This post is a guest post by Nan Gibbons
Google is the most used search engine on the web. Most households will set it as their home page and use it for all their searching needs. Businesses should work hard to promote their company pages on Google and reach for the top positions (those being the most frequently viewed). However there are many times when content is duplicated either on purpose or on accident in order to make the top of the list.
Duplicated content is content that is replicated on the same domain or on multiple domains. Sometimes it is purposefully done or on accident. However, duplicating content can considerably lower a business’s rank on Google.
Listed below are the common ways that duplicate content is generated:
- Using different domains and purposefully adding the same content while redirecting the user to the “original” site. These are known as doorway pages.
- An owner allowing several sites and directories to use the same content.
- URL parameterization, where two URLs point to the same product page. This may be unintentional.
- Subdomains with the same content on them.
- Publishing content on a main website and publishing it on subsidiary websites.
- Having links on a page that link to the same content but in different formats, for instance print and PDF formats.
(as seen here http://www.johnsomerton.com/search-engine-optimization/duplicate-content/)
Duplicating content, even within the same page and company, can hurt the business. When a user searches with a search engine, sites appear in a list depending on relevancy. However, when a search bot is looking for relevant material and it comes upon several sites with the same content, it has a dilemma. It doesn’t know which site is the original, so it picks one. Often times the search engine will even remove the other sites from the index—why have multiple pages with the same information?
Also if Google believes that a business or web developer is purposefully duplicating content to cheat the system and move up in rank, it may ban the site completely. So how can one avoid producing duplicate content?
- On pages within the main domain, businesses should block crawlers by creating a “nofollow” link attribute on all subdomains.
- One newer way to establish authority on the main domain would be to include a “rel=canonical” link tag in the header of the page. This adds authority to the main domain and the content within and search bots will choose it over the others with duplicate content.
- Also remember to index all new pages within the site. This way if another individual tried to duplicate the content the search engine will know that those pages were the originals, not the thief’s.
Also, instead of duplicating content and creating several domains to funnel users to a main page, there are many other ways for a business to rise up in page rank. For instance an online university could have a member of their company guest blog on an education site and create a link to their main page. If they wanted to be more specific and reach out to those who might be interested in a certain degree, they could guest post on another blog dealing with the same content. For example, they could guest blog on a tech blog and talk about their IT degree or computer science degree. As long as they weren’t too pushy, the blog owners probably wouldn’t mind. There a few other things business owners could do as well.
- Submit their pages to all major search engines.
- Create keyword rich pages.
- Use word search tools like word tracker to find out what people are searching for.
- Reword the page title to include key words.
- If the company is big enough, make sure there is a Wikipedia page for it.
- Create Youtube videos. Make sure they are entertaining; no one will watch otherwise.
Nan is a working mom, who has a background in business. Lately she’s been working in marketing, but in her free time blogs at Eat Breathe Blog.