If you have blocks of content that is the same or substantially similar to other content within your company website or across multiple domains, this is often referred to as “duplicate content.” When duplicate content is being used across multiple domains, such as the same description of a red pencil skirt being promoted on different department store websites, a potential customer who is conducting a Google search on “red pencil skirts” may see results that display the same or similar content. This creates a poor user experience and, as a result, Google’s bots may flag this duplicate content and eliminate it from search results. Although this content may not have been duplicated intentionally, the filtering could still be the same. So, now that you know why duplicate content is bad, what can you do to avoid it? MoreVisibility provides you with five tips to avoid duplicate content. MoreVisibility provides you with five tips to avoid duplicate content. (See? No one likes to read the same sentence twice.)
1) Make your web content unique from other competitors’ web content. If you have content for the same product, like a red pencil skirt, that other companies may sell, don’t pull a description of it verbatim from the clothing brand’s website, catalog or press release that your competitor will also have access to. Add a brief introduction to the product description about what you offer as a retailer that the other guys don’t.
2) Create copy for users first, search engines second. When creating unique content, don’t “keyword stuff” to force in words or phrases that don’t naturally fit into the sentence to try to manipulate search engine ranking. The search engine bots will know, and so will your target audience.
3) Repurpose, don’t reuse. If your company produced a great article on how to prepare your kids for a new school year that was heavily viewed and shared, don’t post the same article in multiple places in hopes that it will further drive traffic to your site. Take a look at the theme of the popular article and create spin-off ideas that your audience will also find relevant and enjoy reading.
4) When necessary, link directly to take the user (and search engine bots) where you want them to go. Instead of putting the same content in multiple places, select the one page that best categorizes the information you want to share and direct your audience there from other pages.
So, in the aforementioned pencil skirt example, don’t link to:
5) Understand how your content is being managed on the backend. Some Content Management Systems may be set up to store a blog post in multiple locations on your live site. Make sure you know exactly where your content is going to “live” when it goes live so it’s not being duplicated. You may need to utilize canonical tags in the event that the system can’t otherwise be overwritten.
With these five tips on avoiding duplicate content, MoreVisibility hopes that the information you share will keep search engine bots, and potential customers, happy.
Marketers and webmasters are using more of their time to evaluate their link portfolios and looking for areas of improvement. For now, you can’t control who links to your site (Google has future plans to launch a “disavow this link” tool, which will tell Google to ignore certain links to your site), but you can learn some key things about other sites to determine if a link from them is going to do you more harm than good. By being prudent about where your links are coming from, you can avoid penalties and build a catalog of back links with lasting value.
The best links come from websites that follow ethical practices and have genuine character. From an ethical standpoint, you wouldn’t want a link from a site that links to several other low-quality sites, or that has a bunch of low-quality sites linking to it. Such underlying link schemes are usually on the verge of a penalty at some point. If you have a link from that site, it won’t hold value for very long. Conversely, a link from a site that boasts its own strong link portfolio will better resist algorithm updates and have long term value.
Sites with genuine character and motivation are also important. Is the site maintained by real authors with credentials? Is the content updated with topics relevant to the site’s audience? A site that languishes without updates or that doesn’t have any clear ownership will only lose link value and page visits as time rolls on.
Just as your site is high-quality — updating with original content that prioritizes user experience — it should link and be linked to by similar quality sites. It’s that type of reciprocation that has the highest link value. When it comes to SEO, “like begets links.”
The “Penguin” algorithm update from Google has certainly taken web spammers down a peg (or SERP ranking) by dishing out penalties for things like overused anchor text and duplicate content. However, it’s not just nefarious websites receiving a penalty. Many well-meaning companies can have spam elements on their site specifically targeted by Penguin. In many cases, these problem areas of a website are a matter of taking some shortcuts with content development. But, there are no shortcuts in quality SEO! If you’re concerned about Penguin penalizing your site, devote some time to these areas:
Titles — To be effective for both user experience and SEO, title tags need to be informative and descriptive. Google has only gotten more critical of title tags — often changing them entirely when a page ranks for certain search results. The title tag is not the place to cram keywords and branding — exactly the kind of thing Penguin is frowning upon. Make sure your titles are true to the theme of their respective pages.
Internal Links — Out of all SEO elements, internal links have probably drawn the most ire of Penguin. When building site content [http://www.morevisibility.com/services-seo-copywriting.php], you are totally in charge of what pages to link to and what anchor text to use. It’s all too easy and tempting to over-link to certain pages and/or continuously use the same anchor text — often a perfectly optimized keyphrase. The same goes for giant page footers filled with internal site links. Overdoing this type of optimization will raise a red flag. Include variety by blending synonyms for your keywords and calls to action in your anchor text.
Back Links — While you have less control over your back links, you should be discerning about them when you can. For your company link building efforts, shoot for variety (with different types of sites, content, and anchor text) and quality (by creating original content for sites that are reputable and relevant to your business).
Content Layout — Of course, your site should be content rich. But when you start repeating yourself, you’re treading on thin ice. Two pages meant to target slightly different versions of the same keyphrase are not helpful to the user and could be flagged by Penguin as being duplicative. Read through your site and ask yourself whether a page really provides new and useful information, or if it just retreads information from another page of your site.