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Mirrored Site from Reach Local

Has anyone had any ill effects due to the duplicate content?

3:22 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I was investigating a Reach Local account - and as part of the account they setup a mirrored copy of your website that is hosted on one of their domains. They modify the linking so that they can track activity to and on the site.

These mirrored sites are indexed in Google - and the crawling of the content seems to be encouraged by Reach Local.

Has anyone seen any negative impact on the rank of their real site based on this mirrored content? Does anyone know if you can request that Reach Local block robots from of the mirrored content? Should I even be concernced?


2:11 am on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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bB - I don't know who Reach Local is, but I wouldn't go near anything that involved putting up a duplicate of my site. You're right to be concerned... very concerned. I wouldn't do it.
7:22 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would ask them to robots.txt it, or add no index no follow tags on the pages.

They probably encourage the organic traffic, since you are paying for clicks, and one less click they have to pay for means more profits.

1:00 am on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i am not sure it is appropriate for me to personally discuss this topic. i am very interested in hearing your opinion though, boston.

it can't be possible for a "patent pending technology" to have an adverse impact on a clients web site. or can it?

if you seek an answer you can simply click the "browse listings" in the top left nav, and do a little investigation.

do tell us what you find.

7:04 pm on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The short answer is, no you shouldn't be concerned.

As a ReachLocal marketing partner for several years, I've run dozens and dozens of campaigns (including my own) and have never had, or heard of, a ReachLocal proxy (mirror)site having any effect whatsoever on a original site.

I'm more on the marketing side rather than a technical person, but it's my understanding that ReachLocal does not let the proxy sites be crawled by the web browsers at all. The whole idea of the proxy site is that it enables tracking of leads (phone calls, emails, downloads) that "exclusively"originate through the ReachLocal advertiser's pay per click campaign. It does not track visits or leads that come through normal search results or any other source because your original website is accessed from these sources, not the proxy site.

As far as I am aware the proxy site is not hardwired into the regular site in any way. I always have to let ReachLocal know when there has a been a change on original websites so that they can update the proxy site. ReachLocal will not make any changes to the proxy website, except to add the proxy phone numbers and route emails through a proxy email so they can be tracked. I have had clients ask to make other changes to their proxy and ReachLocal won't do it.

The purpose of the proxy site is to create an exact duplicate of the original except with tracking phone numbers and email, so that advertisers can track their results. The big boys have been using this technique for a long time. When you see an infomercial, that 800 number that comes up on the screen is probably being used only for that channel, probably at that time of day so the advertiser can tell exactly how productive that channel and time are in terms of generating orders. By offering proxy numbers and email addresses, ReachLocal is just making this technology available to smaller online advertisers.

There is no reason to be afraid of it. It doesn't impact anything else you are doing in anyway. The proxy site is hosted on ReachLocal's site and is only used to track results. Only caution, I would offer is that you should make sure that people responding through your pay per click campaign get your original phone number (all they've seen is your proxy number) in case you stop your ReachLocal campaign. In that case the proxy number disappears. I have actually had a couple of clients of mine ask for the proxy phone number to be turned off for that reason. In both cases, they wanted the phone tracking turned back on within a few days. They missed getting the tracking data.

8:06 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Reach Local provides a PPC solution that's unequalled by any that we've seen. They properly use Robots.txt (though not all spiders behave as they should). The fully respect the organic side of every site they work with.

They have over 10,000 clients yet a search for site:TheirDomain returned only a thousand pages. Since they proxy the entire site, there would be millions of pages resulting from that search.

There is not reason to be concerned about Reach Local - they have a unique solution that works extremely well - nothing sinister...