Avoid Duplicate Content
One of the most important elements of building and maintaining a “SEO Friendly” website is to completely avoid duplicate content.
What is Duplicate Content?
There are two forms of duplicate content.
- You copy someone else’s content for use on you page.
- Someone copies your content for use on their page.
Google’s mission statement states “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. So how would Google be able to accomplish their mission when your ordinary Internet surfer typed in “Photography” and Wikipedia displayed as the #1 page with relevant information about a Photography, then for the next 3 pages it was the same exact content as the wiki page except on 50 different websites that stole their content. I think you are starting to catch my drift. That would probably get you frustrated if you were looking to buy a camera, and you would think twice about using Google the next time you had to search for something on the web.
Therefor, Google has guys like Matt Cutts on staff to monitor, detect, and punish duplicate content spammers. Although this problem may seem trivial, and you probably have never stolen any one else’s content, you must still remain proactive in detecting duplicate content. And although most people think that Google is intelligent enough to distinguish between cache dates and such, believe it or not- they still don’t have this problem figured out 100% yet.
As the original author of web content, you may wake up one morning only to find your site penalized, because remember Google’s real concern is minimizing duplicate content, not arbitrating the rightful owner.
How do I know when I’m penalized and what can I do about it?
When Google or any other search engine discovers a duplicate content issue, they act and they act very fast. They will either:
- OMIT your website completely from all the search results.
- Place your website in what is called the supplemental index.
Aaron Wall, author of The SEO Book posted a great article:
The good news, there are FREE tools that assist in the discovery of duplicate content. One of the most popular tools is Copyscape. This is a FREE service that goes out on your behalf and searches the web for content similar or identical to the content on your website. Although I suggest just using the FREE service, if you really want to protect yourself from duplicate content, CopyScape also offers an upgraded version of their software that provides unlimited amounts of scans and help identify, detect and notifiy you with any acts of plagiarism.
If you detect duplicate content immediately report it as SPAM to all three major search engines.