As a website owner, you do everything you possibly can to increase the traffic level of your website—more traffic, especially focused, high-quality traffic, boosts your bottom line. Over the months or years you operated your website, you learned that adding new content to your webpages is an excellent way to attract new visitors. This is especially true if you are adding quality content with a focus on keywords that your visitors would search for on the major search engines. However, if you want to increase your search engine exposure, you cannot add content to your website blindly. It is crucial that you take proactive measures to protect yourself from duplicate content.
According to Google, duplicate content refers to “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” Most of the time, duplicate content is not a malicious attempt at gaming the system or stealing another’s work. You can wind up with duplicate content on your page without ever realizing it—and in turn suffer the search engine penalties. Discover the different ways that duplicate content can creep into your page and why working with a content marketing agency can help protect your site from the dangers of “secondhand prose.”
Avoid Boilerplate Content
Boilerplate content can include items such as a copyright notice, call-to-action or terms and condition that are included on some or all of the pages within your website. It would seem that you could “cut and paste” this information from one page to another to save time; however, by doing this, you set off duplicate content “red flags” and because of this one or more of the pages may not be as likely to show in the search engine results. Hiring a writer to re-write this content to be unique for each page is a simple solution to the boilerplate dilemma.
While a carefully selected (and properly attributed) quotation can add a lot of value to your content, too many quotations can set off red flags with the search engines. Use some quotes directly but for others you may choose to have your writer paraphrase. Then you won’t have too much straight duplication.
Defeat Content Pirates
When you’ve worked with a writer to create the perfect content for your page, nothing can be more frustrating than to find that another page “stole” your content. Luckily, you can take some simple steps to reclaim your content if you find this happened to you. First, contact the website owner to see if he will remove it on his own. If this does not work, contact the host and report the infringement. Finally, contact the major search engines and ask that the infringing page be removed from search. For Google, you file a request for removal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Whether you choose to build a content plan yourself or you work with a content marketing agency, it is important to cut back on duplication both within your site and from your site to others. Using care with what and how you post and perhaps hiring a writer to help you create some new content, helps you avoid the duplicate content penalties and achieve the best possible success with your website.
Tracy S is a freelance writer and blogger who is writing her first book. When she’s not glued to the keyboard she has her eyes glued to a sci-fi book, her mind glued on her pool game or has glue on her hands while working on a home improvement project.