As a Toronto content marketing company, we have seen all manner of mistakes made by business owners, which end up costing them money. Duplicate content is one of them.
Duplicate content can have a damaging effect on your website’s performance. It hurts your SEO, drops page or domain ranking scores, and sometimes even risks your entire site being landed in the dreaded “sandbox”, where it will sit for all eternity unless you put lots of effort into pulling it out of there.
So, what is this duplicate content, and how does it happen?
Editorial Duplicate Content
If you need to put some content on your site that was already published elsewhere, you can still avoid duplicate content penalties by rewriting it. Once you style, phrase and organize it differently or, even better, add more of your own content to it, you will end up with a new, original piece of content, and it won’t count as duplicate anymore. As a last resort, if you are using copied text as is, block it from indexing by using the robots.txt file. We have published a detailed instruction for that recently.
This one is hard to avoid on an ecommerce site. You likely got some product specs from your vendor, which he sent to all other distributors to put on their web pages, for example. Same product – same product description, right? Yes, but it’s still duplicate content, and any content marketing company in Toronto will tell you it’s bad for you.
If you wish to get ranked for your products, the descriptions should be custom, fresh copy, with no duplicates anywhere else. So as not to rewrite the descriptions for your entire inventory (which can take a lot of time and cost you a lot of money), choose your top products first. By prioritizing, you can focus on high-demand, high-margin products which you would like to rank in searches. Those products are worth taking the time to rewrite descriptions for.
Internal Duplicate Content
In the realm of duplicate content, this is the easiest to overlook. If you have the same product information displaying on more than one page, it’s duplicate. Which means trouble. Also, if the same page is accessible through more than one URL, the search engine may see it as three different pages with exactly the same content. Many ecommerce business owners don’t even know what hit them when this one bites them in the back. Using the Canonical Tag to indicate to Google which one is the original will usually settle this problem.
This pretty much covers it, and should help you avoid making this costly mistake. Should you need any advice or the help of a Toronto professional content marketing company, feel free to give us a call. We’re here for you!