A lot of times, webmasters will buy multiple domains to take advantage of the possible variations of their specific keywords. This is fine as long as in doing so, the correct methodology is implemented. If I buy domain A and create content for it and then buy domain B and use the same content, I now have what is considered to be “duplicate content”. This is not to say that Google or Bing will necessarily penalize anyone for doing this, but there will certainly be ranking ramifications if your domain configurations are not set up optimally.
For instance, Google may decide to index content from one site, content from the other site and combine the results in the results pages. Link value tends to get split between all the different incarnations of your content and the site becomes less of an authority; completely diminishing all of your SEO efforts.
When it comes to duplicate content, most webmasters don’t realize the negative ramifications from it. There will usually not be any kind of “penalty” or “punishment” imposed by Google, but there will be the reduced effectiveness for their primary keyphrases.
How does one tackle the problem of duplicate content? The first option should always be to avoid having duplicate websites in the first place, but the main ways to remedy the situation are either; 301 permanent redirects from the duplicate domain to the preferred domain and the second (and probably the tougher) would be to just have two distinct websites with completely different content and goals. One website could be for your consumers and the other could speak to/sell to your business clients.
Some may recall a study that was published by Jacob Neilson back in 2006 that analyzes how people view websites. When Neilson asked people to view websites, it was noticed that many would read them in a similar manner. Heatmaps were used to express now visitors would view the content on the page, and when the map was studied, a clear pattern was noticed. This pattern became known as the “F Pattern” because of the resemblance to the letter “F”.
The areas viewed most are red; yellow is less and blue shows the least amount of views. What you will notice, is that as the reader continues to scan the page, the lower section and the right rail of the page receives less views. This supports that most viewers are reading left to right and top to bottom, and that they tend not to read all of your content. You will notice a distinct “blue color” toward the bottom of the page meaning that people are abandoning it. The same can be said about content that is on the right side of the page.
What does this mean for web design? When designing your site, it is crucial to have the most important elements in the top, left section of the site. When creating navigation, feature your most important sections on the left side.
As you start to create your content, it is important that you recognize this F Pattern and organize your content accordingly. Make sure the most important information is in the first two paragraphs of the text, and make it easy to read. Incorporate bulleted or numbered lists so it is easier for readers to pick out important pieces of information. Understanding that you don’t have much time to grab your readers attention will be an integral part of creating text that is both compelling and optimized.
Inbound links or “backlinks” (links pointing to your website from another one) can have great benefit in terms of both ranking AND indexing of your site. For instance, more links pointing to you emanating from a site that also has a lot of links will contribute to your site’s PageRank (A page that is linked to by many pages with high PageRank receives a high rank itself). This will sometimes aid the website in ranking higher for particular keywords. Also, the PageRank number (a scale of 0-10) is proportional to the amount of pages Google decides to crawl and then index. The benefits are really two fold.
Getting backlinks is not that easy, however. You must be proactive and attempt to garner new linking opportunities as often as possible. Granted, the better the content on the site, the more people who will want to naturally link to you, but that is only two thirds of the battle. Having a great website with great content does not mean that you will move from position 30 to position number 1 without getting your name out there and alerting other webmasters to your presence.
You also need specific types of links. The general consensus used to be that any link from a “.edu” or a “.gov” domain will automatically award your site great rankings, but the Google algorithm is savvy to this and Google is now specifically looking at the relevance of the website linking to you and how much of a “hub” site or authority it really is.