Good bye Duplicate Content Penalty 2012

by Christa Louw

Who said that duplicate content penalty is a myth and when did they?


Following Google’s latest Panda update (September 27th, 2012), a number of bloggers reported that their posts and Google rankings have been negatively impacted due to penalty for duplicate content. It is therefore NOT a myth, apparently it used to be prior to this Panda update! Even if we live in a world where we’d love to encourage “open source” everywhere, it may actually hurt individual marketers if this is left unchecked. The good news is that there are ways to take care of this and we can say “good bye” to the penalty inflicted by Google.

What is the problem? The internet is a public forum and you want your blog posts to be available to anybody to read and to enjoy. Unfortunately that also opens your site to “professional scrapers”, people who copy your content not just for personal use, but to reproduce this content on their own websites or even to sell it as content authored by themselves. Especially if you have very good, unique content and long articles, these may be targeted by unscrupulous individuals on the internet.

Duplicate content could have an effect on your rankings if you are ranked by search engines such as Google. Unfortunately it appears that Google algorithms do not do a good job at present to determine which website has the original content. You may therefore be penalized when duplicate content is found and it may drop your ranking on the Google search results significantly.

What can be done, if anything? Of course there is recourse without having to go the legal route, but the proverbial prevention is much better than cure. Although you cannot really prevent copying of your work, if it is important enough to you, you can register your work at your choice of a number of websites to claim copyright to your work before anyone has the chance to copy your work.

1) MYOWS website – My Original Works
Sign up for a free account to protect your work, depending on the amount of work you have to protect, there are also a variety of paid plans available depending on the amount of work you have to protect.

2) Copy Scape
Check your pages for free for stolen copies elsewhere on the web. Watch this video to see how it works.

3) You can claim authorship in Google Webmaster tools
The content you create can be linked to your Google+ profile by using rel=”author”. Claiming authorship can be done in one of two ways, either by identifying yourself by using an email on your blog’s domain, or alternatively to link to your Google+ profile.

4) Notify Google of Copyright Infringement.
If your Google rankings and traffic drops because of duplicate content of your work on other websites, the DMCA** dashboard is the place to go to notify Google of copyright infringement. Follow the link below, it will work fine if you are logged into your Google account that is associated with Google Webmaster Tools: Click on “Create a new notice”. DMCA refers to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

5) If you use WordPress, use a copyright Plugin
Unless this is linked to a paid service, it has little direct value for automated scrapers stealing your content.
However, it may deter individuals. See at the bottom of this post, where I have used “Copyrighted Post”.

Actions to take away:

  • Sign up to Google+ (if you havent done so yet) and claim authorship to your posts!
  • Register at websites such as CopyScape, MYOWS or if you are concerned about others duplicating your content en masse.
  • If you found this post useful, please let us know by commenting below or by sharing your own experience with Search Engine copyright penalties!

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The Cholesterol myth

Watch the cholesterol myth below and the true cause of heart disease.

 There are several books out there which expose the fallacy that high cholesterol is the cause of heart disease or that high cholesterol is a disease that has to be treated once it reaches the magical number of 200.  There are many more factors to consider including your HDL and LDL and the percentage of HDL.  Other myths include the notion that the egg yolk is bad for you as it contains so much fat and cholesterol.     Eggs from free range chicken can be very healthy for you, the egg yolk is especially nutrient rich.

Are you prepared to consider the idea that we have been brainwashed into believing things about our health that is untrue and that is actually hurting us instead of helping us, all in support of the pharmaceutical industry who benefits from drugs being prescribed whenever someone can be diagnosed as having high cholesterol?

If you search online, you will find a number of books that had been written debunking the myths that we have come to accept as truths.  Are you or someone close to you taking statin drugs to lower your cholesterol?  Do you know what the side effects are of these drugs?  Do you know for sure that lowering your cholesterol is also lowering your risk of heart disease?

Take control by educating yourself and then taking this up with your doctor.  Here are a few of the books available from Amazon:


Internet Marketing Experts

by Christa Louw

Who are the internet marketing trusted experts that I have learned from and would recommend without hesitation?
What do these individuals have in common to make them experts in my eyes?  They may not see themselves as experts, in fact, all of the people on this list are humble and recognise the expertise of other marketers. They may not be the top earners.  The Internet Marketers on my list give you strategies and honest feedback and methods that beats the advice of some of the best known experts hands down!

