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My wife has a small business with a website, of which I am the maintainer. (I am not a trained web developer, but know the basics of HTML and CSS.) There are already a few articles / blogs / news items about them online on other sites. She would like to keep a list of references to these. However, she would like to ensure that the articles are available even if the other site removed the original content or migrated it to another URL. So she somehow would like to store a copy of these articles on their own site. This raises a few questions to me.

First of all, is it a legal and accepted practice in general (assuming we have the original owner's consent)? I know the legal part is country specific and I should rather consult a lawyer. At this point I am more interested in whether Google and other search engines penalize this, and how to play by the rules if possible.

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If you have the author's consent, I wouldn't see why not. Pages can be updated however, so most link to resources so that the latest version can be found, therefore it might be wise to add a link to the original source as well. Some things to keep in mind if you do add them to your site: keep any copyright notices or attributions intact, and add a canonical URL to the original page so that they're not impacted by duplicate content issues. –  dan Aug 29 '13 at 23:12
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In regards to aesthetics and conventions, different designs would detract from the appearance and quality of your site, and you might benefit more from a "Links" page as other sites have. Lastly, there are sites that provide cached (archived) versions of pages, so if they are removed, you might be able to view their content again through those, like here. –  dan Aug 29 '13 at 23:20
    
Glad the question was re-opened. I added more info regarding search engines. –  dan Sep 1 '13 at 22:06
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

First of all, is it a legal and accepted practice in general (assuming we have the original owner's consent)?

If you have the author's or copyright holder's consent to copy their works (i.e., web pages), then it is legally acceptable to do so, providing that you don't alter their content without prior approval, retain their copyright notice, and retain the copyrights of any other works included in these.

In general however, most sites do not copy entire web pages from other sites, and instead either quote from them and/or provide links to them so that users can view the latest version of their pages, as well as any relevant information. Linking relevant pages between authoritative sites also helps build SEO.

At this point I am more interested in whether Google and other search engines penalize this, and how to play by the rules if possible.

If you copy entire web pages to your site, you'll be creating duplicate content issues whereby search engines will find two sets of the same content. Search engines may also view this as an attempt to mirror or scrape another website for black hat SEO purposes. In this case, your site could be penalized.

If you do copy web pages to your site, be sure to add a canonical URL to each of them pointing to the original source. It's probably also wise to add a URL to the original source at the top or bottom of the page so that users can also find the latest version and other relevant information.

If you decide to link to them instead but find that the web page was later removed, you might be able to find it again in websites that archive/cache web pages, such as here, and then update the page's link to that.

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Yes, thank you for your answer, it cleared up most doubts for me :-) –  Péter Török Sep 8 '13 at 12:28
    
No problem - glad it helped clear things up! :-) –  dan Sep 8 '13 at 22:08
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