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Three *nearly* identical sites
Can I get in trouble for this?
princess

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 5:15 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

If a company that I work for (i.e. am employed by--not a client that I choose to have *my* company's name affiliated with) has three websites that are nearly identical, except for the domain names (www.*widgetplus.com), the main colors, and the title. All the content is (literally) the page copied over from the main site and put on the other two sites--word for word, only modified by CSS. Can we get into trouble for this?

Also, say Google bans our sites. My boss says he'll just tell them they can't do that, and then have them put back on. (He's very much used to getting his own way.) He can't do that, right? Once it's gone, it's gone?

I'm beginning to be a little more concerned, because we have really good rankings in all major search engines. We are very competitive with our ppc listings (number 1 in all of them.) I've been reading other threads about competitors sending in complaints to Google, etc. Should I even worry about this? Or let the company deal with it on it's own?

 

Liane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 5:19 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've been reading other threads about competitors sending in complaints to Google, etc. Should I even worry about this? Or let the company deal with it on it's own?

Oh ... I would worry if I were you! Unless of course your job doesn't depend upon the success and sales produced by the site. Your boss needs to rethink his stance. Duplicate and triplicate content is certainly a good way to get your site banned.

Competitors love guys like your boss! ;)

Craig_F

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 5:20 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

google will eventually catch you with the dups. they'll likely ban two and list only one. if you are lucky they won't ban them all.

and if your boss can get sites listed back in google just by telling them to do so, please give me his number :)

princess

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 5:23 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

But will I get into trouble (I own and operate a web design company...) I don't want my reputation tarnished!

chiyo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 5:23 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google will see them as identical. They may ban all 3. Or they may just list one. Not sure. But i think it will be bad.

Fear Not! The world is not at an end.

You still have PPC and advertising.

And probably a new boss.

chiyo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 5:25 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>But will I get into trouble (I own and operate a web design company...) I don't want my reputation tarnished!<<

Sack the client then.

princess

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 5:28 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Oh, I also need to let you know that there are three sites. One is the main site (widgets.com), and the other two are more condensed versions of widgets.com. So, there are widgets.com, which shows all kinds of widgets, then redwidgets.com, and bluewidgets.com. So, red and blue draw information from widgets.com.

Does that make sense? (Sorry, I forgot to mention that in my first post. Does that change anyone's answers?)

Liane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 5:40 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is the content in redwidgets.com and bluewidgets.com "unique" and apart from widgets.com?

Is all the content on all three sites identical? If so, no it doesn't change my answer. If some of it is different, are you just using the new urls as subdirectories and linked from the main site?

Please clarify what it is you are being asked to do.

princess

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 5:55 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

The main site has all the product listed by product category. Each of the other sites is a condensed version of the main site. So, if the main site was www.vehicle.com, listing all kinds of vehicles in the world (trucks, cars, vans, boats, moterhomes, etc.), then each of the other sites would be www.trucks.com, and www.cars.com. Only listing the truck and car information (respectively) from www.vehicle.com. The company says each of the three sites is necessary, because people looking for a truck or a car are not going to visit www.vehicle.com first. They're going to want to go to www.truck.com and www.car.com. Follow me so far?

So, www.truck.com lists all of the truck pages from www.vehicle.com, such as ford, toyota, dodge, etc. Omitting all other types of vehicles. Same for www.cars.com, except using all of the car information from www.vehicle.com.

Each of the sites is a seperate domain name, therefore a seperate site. Does this make sense?

JonB

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 6:05 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

i dont undertand why is always talk about duplicate content and banning all sites etc. wasn it said that competitors cant harm you by making duplicates of your site? and Brett once said the best way to spot who is original and who is false - they jsut check dates of all sites and most old one is original site so it probably cant be punished if other sites make duplicate content.so maybe all other sites can get some kind of penalty but not original.it would be not fair and way to easy to kill competition.

