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Can Duplicate Content Hurt My Business?

October 27, 2015

We have all likely heard of the penalties that Google has rolled out over the last few years. Whether you are a business owner or an SEO yourself, you have probably had some experience with penalties. 

Over my career in digital marketing, I have worked with hundreds of business, large and small. Google doesn’t seem to care about how big or small you are, they genuinely seem to care about user experience. So the many algorithm changes seem to have our (users) best interest at heart…and theirs too, if we all stop using Google, well, they wouldn’t be too happy!

One of the major updates was Panda. Think way back to 2011. If you were a business enjoying some awesome traffic or an SEO bragging to a client about some awesome traffic, you might remember.

Panda, if you were affected by it, was going after sites that used duplicate content to help boost traffic to a site.

So to break it down, using duplicate content on different urls meant that you basically increased your chances to “show up” for keywords more than once on the SERP’s. Think about a business who had 2 sites (also not best practice) with the same content…they could rank both sites on the first page for the same keyword, therefore bumping out another legitimate website. Google had enough of that nonsense and started to pluck out sites with duplicate content. They did a lot more than that, but for the purpose of this post, let’s focus there.

So if you were a website owner and were doing this, you might notice a BIG drop in traffic since you really didn’t deserve to be there. Unfortunately, some legit companies got hit too. Why? Well, sometimes they didn’t know that their seo company was practicing the use of duplicate content, sometimes it was because they really didn’t know any better.

If you had site A and design a new site B and simply just made a new site using the same content…there would be both versions of content floating around. That could have caused some issues.

Since there are host of technical ways to address I am adding a link here to MOZ
to explain the nuts and bolts of the techy side.

For our purpose, what’s important is to make sure that your site is YOUR content.

Make sure it’s ORIGINAL too. If you create content on your site or blog, you better make darm sure it’s yours! 

Creating original content is the only way to make sure you own it.

There are a couple of ways to test to make sure the content on your site isn’t someone else’s. Of course if you have written it, you know it’s original, however, if you are working with an agency or third party provider, you might want to be sure!

People need to find value in what you are writing and you want to be rewarded for good content, your content, not someone else’s…it’s that simple.

For any questions please reach out to us, we love to talk shop

Until next time,

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