The Price Is Wrong: Why Duplicate Content Is Bad for Your Website

Internet Marketing for Attorneys, Surgeons, and Dentists

Written by Jake Johnson, Internet Marketing Consultant

Duplicate content is a term that is casually thrown around in the marketing world and often misunderstood. According to Google, “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.”

Matt Cutts, the Head of Search Spam for Google, says that 25 to 30 percent of the Web is duplicate content. This can cause an issue for sites that are miming one another with the intent to try and manipulate the SERPs. Allow me to explain with the help of popular culture.

Duplicate Content, Come on Down!

Mostly everyone is familiar with iconic television game show The Price Is Right. But for those of you who need a refresher, The Price Is Right is a game show where contestants have an opportunity to win prizes such as watches, televisions, kitchen appliances, and even fabulous vacations by guessing the prices of the prizes they are attempting to win.

During one episode back in 2008, a contestant was able to guess all 3 prices of the prizes in the final round exactly. He was an extreme fan of the show and had watched and studied it religiously. Since the prizes were generally the same, he had a rough idea as to what the cost of those items was going to be.

You’re probably asking what The Price Is Right and duplicate content have to do with one another.

Imagine that the contestant is Google. Because Google, like the winning contestant in 2008, has seen the prizes (website content appearing on more than one domain) repeatedly before, it knows and understands that the content is not original.

Tell Them What They Can Win!

Google’s search algorithm looks favorably upon original content, viewing it as a sign of authority and reliability. In other words, a website that is using duplicate content in order to manipulate the search results ultimately provides a poorer user experience than a website that provides an original, targeted answer to a user’s question or need.

Since Google is highly focused on providing the best user experience, the search engine will index those sites with duplicate content as it sees fit – often not favorably and, in extreme cases, removing the site from the index entirely. Although you may feel that by guessing close to the right price (using duplicating content on your site simply to fill relevant pages), the savings you might enjoy from it isn't worth the possible impact on your search performance.

If you’d like to have a content audit run on your website to see if you’re at risk of underperforming in search results as a result of duplicate text, contact your Internet Marketing Consultant or by calling Page 1 Solutions at 800-368-9910.