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Beware of Using Duplicate Content in SEO

Are you using duplicate content in your SEO campaign?

There was once a web marketer who went about his SEO campaign dutifully reflecting only the best in search engine optimization practices that is until he was lured into doing underhanded black hat practices like keyword stuffing and duplicate content which he then believed would put him ahead of the competition and rake in more profit.

However, he failed to consider the fact that major search engines like Google had algorithms in place designed to penalize people that are using duplicate content in their internet marketing campaign. The result – his site dropped to the bottom of search engine results never to be seen again and that’s it!

Now unfortunately, that’s a story that’s surprisingly common these days and a pitfall that people in the search engine marketing need to avoid. It’s no myth either and one thing that you can’t afford to overlook if you are looking to keep your online marketing campaign as effective and profitable as possible.

Simply put, even websites with good search engine rankings can come crashing down if they get penalized for using duplicate content. Now there was a time when such things were not much of a concern in SEO but recent updates in Google search engine algorithms (Panda and Penguin updates) had completely changed all that and it now presents a crucial part of search engine optimization that simply cannot be ignored.

What actually makes a duplicate web content though and what can you do about it?

Dealing with Duplicate Website Content in SEO

Now there are actually several kinds of duplicate website content and this includes:

  • Any content found on your website that is identical to those of others
  • Duplicate content within your website which can include headers, sidebars, footers and meta tags


The SEO pitfall of duplicate content

In today’s world of internet marketing, duplicate website content can certainly ruin whatever traffic and search engine rankings you’ve worked so hard to attain especially following Google’s notorious Panda and Penguin update.

If you’ve suddenly realize that your site can longer be found on Google’s search engine results then it’s probably because of duplicate content which was considered a sound SEO practice in the past. Google however ruled it as an artificial means of inflating rankings and yielding results that do not truly benefit users and hence introduced algorithm updates for it.

Websites that are found to implement heavy use of duplicate content can face harsh penalties from Google which can have disastrous consequences for businesses that primarily depend on their search engine rankings in generating the traffic they need for their business websites.

If this is the first time you’ve actually heard about this don’t fret – Google’s Panda update was introduced sometime last year and the Penguin update began around April so if you are going to have your search engine rankings reduced due to duplicate content it then you should had seen it by now.

Track the times that your website actually had significant reduction in traffic and compare it with the time the algorithm updates are being rolled out via Google Analytics. If it seems that its more than just coincidence then you may want to learn all that you can about identifying and fixing duplicate content on your website.

Tracking down duplicate website content

So now you know some of the most common circumstances wherein people would actually have duplicate content on their website. Now how do you actually track down such a problem though? Well there are certainly a number of ways that you can look into:

The simplest way to check if your website content is actually a duplicate content of something else is to copy selected text of the content concerned, enclose it in quotes and just put it in google search. The search engine will check pages online that may have the exact text that you’ve specified.

To see if there is any content within your website that is being duplicated, it is recommended that you use what is called an SEO website crawler. This search engine optimization tool automatically checks every element on your website for duplicate content.

Fixing the problem

Now you know how to check for duplicate content online and within your website itself but how do you actually rectify the problem and ensure that your internet marketing campaign conforms to the latest search engine algorithms governing content?

Well for starters, you can check out Google’s Web master guide on duplicate content. It should help you get the ball rolling and provide answers to some of the most common questions people have about their policy on duplicate web content.

Now the foremost crucial thing that everyone in search engine marketing business needs to remember is that it’s always best to stick and keep up with the best search engine optimization practices surrounding online marketing and turn away from underhanded, black hat strategies. There are no shortcuts to successful internet marketing and solutions that seek to tell you otherwise will often end up compromising your entire efforts

The bottom line here is that people in the internet marketing business should not be complacent and allow ignorance to waylay their efforts. In the face of harsh penalties your business could be facing if it is caught using duplicate content on your business websites, it’s more important than ever to begin checking on the content you actually have on your website.

Check your website for any signs of keyword stuffing, duplicate Meta tags and other issues mentioned earlier that may possibly lead to penalties from Google.

If you find an excessive use of any duplicate content on your website, take action immediately and do not simply ignore it. It may seem troublesome but any effort spent on ridding your website of duplicate content is certainly well worth it least you wake up one day and find your website at the bottom of the heap.