Duplicate Content: Avoid Search Engine Penalties

Never use Duplicate Content, if you want Higher Visibilty

What google think of Duplicate Content?

Google likes webmasters to believe that Google has duplicate content figured out, but if they have multiple similar pages indexed you are splitting your PageRank and they may rank the wrong version. Make sure you do not place the same (or exceptionally similar) content on multiple pages.

What is duplicate content?

Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Most of the time when we see this, it's unintentional or at least not malicious in origin: forums that generate both regular and stripped-down mobile-targeted pages, store items shown (and -- worse yet -- linked) via multiple distinct URLs, and so on. In some cases, content is duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or garner more traffic via popular or long-tail queries.

All it took was a few bad apples abusing the idea of duplicate content to cause the rest of us a new hassle.

What are the other faces of Duplicate content

With new filters in place, duplicate content can take on more subtle meanings:

  • E Commerce - It's blissfully easy to have your own store now. Ecommerce scripts like OSCommerce are free, easy to set up, and allow anyone with the slightest amount of computer knowledge to sell stuff. The problem with e-commerce sites is that many people running them will copy the manufacturer's description for products they sell. Already, there's a problem - that content was repeated on the manufacturer's website. But here comes another problem - how many other sites selling the same products are also using the manufactuer's description? Again, the filters will cancel these listings out.

  • Identical Pages - The obvious form where one website offers the exact same pages and content as another website. Here's where it gets tricky, though. Some websites have "sister" sites - associated websites that generally look similar, and often contain identical content. Many search engines will now filter these sites out completely as spam.

  • Article Distribution - This might be one of the most important categories of all, because it applies in so many ways. First, for authors who publish their content online, this category means that you must drastically alter any article you write in order to avoid search engine filters. If you write an article on, for example, the benefits of Jojoba for skin care and publish it on one site, you're going to want to go a whole new angle and use completely different wording to again publish it on another website. Another way this category affects people is that many websites, blogs, and e-zines use content that has been listed on a free reprint website. In addition to the original reprint website, how many other sites are using this free content?

  • Scraped Content -Blogs run the highest risk of being filtered out under this category. What scraped content means is that someone has taken the wording from one website's page and rearranged it to look different. They might change a word here and there to alter the voice of the writing. On the whole, though, the content is exactly the same as the other site's. Look at it this way - a search engine's robot will go through your page looking at individual words. It counts the number of times some words are repeated (keywords). If the actual words are the same as those found on another web page, the robot won't care what order they came in. It just factors the math.
  • As you're beginning your website, or at least once a year in the operation of your site, you should seriously take a look at each of these categories and make sure they don't apply to the pages you're publishing.

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