How Duplicate Content Can Harm Your Website
Google hates duplicate content, so much so it has a Panda that chases it down and then hits the websites that dare to partake in such practices. Although Panda is the algorithm that looks for this type of “bad SEO”, the emphasis is still true that the search engines, especially Big G, really do hate this type of content on your site, which is why over the past few updates, more and more sites that have published their content on other sites as well have been hit with both algorithmic and manual penalties.
It is important to say that they only punish this type of content because they consider it to be a lazy effort on the part of the site owner, because in their eyes, every piece of content that you publish in your site should be:
If you manage to tick all of these boxes then your page (and website) has a really sound chance of ranking well, but if you decide to take the quick route and publish other writers work or just repeat and repeat rubbish, then look out, the Panda is coming to get you, if it hasn’t already.
There are two main types of duplicate content that you should be thinking about:
Onsite Duplicate Content
Google rewards effort and therefore loves every page on your site to be unique and not use the same copy over and over again on many of your site pages. Common causes are location pages where you just change the names of the places but keep the same text surrounding them, blogs that you take large snippets off and put on other pages on your site and content that you have used on one page and replicate in certain other areas throughout your website. Generally, you can get away with 30% duplicate content throughout the site, but it is really important that you try to make sure that every page is as close to being unique as possible.
If you feel that you are repeating the same old stuff throughout your website then you need to either re-write it or get it re-written by a professional, as the Panda update really does look at every page and looks at the quality to work out where it should be ranking. Unique content is half way to having good content, and as long as it is well written, informative and engaging, you should be getting the correct rewards for the effort that you have put in, but if it is just repeated rubbish, expect a rankings dip soon enough.
Offsite Duplicate Content
Every piece of content you write for your site has to unique, as if you decide to post a blog on your own website and then use it on others, including article directories, press release sites, Wordpress (offsite) blogs and many other examples, you are asking for trouble. It was once thought that Google would be able to credit the original poster of the content, which would of meant that this would not be an issue, but over the past couple of years it has become evident that sadly, this is just not the case, so you can be in danger of getting your own website penalised by allowing your content to be used elsewhere.
Prime examples are press releases that you then send out to other websites and resources, blogs that you post in more than one place and in-depth articles that you republish around the World Wide Web. Although there are many other examples of duplicate content, these three are the main ones that have stung the online world, with more and more sites getting hit for having their content on other sites as well. The general rule is to write unique content for your own site, and if you are going to write for other blogs (like this), make sure that you do not have the same content on your own domain.
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