If you publish the work of other writers on your blog, you should remember to ask permission or at least be sure you link back to the original article. Sometimes this is difficult, but try to get to the source.
The following article is reprinted with permission.
Here are the results of my review and the 10 types of bloggers I found. You'll notice that they range from good to bad to sleazy.
1. Good: People who ask permission to reprint your article and add a bio with links back as requested. These are people who are generally looking to add some content to their own sites. They usually republish the article in full, and are happy to add whatever bio and links you specify.
2. Good: People who republish without asking permission but at least link back to the original article. I don't really have a problem with the folks who haven't asked permission if they at least have the courtesy of linking back to the original article. Sure, it's not as great as controlling what the links say in a bio, but it's generally fine.
3. Good: People who blog about something you wrote and who link to your original article, providing their own unique commentary or spin to go with it. This is the best type of blog post as it isn't a complete dupe of yours, and it gives credit where credit is due. Watch out, however, as sometimes these types of blog posts are critical of what you're written. Personally, I have no problem whether people agree or disagree as that's the foundation for blogging.
4. Okay: People who blog about what some other blogger blogged about, and link to both the original article and the blogger's commentary. I probably should put this one in the "good" category -- as it really is fine -- but it still is irksome when the secondary blogger's post seems to get more credit than the original piece.
5. Bad: People who blog about what some other blogger blogged about it (as in #4 above), but who link back only to the blogger and not the original. I was surprised at how prevalent this one was. I don't think that most people intend to snub the original author, but it happens a lot! Sure, you could say it's okay because the post they DO link to posts that link back to the original, but that's just not good enough. I strongly believe that the original writer should get credit where credit is due in a more direct manner.
6. Bad: People who blog on the topic and then Digg their OWN post instead of the original. I almost put this in the "sleazy" category, but I guess it's sort of borderline. It seems to me if the topic is Digg-worthy, it should be the original article or post that gets Digged. Unfortunately, that's often not the case.
7. Sleazy: People who don't ask to republish but do it anyway, and don't even link back! When they don't even put the original author's name on it, I believe it's copyright infringement. If they do mention the author's name, but never link back to them in some manner, it's pretty sleazy in my book.
8. Sleazy: Scrapers who link or don't link, but add contextual link ads and other crap to the content. Unfortunately, this is extremely prevalent these days. I would guess that a good portion of those 93,000 results in Google fall into this category. I can't imagine those pages actually get any traffic, so I'm not sure what the point is. The next 2 don't quite fit into the good, bad, or sleazy categories, but were additional types I noted:
9. Strange: People who blog but somehow get their facts wrong. One post got the name of the organization (SEMNE) wrong and called it SEMPO. I'm not sure why or how, as it was right there in black and white. I don't believe there was any malicious intent going on, but it was strange nonetheless. (It was corrected immediately upon notification, so that was good!)
10. Dumbasses: People who just blog it cuz everyone else is. Good blog posts are good for a reason. Simply writing about something because everyone else has is not a good blog post. 'Nuff said! And on that note, I implore you to look at your own blogging practices to see if you fit in any of the categories above. If so, here's hoping it's one of the good ones!
CEO and founder of High Rankings®, Jill Whalen has been performing search engine optimization since 1995 and is the host of the free High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter, author of “The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines" and founder/administrator of the popular High Rankings Search Engine Optimization Forum. In 2006, Jill co-founded SEMNE, a local search engine marketing networking organization for people and companies in New England.
Incorrect linking may affect the author's search engine standing. For more information, you may want to read Do You Know What Google is Doing to Andy Beard on CoolAdzine for Marketers.