Search Engine Optimization

Being a full-time internet marketer means you’ve got to keep a close eye on the way Google is standing pages online… one very considerable concern is the entire problem of duplicate content. What’s more, how can having duplicate content on your website and on different people’s websites, influence your keyword positions in Google and the other search engines?

Now, lately it appears that google scraper is quite a bit more open about precisely how it ranks articles. I say “seems” as with Google there are years and years of mistrust when it comes to the way they treat webmasters and content. Google’s entire “do as I say” attitude leaves a sour taste in many webmasters’ mouths.

Probably not!

I am mainly worried about my content being ranked lower because the search engines think it is duplicate content and penalizes it.

My situation is compounded by the fact that I am heavily into article marketing – the same articles are featured on hundreds, some times thousands of sites across the web. Naturally, I am worried these articles will dilute or lower my rankings rather than accomplish their intended purpose of getting higher rankings.

I try to vary the anchor text/keyword link in the resource boxes of these articles. I don’t use the same keyword phrase over and over again, as I am nearly 99% positive Google has a “keyword usage” quota – repeat the same keyword phrase too often and your highly linked content will be lowered around 50 or 60 places, basically taking it out of the search results. Been there, done that!

I even like submitting unique articles to certain popular sites so only that site has the article, thus eliminating the whole duplicate content issue. This also makes for a great SEO strategy, especially for beginning online marketers, your own site will take some time to get to a PR6 or PR7, but you can place your content and links on high PR7 or PR8 authority sites immediately. This will bring in quality traffic and help your own site get established.

Another way I combat this issue is by using a 301 re-direct so that traffic and pagerank flows to the URL I want ranked. You can also use your Google Webmaster Tool account to show which version of your site you want ranked or featured: with or without the “w / w”.

The whole reason for doing any of this has to do with PageRank juice – you want to pass along this ranking juice to the appropriate page or content. This can raise your rankings, especially in Google.

Thankfully, there is the relatively new “canonical tag” you can use to tell the search engines this is the page/content you want featured or ranked. Just add this meta link tag to your content which you want ranked or featured, as in the example given below:

Link rel=”canonical” href=”put your favorite link”
Anyway, this whole duplicate issue has many faces and sides, so I like going directly to Google for my information. Experience has shown me that Google doesn’t always give you the full monty, but for the most part, you can follow what they say. Lately, over the last year or so, Google seems to have made a major policy change and are telling webmasters a lot more information on how they (Google) rank their index.

So if you’re concerned or interested in finding out more about duplicate content and what Google says about it try these helpful links. First one is a very informative video on the subject entitled “Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issues” that is introduced by Greg Grothaus who works for Google.