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Website Analytics December 5th, 2008
I recently had a discussion with a client about duplicate content. This conversation was instigated by my findings using Google Analytics. It started with using the "top content" analytics metric. I noticed 2 titles with the same name. This inspired me to get out my toolkit and sweep the entire site for duplication. More mirrored content was found so I thought I'd send the client and email.
Hello <Name Removed>
I was just performing my monthly analysis on your site and ran across mirrored content on your site. Here are the duplicate pages.
"I often get inquiries from our brokers asking if they can "borrow" content from our website. In the past I've unequivocally said yes.
Should I be putting some sort of caveat on this now? Will Google only realize the text is duplicated if we have a reciprocal link in place? Or will it eventually determine there's a match on sites with no relationship?
This is more of a problem with organic ranking. For PPC if the mirrored pages are not on the same domain it should be OK. As a general rule unique, well written content ALWAYS out performs duped content by a long shot.
The content in this instance is found on a page within another domain. Is this really a problem? I understand the idea of using duplicate content in the same domain. Why is there a negative impact if we're borrowing material from another website?"
Generally, Google will (algorithmically) determine who the source of the content is. The other sites found to have duplication will be devalued and/or receive little to no organic ranking benefits. Google's algorithm is not perfect. I have seen them decide that another source (other than the author) is the original writer. Yes, this is often a result of the site with duplication having a high authority status. As long as the content can be spidered (crawled) Google will always find it, analyze it, determine duplication/spam value, and index it accordingly.
As the internet continues to grow at unprecedented rates, so does the filtration and quality scoring in both PPC and organic algos. That is why I say unique content is the best way to get your message out there. If others want to borrow your content I would suggest advising them to reference it with a link.
This will not help your organic or PPC results. Using duplicate or mirrored content is something Google speaks clearly about. I thought I would let you know that because it will make or break your marketing efforts online. Duplicate content is a big 'NO NO' if you want to rank well and gain experts status with your writing!
Ultimately it is your call what content you want to use. I am sharing my views with you. My views are based on seeing websites completely de-indexed/devalued or penalized because of it. Don't wait for the 'algo creep' in the Google algorithm; it won't get caught up for long. Eventually duplication is found and a mathematical devaluation occurs.