Article

Justin Wilson
Justin Wilson 8 March 2013
Categories Search Marketing

Duplicate Content and SEO

With Google Updates hitting webmasters on a regular basis, I thought it would be a good idea to make sure that your website was compliant with the Panda updates, particularly concentrating on duplicate content.

With Google Updates hitting webmasters on a regular basis, I thought it would be a good idea to make sure that your website was compliant with the Panda updates, particularly concentrating on duplicate content. 

 

Duplicate content is high on Google’s priority list, so here is what you need to know.

 

Why is duplicate content an issue?

 

When thinking about SEO, it is important to remember Google’s objective – to deliver the best quality results to their users.  Now think about duplicate content… If there are two pages which have the same amount of keyword density and theoretically the same relevance (and I know that ranking takes into account more than just this!), then which page should Google send the user to?  This confusion means that Google will punish duplicate content as it can’t be sure which the best page for the user search.

 

Is it an issue for my website?

 

You don’t need to read every page on the internet, so there’s the good news!  There are a number of tools out there, but the one I keep coming back to is Copyscape.  All you need to do is type in the URL and it will search the web for duplicate content.  If you click on one of the results, Copyscape will calculate what proportion of words are duplicated – there is no hard and fast rule for what Google consider a duplicate page, afraid that is one of Google’s (many) algorithm secrets.  The only way to truly tell is to actually look at the page and use your judgement. 

 

So how to I resolve this?

 

There is no easy answer to this one.  The first step could be to contact the webmaster of the site which has the offending content.  In some cases, they will remove the content as soon as you contact them, but in a lot of cases, this is a dead end – often the types of sites which copy content are not responsive to these requests!  So, you will need to go back and re-write the copy on your website.  No quick way of doing this, and it can be a huge job, but using this method will ensure that your content is unique. 

 

What about translated pages?

 

I have come across a number of examples where duplicate content is an issue within the same company – for example, a British, Australian and Canadian website has exactly the same content as the US site.  It is resolved by using the method described above, but what about if the content is translated into, say, French?  Well, if the content is translated by hand, then this is not considered duplicate content.  But if the content has just gone through Google Translate without corrections of diction, then this is considered duplicate content.  If you’re dealing multi-nationally, this is one to watch out for.

 

I have read with interest over the last month or so about marketers giving up on Google organic search because of the number of updates that Google is making.  But what is the alternative?  Are you going to rely on Pay Per Click instead?  If so, you’d better get a BIG cheque book ready! 

 

For most people, search is far too important a traffic source to ignore, and if you can keep considering Google’s objective of delivering the best quality traffic, then SEO doesn’t always need to be the nightmare it is often perceived as. 

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
7 Things Every Company Website Should Include

7 Things Every Company Website Should Include

What elements to include in your company website? This is the first question you should ask yourself before you start designing the site. We’ve shortlisted the following essential elements every business website must have to effectively engage with customers.

simon walker
simon walker 20 February 2017
Read more
8 Tools For Automated Social Media Marketing

8 Tools For Automated Social Media Marketing

In today’s era, marketing online without using the instruments of social media is like using a bucket without a bottom. Social media is your salvation to improved visibility, reach and exposure, the one thing that will fill the vacuum and kill the friction in your marketing efforts.

Paul Simmons
Paul Simmons 13 February 2017
Read more
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Infographic: Direct Mail vs Email

Infographic: Direct Mail vs Email

In the past direct mail has been referred to as dead. So we decided to do some research and compared direct mail to email marketing, it's digital alternative.

Rosie Niblock
Rosie Niblock 15 February 2017
Read more