  • They all give away far more knowledge and expertise than expected, some of it free of charge or at a very low cost. 
  • Their programs are not overly expensive and
  • they deliver the goods, useable content, unlike many other marketers who do a great job at marketing their products but fall short of delivering any real valuable content.
  • Although all the sites listed below have free content which could benefit your business, please note that I may receive a commission if you click on some of the links below (at no additional cost to you) as affiliate links may be included.  Do not feel compelled to buy anything, but if you do, you can be assured that it is money well spent. I only recommend products that I have used myself and that meets my highest standards.

    Also feel free to check out the Internet Marketer’s watchdog website to review these experts and their products here:

    Gideon Shalwick – Master Educator on online video marketing –    Download Gideon’s free eguide and watch his multitude of educational videos.

    Jim Cockrum – Silent Sales Machine  This is an excellent product by the most trusted internet marketer. Read all about Jim’s status at IMReportcard website, where internet marketers share their unbiased reviews. Jim is an independent thinker and his ideas are refreshingly different from that of the crowd.  Who had ever thought that eBay can be used to build your list?  Read Silent Sales Machine, it sells for less here than on Amazon.

    Seth Godin – if you have never heard of Seth, then it is a good time for you to get to know his work.  What you can always count on from Seth is innovative thinking, sharing fresh content.  He wrote a number of books which should be on any internet marketers bookshelf.  Examples are Permission marketing,  Purple cow: Transform your business by being remarkable, Tribes, Linchpin, the Dip. Seth was also the creator of the ever popular web 2.0 site Squidoo (

    John Thornhill – Master Mentor, Top Marketer.  John is honest, no hype, giving it to you as it is.  The power of John’s mentoring is that you walk out of there with a product and the experience of how to create results in your business!

    Harvey Segal  Clicbank expert.  Harvey has created the Clickbank forum and a range of products to help you get you off to a good start as a Clickbank affiliate.  There are a number of free eguides you can download which is very helpful for your business.

    Lee McIntyre – 7 rules of Momentum training  Implement Lee’s training and advance your business, no hype, find out about Lee’s mistakes, uncut version, see for yourself!

    Pat Flynn – The Backlinking strategy that works –  The best backlinking strategy to build your site as an authority site.

    SmartPassiveIncome Podcasts  Pat Flynn’s very useful free podcasts to accellerate your business.

    Mark Ling – Affilorama  Learn to make money online without spending any of your money! This is one of the best resources on the internet for affiliate marketers who are ready to learn. The forum alone is invaluable.

    You may also refer to the Expert Index on the Site that compares Internet Marketers based on their popularity on the web. From my list of 7 experts above, at least 3 are on the GuruDaq list. See if you can identify them!

    Actions you can take today
    Register for and get familiar with the IM Reportcard website and the next time you are interested in purchasing a product, go there to search for feedback on the product and the Internet Marketer.

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    How to increase your chances of online success

    by Christa Louw

    What is your chance of achieving online success?

    If you have been trying to build a successful online business, you may be part of the 95% for whom it hasn’t worked (yet).  Some people give up easier than others, but you may still hang in there hoping to become an overnight success or to find the silver bullet, to cash in on the big opportunity.

    From my own experience, I have learned a number of things which may help you if you are searching for success online:

    Be careful, don’t be fooled, desperation can blind you.  You want to get out of debt, out of your nine to five dead end boring job.  You may be eager to trade going in to the office for working from home, being your own boss.  You are willing to believe anything and buy any promise that sounds too good to be true, in case it can helpt to set you free!  You’d buy products because of the instant riches it will bring. You are attracted to the shortcuts, the magic formulas only to be disappointed time and tine again.

    My advice to you is:

    1) Stop buying products!  Understand that everybody is selling something.  To make money, you too should have a product to sell, it is no use to just continue to buy every product that comes your way in the hope that it will magically meet your needs.  Getting your own product(s) is the best basis to building your own solid online business, but until you have learned how to do this, being an affiliate selling the products of others can be a start.  Although this field may be new to you and you may need to learn what works and what doesn’t, you can start by having more discernment when it comes to buying.  Are you just being sold to all the time or do you too have something valuable to offer others, to sell to others?

    2) Find and follow the few steps that matters and that works.  Take an “evergreen” approach, find what worked years ago and will still work for years to come.  Do not look for ways to short circuit the major search engines such as Google. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a traffic generation strategy.  That can be an important element in your strategy, but you can not dedicate all your time and energy on outwitting Google as that will rarely happen.  If you are trying to game the system, realise that you are not likely to outwit an algorithm on a permanent basis, it will catch up with you sooner or later and you will lose out.

