Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: open

Message Too Old, No Replies

marketing UK site for USA

will duplicate content be considered spamming?



4:16 pm on Sep 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


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



10:08 pm on Sep 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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.


10:17 pm on Sep 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I can see where you are coming from and face the same issue at the moment.

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.


3:50 pm on Sep 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am in exactly the same position as you. I am not concerned with spelling for a US market, merely the fact of getting punished by google for duplicate content.

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?




4:03 pm on Sep 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Exactly. Why do big sites with .co.uk and .com urls not get penalized? Also, many sites purchase content from a common source, particularly the travel industry, yet they are not penalized, why? What has to be different in order for it to be considered a separate site? Does anyone have the answer?



7:52 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Why not just focus on getting good results on the SERPs for 1 URL & then use Geo-targeting to serve up a separate US site which is blocked from Google's eyes?

Fruit and Veg

9:16 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Duplicate content is if it's 'exactly' the same. Google is not a human, it can only notice two pages that are 'exactly' the same. It can't look at a page and think 'O'yeah this guy's just changed colour to color and converted all the prices to dollars - that's spamming mate'

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.


3:25 am on Oct 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think most search engines aren't trying to "penalize" you for putting duplicate content out there, it's just a waste of time to crawl it and index it twice. It's also a bad user experience for folks to get two links to your website when they perform a search on keywords for which your site is relevant. Changing from British to American spelling may avoid this problem. Good papers to check out would probably cite Andrei Broder's resemblance and containment paper and mention "shingling".



9:31 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We are having an online service and we are promoting it through co-branders. Co-branders can change their header, footer, colors, etc. They can also target their site to specific location(s) and / or content (classification), however they are not doing this, most of them prefer global sites, instead of local or classification targeted sites. Is this acceptable?

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.


Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month