll find a page with content that is the same as the content for that particular mountain on my page… I created a page full of duplicate content that was targeting keywords that Wikipedia wasn’t, and still isn’t, targeting. In other words, I filled a gap in the market and it worked to my advantage.
The Bottom Line
Google cares about 1 thing, user experience! They want to give searchers what they’re looking for, whether it’s duplicate content or not. If you need to use some content from Wikipedia on your site(s) use it! But, don’t go overboard! If your entire site is full of duplicate content Google probably isn’t going to reward you with top 10 rankings, but if you have a page or two of duplicate content from an authoritative source, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
photo credit: im.idea