    To give you an example:  not too long ago I joined a program that is geared more towards what Google likes than what human beings like.  It is a fairly automated site which allows you to choose a keyword phrase, find a matching domain name and build your website in a matter of minutes.  The website built for you consists of videos automatically curated from Youtube to match your keywords as well as articles relating to your keyword search phrase.  Built into your site is your Clickbank affiliate id, your Amazon affiliate id and your Adsense id, all of which will contribute to your earnings if your multiple sites are able to generate enough traffic from Google.  In addition, it was making use of the fact that Google somehow ranks sites very high for specific long-tail keywords when the domain name of the website is an exact match of the key phrase you are trying to rank for in Google.  This may have worked very well at some point in time, but just recently, Google caught up with that trick and changed their algorithm to ensure that websites with direct match domain names do not rank high in the search engines for that reason only.  It is needless to say that this is a flawed model and I do not believe that this product has a strong future.  Do not join programs that depends on Google and that therefore only work for a season.
    3) Know who you can trust.  During the past few months, I set out on a mission to find a few trusted advisors.  I have followed a number of internet marketers, some of them very well known.  I have bought into and tried out their programs.  I have picked up some very interesting trends and it would have been interesting if I shared you my list of marketers that I would not buy from again and those I would continue to support.  The reasons for this all vary, but in the end, I’m looking for value for money, programs that over deliver.  I have also seen well known internet gurus referring products as affiliates that they have clearly not tried themselves.  How could you recommend something that does not even work?  Why they are doing this may have to do with the fact that the CPA offer, the payout, is very high to get customers even on a $1 trial, they may receive as much as $50 a shot.

    For this reason, be careful to believe any review you read on a product.  Do your homework by looking at reviews of the product owners themselves.  Who is willing to put their name to their own product if it does not work and if it does very little to help people improve their lives?  If you find an internet marketer selling their own product that does not work, it may be time to take them off your list of internet gurus worthy of following.  Who knows how they achieved their guru status.

     4) Find a mentor to guide you

    How mentoring can make all the difference.  Maybe after years of trial and error you may one day be in a position to break the barriers and earn a good online income.  You may even get lucky and one of the products claiming to make you an instant success may work for you.  But ask yourself, if you wanted to become a super star tennis player, would you leave your development to chance, just taking your own advice or worse, trying to improve your game by watching Youtube videos or practising with the same tennis partners all the time?  Would you take advice on your game from your practise partners, the friendly grocer or would you make use of a tennis coach who has been a top tennis player and who have coached other players successfully in the past?

    If you’re a self starter you may not think you need a mentor.  But what do you have to lose?  You don’t have to waste any more time.  There are a number of very good mentors out there.  One such mentor is John Thornhill.  John has developed many of his own products, he has been very successful in doing business on eBay when everyone else could not and he is a super affilliate which means he knows his stuff.  He is also credited for having mentored a long line of successful internet marketers, some of whom I am currently following.   I thought I knew a lot about internet marketing until I got started with John’s one month mentoring!  What a joy to be guided step by step on a daily basis and to learn by doing.

    Actions to take today:
    1) Watch John Thornhill’s 13 minute video on his one month mentor programme.
    2) Register and make use of IM Report Card website to get an unbiased view of products and internet marketers.

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    My weight loss challenge

    In 1997, I discovered a way to lose weight AND to keep the weight off.  At the time I lost 23 kg in around 8 months by following a basic formula with the help of a great product and weight loss program.  It is good to know that this formula still works at the time of writing (2012).

    If the formula still works and the product still works, what happened to me?  Why did I gain an enormous amount of weight again, why did I get this fat again?  This happened a few times over the last 15 years, each time I was able to return to my desired weight, but it has not been without tremendous effort to get going and build up the momentum, it would have been much easier to just ignore it.

    You may know that the most difficult person you’ll ever need to manage is yourself.  For example, if you know that the portion size of your main meal counts, who are you trying to fool when you have loads of cakes, biscuits, crisps and other snacks for desert or in between meals on a daily basis?  Since when did fast foods become meal replacements conducive to weight loss? You may have to check the way you think! 

    We moved to Australia in 2008 from South Africa.  When you are in a new country, you are bound to discovering the culinary delights, such as “Tim Tams” and to a lesser extent, “mud cakes” and “Crispy Creme” doughnuts.   Although I did all the right things and followed the formula, I then went and expanded the formula….   After dinner, I rewarded myself for good behaviour with a bowl of ice cream or Tim Tams, every day.  At least every second week, we had the habit of having a huge pizza each.

    While I was not watching over the last couple of years, with no weighing and no measuring, I managed to gain at least 30 kilograms of excess weight.

    Resolve follows desperation.

