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What Is Duplicate Content

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Whether you are an SEO or a pure affiliate marketer you will hear the term duplicate content thrown around lots and a great deal of people get overly worried about it and the consequences of your content being even a little bit like someone else’s. The truth is there is no need to really worry about. When people talk about the “Google duplicate content penalty” people automatically think that they are going to lose rankings because of it. So if you have been asking yourself “what is duplicate content” then carry on reading this for an in depth explanation.

However, this is simply not the case. There is not a penalty as such for duplicate content. The symptoms of posting duplicate content are that you will not receive any credit for the content. Many people see this as a penalty because they automatically assume that posting content on a website will improve it’s ranking.

You are not actually going to be penalized for using duplicate content as many people actively encourage you to republish the content. However, if you are going to be placing links to your site in that duplicate content then you might come across a few more problems.

How To Get Around The Duplicate Content Issue

Easy, either write totally unique content from scratch or just make sure that it is spun to a good level. What you need to remember is that Google’s algorithm is a lot more advanced than anything that is built into a tool or even copyscape. Most of the time these tools will look at phrase spins and synonymns. However, Google these days will look a lot further.

If they have a detection of duplicate content it is believed that they now look at the following:

* How many words in the article
* How many paragraphs in that article
* How many sentences in the whole article
* How many sentences in each paragraph
* How many words in each sentence
* link placement through out the article

Because of this we now have to think very hard about how we create our content. Of course on your own website you should always use 100% unique content. Don’t ever scrimp on this because you will not get the results you deserve in Google if you do.

Obviously we also need to consider what kind of content you are going to be using to build links back to your website. Although Google is basically a gigantic algorithm we still need to keep it placated. To do this we trying create quality content in the form of a spin. My favoured method for building links directly to a money site is to use an ultra spun article. The best way to create your own is mentioned in our tutorial.

If you are going to be using content for high PR blog networks (probably going to be necessary in the more competitive markets) then you also need to make sure the content on this is well researched and written. The reason for this is that you want those PR links to remain and only quality content will do this.

As a rough guide your content should follow the following guidelines for maximum effect.

Money Site – Every Page 100% Unique Content
Tier 1 Links – Unique Articles Spun Well -For maximum quality in Ultra Spinnable Format – Different Tiers exampled in our Advanced SEnuke Link Building Section.

Private Blog Networks – Relevant Quality Content not overly optimised.

Identifying What Is Duplicate Content And What Is Not

What many people forget to understand is that you could content can also occur through bad redirects on the site. Put simply if you’re content can be found through more than one URL then you should be correctly using canonical tags or correctly placed 301 redirects.

 The Rel=”canonical” Tag

The Rel=”canonical” tag is a very common way of dealing with duplicate content. While a 301 is a steadfast way of ensuring you redirect link juice and the search engine crawlers to the correct page a canonical url can take a lot less work to implement.

How To Use The Rel=”canonical” Tag

The tag is placed inside the head of the page and effectively is a meta tag. All it does is tell the search engine spiders to use a new relative parameter. When the search engine spiders read the tag it will be telling them that it should be treated as if it is a copy of the original URL (the URL that you want credit given for). This means that any content attributed metrics should be passed through to the given URL.

There could be many occasions where even the slightest difference can cause Google to see various URLs as duplicate. This is when we would use the canonical tag.

For Instance

http://www.zontseo.com/news
http://www.zontseo.com/News

Google and Bing would actually see these as 2 different urls because of the capitalization in the word “News” in the second url. By using a canocial tag on the second url any credit would be passed through to the first.

301 Redirects

In many cases dealing with duplicate content is easily sorted by the use of a 301 redirect. If you are using WordPress and the recommended “Yoast” plugin then placing a 301 redirect and even a canonical tag made extremely simple. Simply select the advanced tab and you will be able to input your data.

The image below will show you exactly how it can be done.

What Is Duplicate Content

Do not enter both a canonical and a 301 redirect, simply choose which one you want to use. There is an in depth article at Search Engine Watch that explains the times you should be using either a 301 or a canonical url.

Using The Noindex Tag

Using the noindex tag is another way that you can place content on your site without having to worry about the search engines marking its duplicate content. The ideal time to use this tag is when you have placed content on your site you want viewable to your readers but if you think perhaps it does not hold any true value to be in the SERPS then you may choose to tell search engines to ignore the page. Again, if you are using the Yoast Plugin then this can be done extremely easily by selecting NoIndex as shown below.

When To Use The noindex Tag

Using Webmaster Tools To Sort Redirects

This method will work but only with Google so it is not my personally preferred method of doing things. However a standard you should tell Google which the main pre-cursor you want to use such as with or without the www.

Webmaster tools will bring up all sorts of warnings and index errors and it always pays to keep a close eye on your Webmaster tools for problems that might arise.

 

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