No dup’s or Google will feel duped

Posted By on March 18, 2013

If you make the mistake of duplicating content, Google will deep-six both versions. Photo copyright 2012 Cynthia Hartwig

If you make the mistake of duplicating content, Google will deep-six both versions. Photo copyright 2012 Cynthia Hartwig

Maybe it was a sign of early senility. Or maybe I think the topic’s really, really important. Whichever, last week I broke a cardinal rule of SEO by writing about the same thing twice. Thank God Cynthia noticed so I could trash the post. Bad behavior like that and Google will give you a warning ticket. The search bots stick it in their back content and if you duplicate content too many times, the bots tell Google to kick you off Page 1 or ban you all together.

Why does Google get in a tizzy?

Let’s say you’re searching for a sweet-and-sour soup recipe from your favorite Chinese chef—a big hit at your last dinner party. You want to know the identical ingredients so you don’t serve hot-but-not-that-sour soup at an upcoming gathering. When you Google for it, two by the same chef show up in search results. Which is which?

Needless to say that’s a frustrating experience. If it were to happen too many times, you might switch to another search engine. Decreasing the number of visitors on Google decreases the number of ads it can sell. That’s because the value of any ad is how many people–or eyeballs, as they say in the industry—see it.

Make Google happy

You’d be surprised at how common this problem is. Has anyone ever asked if they can re-print one of your posts? Or has someone offered you a chance to guest blog? Why not save time AND show off your best writing. Cutting and pasting your favorite post seems optimal.
It’s hard to control the impulse to share with others. Isn’t that what the Web is all about? Do it but don’t duplicate it. Make sure whatever you write is something unique.

Emily Warn