SEO – How to Manage Duplicate Content


SEO – How to Manage Duplicate Content

Is duplicate content a bad thing for your site? If so, how can you avoid it or fix it if it should occur?

Actually, the duplicate content you should be most worried about is your own. What other sites may do with your content, just as which sites link to you, is not always under your control.

Identifying Duplicate Content

Is duplicate content bad? Yes, it can dilute your anchor text, fragment your rankings and cause other negative effects.

Before you risk creating duplicate content (such as by using an article spinner) you should consider the value factor. Ask yourself of this content provides additional value. Don’t create content just for the sake of having more text on your site.

Each piece of content on your site should provide unique value. Ask yourself if you are sending bad signals to the search engines. They can evaluate multiple factors to identify duplicate content.

The important thing to remember is that a certain amount of duplicate content is acceptable and is not penalized by the search engines.

When I reprinted a commencement speech that Steve Jobs once gave, was that considered duplicate content? Well, Steve Jobs did not grant my site exclusive access, so naturally I had to reprint material that appeared elsewhere. This is a natural byproduct of extensive quoting or reporting on popular news events.

Managing Alternate Content

Every site can have legitimate uses of duplicate content. The key here is managing these effectively. Some reasons for duplicate content include: 1) content syndication or the use of RSS feeds 2) alternate document formats such as HTML, PDF or Word, and 3) using common code such as JavaScript CSS and boilerplate elements.

You should have a way to deliver alternate content. You want to set a default format to provide access to your visitors while disallowing the search engines.

You can do this through the proper use of a robots.txt file as well as excluding the URLs to duplicate formats on your site map.

Nofollow Attribute

The nofollow attribute is a useful tool for marking any duplicate but necessary pages on your site. This is also handy in the event that others link to such pages on your site, or to keep them from doing so.

If you have a page that contains an RSS feed rendering from another site that ten other sites also link to, it could appear to be duplicate content to the search engines. However, your content is not likely to be marked as duplicate unless a large percentage of your site consists of such content.

The important thing is to keep any common code from getting indexed. You can place your external CSS file in a separate folder which you keep from being crawled with your robots.TXT file. You can do the same for any other common external code such as JavaScript.

A little care and attention will help you to manage any duplicate content on your site and keep it from causing you to be penalized in the search engines.

Tim Arends is an Internet, Apple and computer user for nearly 20 years who is well-versed in technology and the Internet. He provides freelance writing services to bloggers, Internet marketers and app developers. Hire him for a complete content-creation strategy for promoting your business.

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