What is this Duplicate Content Thingy You Speak Of?
Duplicate content is basically the republication of your text content somewhere else on the Internet. If any of the text on your site is copied and appears anywhere else – even if it’s only a paragraph or just slightly similar – search engines are going to have a hard time deciding which version of the content is most relevant. Being that a search engines primary role is to provide the best search experience possible, they rarely show duplicate pieces of content. They are forced to choose which version to present as the original/best, which may not be the version you want them to pick!
I cannot stress enough, the importance of having unique, comprehensive content on your website.
Many people want their site to represent leadership in its field, not to be mere copies of what other sites have. If someone were to take your hard work and copy and paste it into another place, it would devalue and dilute the importance of your original content.
When duplicate content is discovered, in many cases the original content/site owners suffer search ranking and traffic losses, while your competitor’s sites enjoy a ranking boost thanks to YOUR CONTENT.
Are You Creating Duplicate Content Without Even Knowing It?
You could have unintentional duplicate content and not even know it. Here are some common examples:
- If you haven’t specified your preferred domain, you have duplicate content.
domain.com, domain.com/index.php, www.domain.com & www.domain.com/index.php
Search engines see these as four different URLs which of course all have the same content.
- Printer-friendly versions of a web page.
- URLs that use variables (databases & WordPress sites) to find the same content but in different ways.Other examples that we have seen over the years…
- Accommodation sites using a weblink feed to send data on their rentals to places like TripAdvisor, FlipKey, HomeAway, etc need to BEWARE. If you don’t fill out the description area they provide you with, they will typically use content from your page(s) within the listings on their sites. Once that happens, Google sees the content on your page as theirs, making the page on your site (with your original content) redundant. This creates a situation where it becomes virtually worthless to keep your original listing content; as Google will undoubtedly rank them higher than you – unless you’re lucky enough to be the bigger badder site.
- Real estate sites copy and pasting info from their site into the MLS database for a property listing. Guess what? Now that content is on thousands of websites.
- Business profile pages. It’s hard to write about your business over and over. Why not just fill out that business profile on LinkedIn, Yelp, YP.com, etc. by copy-and-pasting from your About Page? Don’t do it!
Be the authority in your industry! Don’t cripple your site by reusing its content elsewhere. If you’re having a hard time thinking about how many times you need to write about the same thing over and over and over again, just consider this: come up with the most unique, compelling and comprehensive content for your website. For all those other places, create a very different, short, concise yet enticing text about your service. No more than a few paragraphs. Perhaps talk about things that don’t tend to change so you don’t have to worry about updating it often… just don’t give them the whole kit and caboodle.
To have a good strong presence on the Internet, this is an area of importance that needs to be considered and checked from time to time.
Need help in figuring out how to combat this issue on your website? Contact us today and let us help you make your site the best it can be!