Skip to main content

Duplicate Content and SEO

duplicate content and seo
12 Aug 2014

Duplicate Content and SEO: What’s the Big Deal?

You keep hearing that you are supposed to fill your site with unique content to rule the search engines. But getting all of that content written takes so much work. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just borrow some articles from another site to get some words up on your page? Well, yes, it would be simpler, but it could also be detrimental to your site’s success.

How bad is it to steal content?

Really bad. If you thought you were punished harshly for trying to copy some answers from Sally Jo in your high school math class, you haven’t seen nothing yet. If Google finds out that the articles and blogs on your site are not original, you will be severely penalized. Sometimes Google will stop showing your site at all, putting you back at square one (or worse). Duplicate content and SEO clearly don’t mix.

Can I repeat my own content?

While what you write is technically yours, you still don’t want to repeat it. Maybe this type of duplicate content won’t get you an official penalty, but it will still affect your ratings. Why? When Google indexes web pages to match with keywords, they are always looking for the most credible sources. If several of your pages show up with the same words, Google won’t be able to tell which one is more legit, so at the expense of making a mistake, they will just discard all of them and choose a different site entirely.

So how different does it really need to be?

You know by now that duplicate content and SEO are a bad combination, but now you want to know just how unique you need to make the words on your site. The answer is very unique. It’s not enough to borrow articles from other sites and just fudge the words around so they pass Copyscape. While this may get you in the results initially, once searchers realize you aren’t offering anything new, they will stop clicking.

What should I do?

To combat the negative effects of duplicate content and SEO, you need to get creative. You need to come up with inventive angles for already covered issues, or better yet, think of groundbreaking topics all on your own. Be the first one to point something out or give advice on a particular subject, and you are golden. Always write your content with the goal of offering your readers value that they can’t find anywhere else on the World Wide Web. No, it’s not the easy path, but it is the one that will get you results.

If your site has any product descriptions, rewrite them in a distinctive way instead of just copying and pasting the manufacturers’ write ups. This is done way too often and could really be hurting your rankings.

Even though it takes more work, creating unique content is worth the effort. Contact us to discuss our content marketing services, we would hate to see your site suffer because you took the easy way out.