The SEO Killer:  Duplicate Content!

Mon, Dec 8, 2008

Content Creation

What’s worse than having old content, or no content at all for search engine optimizationDuplicate content – the SEO killerSearch engines can penalize your site if it finds the same content on your site that they find at others – they may even stop indexing your pages altogether, a process that some people know all too well how hard it is to get re-indexed!  Yet, if your site has user-generated content how do you stop them from posting the same information on your site that they have at ten different other sites?

The secret is to make sure you put speed-bumps in their path so that they just can’t simply copy and paste the same thing to your site as they have on others.  You need to make sure that you are encouraging, and even forcing, uniqueness when others go to post content on your site.  Sure, it’s a pain for some users – but that pain is far better than the real pain you might experience if one day you find Google has stopped indexing you altogether because of duplicate content!

So how do you get your users to enter unique content?  Start off by making sure that any forms for data entry are unique.  Don’t ask the same questions that all the others sites ask.  If nothing else, make sure you mix up the order of the questions.  Second,  consider the use of captcha technology to make sure that people (or robots) aren’t just dumping the same content onto your site as they are elsewhere.

Now you are probably thinking to yourself, “If I do this, my user generated content is going to do down!” and you are absolutely correct.  However, even though the content is decreasing, the total amount of good, quality content will be increasing!  You are basically eliminating all the noise and garbage up front and leaving the premium, unique content on your site.  The end results?  You’re in the engines’ good graces because now you have more unique material and less duplicate content!

Sometimes less is more, and you will find the more ways you find to make your site unique when it comes to content the better off you will score in the rankings.  Although we wish we could attract only the users who will provide quality content without a fuss, we know the reality is that we have to guide them along now and then to make sure that they aren’t singlehandedly tanking our entire site.  Using these tips can help make the process a little more automated and a lot less painful in the end.

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This post was written by:

Cassiano Travareli - who has written 90 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.

SEO Specialist! Loves everything about Search Engine Marketing.