7 duplicate content myths that simply aren't true


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There are quite a few duplicate content misconceptions circulating in the SEO community.

Even though a lot has been said by Google's Matt Cutts about the exaggerated fear some people have in regards to a few lines of duplicate content on their sites, many still do not understand what content duplication is, or whether their site is at risk.

So, let's tackle certain tricky questions that concern duplicate content and put some common myths to rest.

Image credits (all used under CC license)

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7 duplicate content myths that simply aren't true

  1. 1. 7 duplicate content myths that simply aren’t true By WebMeUp.Com
  2. 2. There are quite a few duplicate content myths circulating in the SEO community.
  3. 3. Let’s bust them!
  4. 4. Myth 1. Duplicate content is ‘same text on multiple pages‘
  5. 5. Website owners who are not so good at web design think that the only way to produce duplicate content is to purposefully replicate a piece of text on multiple pages. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  6. 6. What they don't realize is that some of their site's pages may be accessible via multiple ULRs (which may happen for various reasons), which, in turn, would automatically lead to content duplication. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  7. 7. Ideally, each piece of content should have only one URL associated with it: http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  8. 8. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  9. 9. In reality, though, it happens quite often that a page has multiple URLs associated with it: http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  10. 10. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  11. 11. Hence, if there are pages on your site that have multiple URLs pointing to them, you need to take care of that! http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  12. 12. To solve that, one should use canonical tags, an XML sitemap, a robots.txt file or other means that aid the canonicalization process. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  13. 13. Also, more information on how to tackle these structure issues are given in this guide to SEOfriendly URL architecture. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  14. 14. Myth 2. One should block crawlers' access to duplicate pages
  15. 15. In case you have duplicate URLs on a site, closing duplicates from getting indexed with a robots.txt is a bad idea. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  16. 16. A better solution is to allow search engines to crawl these URLs, but mark them as duplicates. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  17. 17. That can be done by using the rel="canonical" link element, the URL parameter handling tool, or 301 redirects. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  18. 18. Myth 3. Legal info/disclaimer across multiple pages isn't allowed
  19. 19. Some SEOs truly believe that having even a small amount of duplicate content on your site can lead to a penalty. In an overwhelming number of cases, however, it can't. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  20. 20. According to Matt Cutts, having a Terms and Conditions template or a Disclaimer message across all pages of your site won't get you penalized. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  21. 21. Check out this video to learn more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViwkEeOKxM http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  22. 22. NB! At the same time, Google still advises one to keep the amount of text in that repeated message to a minimum. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  23. 23. Myth 4. Duplicate content penalty doesn't exist
  24. 24. Although Google penalizes sites for duplicate content quire seldom (usually such sites are pure spam), it could easily dish out a penalty to a site that: http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  25. 25. Has nothing but scraped content Scrapes images, auto-translates pages, or uses automated apps/software to spin content prior to publication Purposefully creates pages with nearly identical content to rank them for various locations/keywords http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  26. 26. In all other cases, your site is unlikely to get penalized for duplicate content. After all, 25-30 % of the Web is duplicate content because people quote other people, and the same information gets shared on it a lot. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  27. 27. Myth 5. Google can tell the original content creator
  28. 28. There's been a lot of discussion on the Web about Google being or not being able to tell the original creator of a content piece. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  29. 29. Some people would say Google replies on publication date to track the authentic author BUT multiple instances of hijacked search results (a scraper site outranking the original) disprove that. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  30. 30. Thus, according to Dan Petrovic, there are certain signals you can send Google to let it know you're the original author. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  31. 31. These are: Claiming your Google Authorship Specifying canonical URLs Sharing a newly published piece on Google+, etc. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  32. 32. Myth 6. Syndicated content is duplicate content
  33. 33. Type 1. That is legitimate news sites/information hubs that sometimes feature previously published content. They often provide original commentary and analysis of the piece they cover. Such sites always credit the original content creator. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  34. 34. Type 2. Content syndication sites that produce no content of their own. They scrape content off multiple websites (often it is imagery) and give no credit to the original content creators whatsoever. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  35. 35. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  36. 36. So, if your site belongs to the 1st type and you have syndicated content on it, you have nothing to worry about. If you are type 2, getting a penalty is just a matter of time! http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  37. 37. Myth 7. Translated copy on regional site isn't duplicate content
  38. 38. You may think that translating the copy from your English-language site and publishing it on a regional domain/subdomain is never a problem. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  39. 39. Well, sometimes it is. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  40. 40. These are the cases when Google can classify a translated copy as duplicate content: http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  41. 41. You translated it with an automatic tool and just dumped it on your site; * (in which case it would qualify as automatically generated content) You copied your English-language content without change to the regional site. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  42. 42. So, when creating a foreign site for your biz, tailor its content for the segment of users you are trying to reach with it. Most likely, they would want a slightly different message than the one you have for Englishspeaking audiences. http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  43. 43. This is it! http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-content-myths.html
  44. 44. For more info check WebMeUp blog: http://webmeup.com/blog/duplicate-contentmyths.html