    In mid January 2012, after the holidays, there were no more excuses.  Something had to be done.  Not only did I have to buy super sized clothing, but my feet would become very sore on a daily basis having to carry the extra weight.  My partner and I both decided that we each needed to lose the excess weight forever and never let it creep up on us again like this.  We know that weight around the tummy is very bad news and downright dangerous for your health and that overweight individuals are more prone to lifestyle diseases.  No, we did not want a follow a special crash diet, we know the formula, we know the healthy way that works, we have to change our relationship with food on a daily basis and do some introspection, figuring out what happened and how to prevent it in future.   For my progress, see other posts.

    What is the formula that works for me and hundreds of thousands of other people?  The basic formula is: 1) Replace or supplement *two meals a day with a delicious, highly nutritious balanced calorie controlled meal, to find out exactly what I used read all about it.  2) Cut down slightly on your main meal.   For this we also used a simple solution.  *or replace more than two meals if you eat more than 3 meals a day, such as may be required for diabetics.

    Nobody can diet forever.  You have to find a balanced way of life.  If you do not have time to plan and prepare your meals, then buy pre-prepared meals.  Get rid of the temptations in your food cupboards, throw it out.  Stack up with plenty of fruit.  Get into the habit of drinking water during the day and flush out those toxins.  Consider having a “free day” once a week, a day on which you eat whatever you like, including ice cream and pizza.  There are serious weight loss benefits to this practice!

     Get a lifestyle

    1) Face the facts – measure and weigh yourself and write it down next to the date.

    2) Determine your ideal weight and how long it will take you to lose the weight, this may differ radically depending on how much you have to lose.  A weight loss of 2kg a month is reasonable, achievable and sustainable. 

    3) Throw out all temptations loaded with sugar or fructose that are in your food cupboard and replace it with fruit.

    4) Have a formula that has worked for many years and get a plan of action that you can stick to.  Execute this on a daily basis.  Ensure that your choice of meals are calorie controlled and highly nutrituous, starvation diets do not work.

    5) If possible, get a buddy or involve your family in this opportunity for better health.

    6) Measure and weigh regularly and keep a diary of this.

    7)  Stick to your long term goals and trust the process.  You tend to over-estimate what you can do in a short period and under-estimate what you can achieve over a longer period of time.

    8) Once you have achieved your goals, you have to go into maintenance mode and not ignore the weight issue as if it will never stick its neck out again!   In my case it may mean replacing one meal a day with a nutrituous supplementary meal instead of replacing two meals, at least for 4 or 5 days a week.   Above all, it means remaining aware and vigillant consistently to take action if your weight gets out of control.  Change from a maintenance program to a weight loss program when required and vice versa.

    Make the decision to do what it takes until you have reached your weight loss goal!   I did, it is all happening according to plan.  If I can do it, so can you, no matter what your situation, something can be done, you can be in control again.

    Business on the go with my laptop

    Yeah!  I’m getting myself a new notebook computer!  Although my iPad and the family’s iMac desktop is great and definitely has its place, there are a whole lot of good reasons why I could use a laptop.  The main motivation is the portability.  We’ll be spending a fair amount of time away from home in the coming months and a good laptop has simply become a must!

    Basically, the notebook I want has to have the speed required from a business computer.  It needs to have a DVD player, USB ports, good size keyboard.  The size of the screen and a slim appearance is less important for me.  It has to last for a number of years and should have room for expansion.  It should be good value for money, naturally!  What I’m looking for is the best technology I can buy for the best price.

    From what I’ve been reading, since Intel CPUs have changed recently, laptops with the older chips may be available at a great price.  I have not been keeping abreast of hardware changes and the re-discovery of Intel Core has been a fun one, but confusing at times.   Intel brought out their third generation of CPUs, also called “ivy bridge” in 2012 (i5 and i7), their second generation CPUs are called “Sandy bridge” and is available in i3, i5 and i7.  The i7 CPU is the more powerful one.  If the specifications do not mention third generation, it is likely second generation.

    What is the difference between for example the second generation i5 and the third generation i5?  That is an interesting question and the performance may be marginally better in the new generation CPU.  In simple terms, graphics are now integrated in the CPU in a more powerful way.  The Ivy bridge chips may also overheat easier, this must be kept in mind.

    Given the range of notebooks and good prices I could find, my decision has been to get a third generation i5 computer with at least an M76 chip which would allow USB 3.0.  Ram should be a miniumum of 4GB and shoudl be expandable to 16GB.

    The operating system should be Windows 7 Professional with the option to purchase Windows 8 at a minimal price when that is released.

    What about the new hard drives (SSD) that has recently come onto the market?  At this stage, it is still overpriced for notebook computers and not readily available in all the models.

    Have I found any contenders?