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6 Ways to Avoid Duplicate Content

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What is Duplicate Content?

We typically think of duplicate content as being the exact same content used more than once within a website.  However, you should know that there are other sources of duplicate content to consider.

The three main sources of duplicate content that come to mind are:

  1. Duplicate Web Pages – web pages that have the exact same content – these may or may not be on the same website.
  2. Repackaged Content – content that has been taken from another source, i.e, web page or blog, and re-written to have the appearance of new content
  3. Articles- the submittal of the same article by dozens of people that may have taken it from one of the article marketing sites.

Duplicate content is not limited to written words. Websites that have the same structure, linking, content or even similar content and structure can be seen by the search engines as a form of duplicate content. And, while this can be considered an extreme situation – if you are planning on having multiple websites, it is certainly something to consider. . . particularly as the Internet grows and rules governing websites and content become more restrictive.

6 Things you can do to avoid being labeled ‘Duplicate Content’

1. If  using articles from one of the article sites . . .

rewrite at least 40% of the article and then insert you own comments. Place a couple of sentences at the beginning, in the middle and at the end targeting  of the article wording  these sentences so that they fit in.  

2. Develop your own new, unique content . . .

Time consuming but the best way to avoid having duplicate content.

3. Re-write descriptions if you have a site selling a product or service . . .

This is especially true if the product is widely available on the Internet.

4. Control which of your pages are visited by using a ‘nofollow’ meta tag . . .

This tag is placed in the section of the page and tells the search engine spiders ‘not to index’ and ‘not to follow’ any links on this page.

Example: 

This tag would be helpful where there would be two pages with the same content – one the main page the other being the ‘printer friendly’ page. While there would be no intent to manipulate search engine ranking by having these two pages, the search engines will choose which one to index. Therefore, it is to you benefit to place the ‘noindex, nofollow’ meta tag on the page you do not want indexed.

5. Use of ‘rel=canonical’ . . .

Lets the search engine know which link is the primary link, ignoring all other similar links. The canonical link should be placed in the section of the page you DO NOT want indexed, i.e., those pages with duplicate content. In this meta tag, the link contained in the ‘href’ section would be the page you DO want indexed as the page credited with having the primary content.

Notice that we have used an absloute link  for the correct page to be indexed. Also, this canonical meta tag has nothing to do with redirecting search engine spiders or visitors to another page, but rather avoiding duplicate content.

Example: 

 For more information on canonical links, visit this link to watch a video by Matt Cutts of Google: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm9onOGTgeM

 6. Use a permanent 301 redirect . . .

 for older pages that may have been replaced by new versions. These redirects can be easily be created in the cPanel of your hosting provider.

If you’re looking for ways to make your website search engine compliant, click on the link below to see how Planet Ocean can help you accomplish that.

 Planet Ocean SearchEngineNews.com Unfair Advantage Book

It’s difficult enough to get your site ranked – so avoid any duplicate content issues that could result in getting your site banned. While each search engine handles duplicate content differently, it would seem that Google is leading the pack in ways to avoid this problem while allowing websites to maintain their ranking. For more detailed information on how Google views duplicate content visit this link  http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66359


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