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Are repetitive sentences bad for SEO?

 11:44 am on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hello..i have a lists for public holidays for diffrent countries...so in each post of each country public holidays, there are few necessery sentences that are most of the time the same for all other holiday posts.....is that a bad for SEO?



 9:01 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you take your topic question by itself the answer is "Well, yes, of course". But here the alternative is variation for the sake of variation, which would probably be worse. And it would annoy the user, who expects the same information to be presented in the same way consistently.

Think of something like a hotel listing site. Even g### wouldn't expect you to find eighty-five different ways to say "Weekend rate for double room with attached bath".*

* Yah, yah, or "en suite" depending on target audience.


 2:35 am on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

On top of what @lucy24 says I'd say it depends on the kind of sentence and vocabulary used, and whether it's really necessary for it to be repeated on the page.

For example with one accommodation site I replaced an original "Linen and Towels Provided" in the details of each unit with "All units have linen and towels provided" at the top of the page, along with every other facility that wasn't unique to individual units.

You can always replace text with a non-indexable graphic (for repetitive links that can't be keyword orientated such as "view full listing") though that can present usability and accessibility issues.

If the text is not functional or relaying facts, so is flowery / descriptive language or keyword stuffed I'd say it's certainly poor for SEO


 6:17 am on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

If the text is not functional

And just how is a bot expected to tell the difference?

With differences not only in the spelling between English and American English but also difference in sentence composition (grammar), how is a bot to know whether grammar is correct and rate it on composition?

I was troubled a while ago by comments made by a Wikipedia editor as to a site "not being well written". At first I wondered whether he was English or American, and then about how simple he must have been. The site was intentionally written in as simple terms as possible to enable visitors from OTHER COUNTRIES to comprehend Google's translation!

Now being sensitised I see this attitude far too often.


 9:29 am on May 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do you want to read this again? Do you want to read this again? No really, do you want to read this again? Maybe you want to read this again. I don't know, would you care to read this again? I'd like you to read this again. Ok, don't read this again.

Does that answer your question? Bad for people = bad SEO

Will it be penalized? Probably not, but it might get ignored on most of your pages so it won't help in search either.


 12:49 pm on May 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Kendo maybe some misunderstanding, I meant functional in purpose, as in information that serves a function in the context of the page/site.


 5:24 pm on May 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

@milosevic no misunderstanding I think. I have read many times references about how Google penalises web pages using bad grammar in English, so this relates to what you mentioned?


 9:28 pm on May 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's my understanding you will be penalized for repeating the same keywords over and over. If your keyword density on a specific keyword gets too high, search engines can consider your page "keyword stuffing".

It's my opinion that we need to be creative in balancing out what works for the site visitor and what works for a bot. In your particular situation, I think it makes more sense to just keep saying what you're saying, but change it from plain text into an image. You can then change the alt/title tags or just leave them blank while communicating what you need to for your surfer.

Search engines don't penalize you for "un seoing" certain parts of your site :)


 2:58 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

penalized for repeating the same keywords over and over

What a ridiculous concept! How can anyone document anything without repeating the keyword?

Title: "King Penguins"

- The Evolution Of King Penguins
- The King Penguins' Habitat
- What King Penguins Eat
- King Penguin Mating Habits
- Migration Habits Of King Penguins
- King Penguins etc

Then following each heading the paragraph may start some like... "The King Penguin is commonly found..." because we are after all talking about King Penguins!.

If this really is the case then whoever is responsible needs to get a life, because all that can result from such sillyness, is the least related pages being rated ahead of pages dedicated to the subject!


 5:55 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

While you're at it, watch those invisible words. We will not talk about how long it took me to figure out why g### thinks one of my top keywords is "thumbnail". Uhm, what am I supposed to do, get a thesaurus to write my alts? There IS no synonym. And if there were, visually impaired readers would be asking what's the difference between this 126x95 jpg and the ones on either side. This would not enhance their browsing experience.


 5:27 pm on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

<OT> Yes but a thumbnail of what? That's what the alt should be. In an automated system if I can't get anything meaningful I use the image file name.</OT>


 9:17 pm on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

<continuing OT>
Even when the text says "thumbnail of such-and-such", that's still 100 occurrences of "thumbnail" vs. 1 occurrence of each of 100 other words. The filename is-- by definition-- a single word. So it would probably be mispronounced by a voice reader. The fact that it's a thumbnail is relevant, and readily obvious to the sighted viewer: this is not the "real" picture, just a link to it. (These are gallery-type pages.)
</resume topic>

Robert Charlton

 12:18 am on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

My emphasis added...
i have a lists for public holidays for diffrent countries...so in each post of each country public holidays, there are few necessery sentences that are most of the time the same for all other holiday posts.....is that a bad for SEO?

The idea of listing public holidays for various countries is a good one, and is useful for users. Google and other engines would expect a degree of templating on a site that covers multiple countries, so a templated introductory line or two is likely not to be an issue in itself.

The problem that all of the engines run into in assigning "ranking points" for such content, though, is that the information is essentially in the public domain, that it's perhaps been compiled many times before. Very probably, either now or in the future, many sites that take the "list" approach could well be returning the same lists.

So, the question is how far beyond just a simple list are you going to go to make your pages which include such lists useful and informative for users... ie, how are you going to make your page stand out from all the others?

As I posted sometime after the MayDay update, back in July of 2010, in one of many discussions we were having about "thin" content, I don't think that lists alone are going to suffice....

Google Referals Down and Dropping More
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4177890.htm [webmasterworld.com]

"Content" is no longer, I feel, about how many different ways you can sort the same pieces of data that many other people have too. While there are various takes on that model that may still be working, ultimately it's going to come down to unique content that's unique enough that it's valued by users and trusted by trusted sites.

Users and Google are, in the long run, going to value originality and additional depth of content. So, the problem you'll encounter may not be in the repetition of templated introductory text. It's liable to be that lists, by themselves, are likely to be too "thin"... and that pages constructed simply of lists aren't going to be sufficiently unique to compete.


 10:00 am on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok, thank you for mentioning this Robert Charlton. I have a page listing the world countries, when you inter each country you will find a list of that country public holidays. ok in this post there is a paragraph at the beginging and a desclaimer at the end, both of them are similar in every page with few keywords less or more depending on the country and its type of holidays. Now for every holiday is a link to a 100% unique post describing that holiday. But the other problem or not, is for example Christmas day. most countries has Christmas as a public holiday, and all the links for that day in all countries lead to the same post. so now i have repetitive paragraphs and repetitive linking... but as you can see this is very necessary for the website.
Is there any problems for me? if yes how to go about them? knowing my site has already been published since about 4 month


 7:28 pm on Jun 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

why g### thinks one of my top keywords is "thumbnail".

Apparently we are penalised when not including ALT tags on images. This is the SEO guideline and another example of stupidity applied to search algorithm because if one uses an image for bullet point or asterisk on a list of items then one ends up with a lot of alt tags for "dot". But if we name them according to the subject line we then get penalised for keyword stuffing.

Don't you think that enough is enough and that g### should get some experience in the real world of web design before claiming to be expert?

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