Duplicate Content and SEO: Myths and Facts

After Google’s various updates, it is now more than ever important for Google to understand who is the original author of a piece of content so that your site does not get penalised in the process. While Google has put much more emphasis on content recently, its focus is also on unique content.

The reason for this, or certainly one of the main reasons why these content-based websites were hit so hard was that Google was attempting to reduce the same duplicated content across its results. As let’s say a Tourist Information Centre will write a unique piece of content for their website, and then hotel “A” thinks, yes I like that content and I will now borrow it (changing nothing,) for my own website – thus saving time and money. But, as Google is trying to reduce the amount of duplicated content that appears on different websites across the web, then it has to start penalising websites that have this duplicate content. This in turn throws up a whole host of problems, the most important one being, who was the original author for this and how do they prove it?

Let me give you an example if I have a new website or a low ranked website and I add my unique content and let’s say a few days later it has still not entered the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), then a competitor borrows the content and adds it to their website that is loved by the search engines, then as it has not already been indexed and appearing in the results so Google is unaware of it, then it could be placed on another website that is essentially better optimised and the content would then be attributed to them. This can be best performed by a blog writing services agency  in United Kingdome

Tips on how to protect your content

What happens if the original author of the content does all the hard work and it gets stolen and placed on a different website and then it outranks the content originator! For content creators, protecting copyrighted unique content online is a bit of a minefield. For example, a client of ours is in the Tourism industry, and hoteliers will borrow that content for their section on the destination for their guests. Now they are doing this with the best intentions at heart, but it then becomes hard for Google to distinguish between the creator and actual owner of this content.

So tips on avoiding penalties from Google:

  • Place a date on your content. Google loves recent content and rewards it accordingly. Adding a date to your content can and should be the pointer that Google needs.
  • Make sure you update your content regularly. It is simply not enough to just write an article and let it sit for five years. So update it with new facts, figures, comments, etc.
  • Add and update your XML Sitemap. When you update content and you update the Sitemap, it informs Google that your content is being changed on a regular basis, which Google seems to reward.
  • Have you thought about adding in an author, to distinguish the content, as this will enable Google to determine who the original author is?

Also, another thing to think about is to make sure that your content shows copyright for ownership. Plus make sure you check Google regularly to see if your content has been reproduced by others. The easiest way to do this is by copying the first paragraph or so of content, and then pasting it into a Google search (If you need to put quotes around it). It may surprise you to see how many sites you find that may be copying your content from you.