SEO Content Basics: The Danger of Duplication

SEO Content Basics: The Danger of Duplication

The whole point of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for small creative businesses is to give the robots that live within Google, Faire or any search engine the right information about our products. This means we have to communicate with the robots in their own language, using the words and sentence structures they like best.

Hopefully you know about keywords from my previous blog post, Understanding Keywords. This is a great place to start in understanding how a search engine reads and classifies content.

Today, I’m telling you why duplicating content is one of the worst things you can do. In fact: Duplicating Content Makes All of the Duplicates Worthless.

Let me say that again.

IF YOU USE CONTENT MORE THAN ONCE, IT IS USELESS.

I know, it’s tempting to take one beautifully-written product description and just copy-paste it into a second product, or a third, or fourth. DON’T DO IT. Search engines are lazy – they will simply ignore any content that is duplicated and your product will be completely dismissed – thus making your SEO much, much worse. It may even result in your whole website being ignored.

Let me give you a scenario.

Say you have a product with a gorgeous, unique product description. The search engine reads this content and thinks, “Ah yes, fabulous information. Let me classify this product properly – up there, on the front of the search results!”

Then it pats itself on the back and moves on to the next product. If that product has identical content, the search engine thinks, “Oh, I’ve already seen this one, BORING“, then chucks it in the bin and moves on to the next without classifying it.

IT WILL IGNORE ALL OF THE DUPLICATES.

If you have more duplicate content than unique content, the search engine may dismiss your website entirely. It may get so fucking annoyed by chucking duplicates in the bin that it starts to believe the whole site is worthless, and refuse to rank it at all.

As we’ve discussed before, search engines are blind and stupid. Having unique product photos is not enough to make them understand that a product is unique. The words used to describe the products must also be unique, and as descriptive as possible.

This doesn’t mean that the content has to be full of completely new ideas every single time. The content across 100 different birthday cards can be written in a unique way, while still giving the same general idea. It doesn’t have to be new thoughts, just expressed in a new way. Paraphrase that information!

Of course, it is time consuming and difficult to write unique content about similar products. It takes a lot of imagination and creativity, especially when you have a very large catalogue of products. This is what I’m here for! I can write hundreds of product descriptions that pass the plagiarism test and ensure every one of your listings has the best chance of ranking.

Importantly, all search engine algorithms work in slightly different ways. Google is much more sensitive about duplicate content and keyword stuffing than the algorithm used by the Faire wholesale marketplace, for example. There, you can get away with short duplicated lists, which is useful for things like materials, which are important for the buyer and often identical across products.

There are online tools like Siteliner that you can use to test how much of your website content is duplicated. This only works for domains, not for content in marketplaces. The best thing to do is to write unique content for every page and every product. Sound like too much work? Just have me do it for you! I'm an expert in SEO for small creative businesses and it's literally what I love to do.  Contact me now!

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