Google doesn’t like seeing exactly the same content on heaps of different sites.
I know! Revelation or what? It’s a pain in the backside, but that’s the cold, hard, truth. In fact, Google actually penalises websites that have copycat content. They do this by dropping the search result ranking of the site, placing sites with duplicate content in outer cyberspace (like page four or beyond in Google terms). Or, worse, you may not appear in search results at all.
How does duplicate content end up on site?
The main offender is product descriptions. Are you an ecommerce manager? Got your own online store that stocks products from different brands? Then the chances of your site including some copycat content is much higher.
The lovely brands you stock often try to be very, very helpful. When you take on a product and agree to put it on your website, it’s likely the brand will provide you with all of the images you need for the product (fabulous) as well as some copy to go with it. The copy probably explains all of the product’s unique selling points, how it should be used and any specs like material it’s made from, how to look after it and so on. Great, this is super useful, because it saves you the time of having to write it. BUT it also has the potential to damage your site’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Unless you have exclusivity over the sale of a product, it’s unlikely you’re going to be the only retailer selling that item. Those same images and product copy will also have been peddled out to all the other ecommerce businesses that are stocking it. In short: they’ll be uploading exactly the same content as you, ergo, you all end up with duplicate copy on your website.
Avoiding duplicate content is easy
There’s a simple way to not end up with duplicate content, keep Google happy, and have the edge over your competitors.
Have your own original content on product pages.
If I had the coding to make that sentence flash, I would, because that right there is the solution to all of this.
Having your own original content means rewriting and changing the product descriptions that you get sent by the brand. Even just a little bit. Even just changing the order of the sentences. Even adding in one sentence all of your own at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the description. It’ll go some way to help improve your SEO.
So many products, so little time
Not got a million hours to rewrite product copy? Of course you don’t! You’re a busy retailer. So let me take the hassle out of it for you, get the product copy written, and make sure Google isn’t penalising your site any more.
Let’s discuss your project (you’re under no obligation to commission me), because getting rid of duplicate content can be an easy fix that has a positive impact.