It’s ironic that with so much written about duplicate content, we are beginning to see these articles running into the exact issue they discuss! Obviously, we don’t want to contribute to that. But what we do want to do is provide a simple overview of exactly what duplicate content is and how you can prevent it from reducing your chances of ranking well in your chosen niche.
Why is duplicate content an issue?
The duplicate content issue began as a rumor a few years ago when Google search results would state that certain results were omitted because they were very similar to results already shown. Some webmasters deducted from this that Google was applying a ‘duplicate content penalty’ to these results, and started to spread fear and panic amongst site owners everywhere, fearful that their site might become the next to get hit with this ‘penalty’.
Google, in their wisdom, decided to address these concerns with the following statement:
- The duplicate content penalty does not exist.
- Google attempts to offer users diverse search results, so removing duplicate content is more about providing the user with a quality experience rather than penalizing the site owner.
- Sites that intentionally try to manipulate their rankings by scraping (copying) content from other sites are generally viewed as spam and removed from the results.
- Duplicate content in many cases conflicts with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines that recommend site owners provide content that is unique and gives value to visitors.
- Duplicate content is often a result of content management systems that can create multiple URLs to the same content.
- Duplicate content can dilute backlinks to these pages.
- Duplicate content can result in new pages on your site taking longer to be indexed.
This makes it pretty clear why it’s important for you to not only be aware of duplicate content but also understand exactly what it is.
How does the duplicate content issue affect affiliate marketers?
There are a few things affiliate marketers need to bear in mind when they build their sites in order to make sure they aren’t adversely affected by duplicate content.
- Aim to write unique, valuable articles for your site. You might want to try the Article Compare Tool.
- If your site has different URLs for the same page, e.g. www and non-www pages, then consider using a WordPress plug-in like All in One SEO, as well as specifying your site settings using the Google Webmaster tools.