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I have read that unless you completely rewrite fresh content on each new page, google will penalise you for having duplicate content.
Does anyone know to what extent you can get away with changing a few keywords here and there? Or is google clever enough to notice you have just changed the main keywords in creating a new page and therefore viewing it as spam (if it is spam?) it penalises you.
This intrigues me as on the one hand I can see how it would be spam and it would make sense for google to prevent people creating millions of very similiar pages, but then on the other hand surely there will be large chunks of information you might want on every page, because they are genuinely relevant to every page.
Also sometimes I see people doing this and seem to be getting away with it?
I can't remember in which paper it was (It might have been an Altavista paper)
Where it was quoted on how many pages where duplicates on the web (I remember it as quite a large bit)
If you just change the title or something there is quite a good chance that Google will either drop the pages because of duplicate filters, or they will index them, but penalize them, so they will have a big trouble ranking for any keyword.
Thanks for your reply, that seems to be a fair way of google dealing with spammers.
But I wonder to what extent you need to change new pages, though it's probably a case of how long is a piece of string. If google seriously penalises you if they think you are spamming then it is not worth experimenting.
What I did was change the title, the headings, and the main keywords, google gave me good listing for all the new pages, but then with a new freshbot it would drop them, then include them again, then drop them again.
I concluded that either google is just playing around with my site because it is fairly new, or it could still see tracts of those pages had fairly similiar content and so was penalising them.
Ultimately I suppose I need to stop being lazy and write totally unique content for each page.
I'm of the view, with little hard evidence, that Google just ignores "common text" repeated on all pages for indexing purposes, but still counts it when working out what the focus of page is for ranking purposes. If this is the case, looking at it from a SEO point of view, you are just diluting the chance of every page competing for the keyword(s) you are shooting for.
I would look at the site structure and work out what you are doing wrong that means having to repeat so much content on different pages.
Body copy, title and description need to be different. The point is you increase your chances of more business because if you treat them as different, so do search engines and directories - take advantage of that.
While using free content is a bit of a lazy way out, it's a great site promotion method for the person who writes the article...
...and what about press releases - plenty of them that need to be replicated across multiple sites (though it's doubtful these are optimized for SE anyway).
I can understand copying articles like this is OK for magazines or books, where distribution is limited, but on the web, with the tiniest exceptions, each page on the web is available to everyone, and by linking it can be found quick.
Why gum up the web with multiple copies of the same article when a simple link will do? (Err.. on second thougts, don't answer that.. i think i know?!)
If i was a search engine, these duplicate filters are important as we would end up being presented with SERPS full of the same articles with only the pretty bits on the side to differentiate them. Incredible waste of time on all sides.
>>what about press releases?<<
Absolutely no reason these need to be on more than one page or just a few if it is expected to be hit heavily. The obvious place is either the site of those who released it, or their news release aggregator. Again a simple link will do the job.
But the SE's need to still be careful how they handle this - these are still legitimate pages, I don't agree with just putting a link in to an article (a lot of the time that's a good idea, but it doesn't apply all the time) - why should a user have to go to 10 different sites to find the info they are looking for? if a site has a good mix of original content with a few articles (used with permission) from other sites, than that creates a far better user experience than needing to jump across several sites.
Also, Press releases are specifically written to be distributed and shown in as many places as possible - again, in many cases a link would suffice, but in many cases it would not.
Yes, the SE's need to protect against showing duplicate results in their SERPS, and yes they need to penalise and protect against spammy doorway pages etc. but they also need to take into account legit reasons for duplicate content, and ensure there is no ongoing effects across the rest of the site (the duplicate page itself not ranking is fair enough)...
I'm pretty sure this is how it works, but most of the questions seem to be 'if I duplicate some content, will my whole site be penalised?' - this is something I don't think should happen... as long as it's kept to individual pages, I think that adequately serves all purposes.
[edited by: Herenvardo at 3:21 pm (utc) on July 23, 2003]