Shakil



 
Msg#: 213 posted 6:07 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Also, say Google bans our sites. My boss says he'll just tell them they can't do that, and then have them put back on. (He's very much used to getting his own way.) He can't do that, right? Once it's gone, it's gone?
============================================================

He is a brave man thinking like that :)

Shak

princess

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 6:15 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok, I think I have enough of an argument now. Thanks for all your help!

Liane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 6:49 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

What you are talking about is absolutely duplicate content and (it seems) your boss will have a hard time accepting the fact that there is a very real possibility of getting all three sites banned.

Was he foolish enough to also register all three sites in his or his company name? If so, he will likely find all three sites banned.

i dont undertand why is always talk about duplicate content and banning all sites etc. wasn it said that competitors cant harm you by making duplicates of your site?

While that may be true, we do not have all the facts about this site yet. If these sites are linked to one another (anywhere), hosted with the same company, registered to the same owner.... well

This is not a situation where a competitor is trying to damage someone elses site. It is a site owner trying to hoodwink the search engines into thinking there are three separate and unique sites simply by having three different urls.

Not the same thing at all and it is my best guess that he (the site owner) is heading for trouble.

princess

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 7:12 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Oh, and all three sites are linked (heavily) to each other. Each page on each site has a link to both of the other sites. All three domain names are bought through the same company, and all of our overture, bcentral, etc. accounts list all three domain names.

Have any of you had to deal with this? How do I explain this potential problem to my boss?

I'm only going to be working here until the first part of March (then leaving for Mexico!) but I have to train the new person. I don't want to get into trouble for this, I don't want any of this attached to me. I've made sure that nothing connects to me personally, or to my personal website, but I'm still a little worried...

engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 213 posted 7:36 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Princess,
Google, and any other search service, does NOT want to list duplicate sites in the index.

Google, in particular, is good at automatically identifying duplicate content. The result of this identification is a process of elimination of duplicate pages.
This is not a site ban, but is simply removal of the duplicate part of the site. Of course, the sites could be removed in their entirety if it was felt it was a deliberte exercise to dump additional and superflous pages into the index (spamming).

I would also suggest that you avoid linking the sites in question. The only safe solution is to avoid duplicate content as a whole.

Be creative. ;-)

JonB

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 7:44 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Oh, and all three sites are linked (heavily) to each other.
--------

in that case you cna expect some kind of trouble.

rmjvol

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 8:54 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

You boss didn't break every rule that's listed here:
Google Quality Guidelines [google.com]
but he's off to a good start.

Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank.
Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.

rmjvol

Liane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 9:03 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you want to convince your employer, tell him to go to the link above. If that doesn't work ... send him to this thread! :)

Good luck ... not an easy position to be in!

rmjvol

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 9:23 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

>send him to this thread!

YAAARRRRR! Bring him on!

Oops, I mean, Welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com], boss_of_princess.

princess

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 10:33 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks so much! I used the information that you've all sent me, and was able to convince him that this is a bad thing. I'm in the process of deleting the other two sites. Thanks again!

rogerd

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 10:45 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Princess, congrats on your apparent success. One thing that mystifies business people is how a company like Google can make seemingly unilateral, arbitrary decisions. Business people are used to being threatened with suits at every turn, and expect that capricious behavior by others would be similarly actionable.

Although Google is getting sued over the Searchking dispute, in general search engines seem to be given a free pass by asserting editorial rights. That is, they can drop sites or tweak results as they wish, in the same way an editor can eliminate or add content to a publication. Therefore, one should keep their near-invulnerability (to date, anyway) in mind before picking a fight.

chiyo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 213 posted 12:35 am on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>One thing that mystifies business people is how a company like Google can make seemingly unilateral, arbitrary decisions<<

It may mystify you and the Princess Boss, but it doesent mystify me for one.

As a user, duplicate content on Google does not help me at all.

As a site owner, I make "unilateral, arbitrary" decisions on what links to include and what not to include every day. Its what makes my sites useful to users.

Don't you?

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