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To solve this problem, i've been thinking about adding a short (2 sentence) description of the site near the top of every page. Not only should it solve the problem, it should invite users to explore the site more.
Now, the question is, how can I do this without being penalized. The site has around 55,000 legit pages. On some pages, this description may constitute up to about 20% of the text (though probably closer to 3-5% on most). I am concerned that this will trigger some kind of sitewide duplicate content filter, resulting in a penalization.
Anyone have any experience with this or insights?
But do try to keep it short, as in 3 or 4 short sentences at the most, people just don't read anything like that if it's too long.
I like the I-frame idea, I might make that change myself. I haven't had a duplicate comtent issue from this. But I have changed the wording a couple times and using an I-frame would have made that easier.
This not only deals with the duplicate text issue, but also means the pages change just a little all the time. That works for users because they tend not to become blind to the text.
Being unfamiliar with iframe, is this the same as an included file in PHP? The site is 100% PHP/MySQL at the moment. The description will end up having a lot of keywords in it, that cannot be avoided due to the topic.
Moving the text into a server-side include (however implemented) will have zero effect other than, perhaps, increasing the load on your server slightly.
Think of an <iframe> like an <img> however, instead of a graphic you include text. However, there is at least one critical difference... whilst <img> can be sized automatically <iframe> cannot - typically you might set width=100%
It's true that you're probably okay including such things in your code up to 10%(who knows for sure?) of the total content, but these little things have a way of snowballing... a little navbar, a little copyright statement, etc, etc, and suddenly you're 'way over 10% (or whatever limit).