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We currently have a successful site based in the UK with a .co.uk address. We would now like to market our product to the US and have bought a good .com url. My problem is that inevitably a good deal of content and the structure of the site will be identical to the .co.uk site, will this lead to my .co.uk being penalized? How much do I have to change for it not to be considered spamming?
Thanks in advance
How much do I have to change for it not to be considered spamming?
Spamming is spamming; and is defined by your intentions rather than any specific quantifiable element.
Performing a 1 Billion dollar bank hiest; or pick-pocketing a quarter from somebody's back pocket - the intention is theft, the amount doesn't come into it.
Do what is in the best interests of your business (i.e. your users). The rest, including Google, will follow.
The thing is that UK users will happily read, and buy from, sites that 'organize' rather than 'organise' their content or use nice 'colors' rather than nice 'colours'.
The opposite is not true.
I am curreently looking into the best road to take to get a larger US based audience/customer base for a membership based site that has a pretty large existing UK based audience. I don't want to suddenly switch to US spelling on the existing site, it would be too weird a thing to do. The easy alternative would be to just duplicate the site but with US spelling. But this would probably be seen as spamming - even though the intention would not be that, but to faciliate the customer.
I would really love to know how others have dealt with this.
For example, I have WIDGETS.co.uk domain and recently bought the WIDGETS.com version of the name. Would I be punished for duplicate content by having the exact same content (apart from spellings perhaps)
Amazon.co.uk is very similar to Amazon.com in terms of content. The purpose for me is to target the US customer's seperatelty from UK customers. Then I can sell in $ on the .com and £ on the .co.uk. What is wrong with this?
A site targetting UK people and another targetting US people is NOT going to be the same. One will rank well for US Widgets, the other will rank well for UK Widgets - that ain't spamming. That's why you get amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, blah...etc...and on and on...
Yes, there's different spellings, shipping and prices - but the style of writing should change too, different references, phrases, emphasis, etc.
You could get the US site hosted in the US.
Just because two websites are selling the same products, originating from the same warehouse, doesn't mean that Google can will ban you. It isn't that intuitive.
Stay relevant, stay targetted and you'll stay indexed.
I noticed that many co-branders are present on search engines, so I hardly believe that we are penalized, but feel free to post your comments.