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Duplicate Content Dilemma

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Say Yebo

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:57 PM

Hi all,

My client has a great web site that I am all researching prior to optimizing. But my research revealed that he has another one that all but identical!

When I challenged him on it, he told me that the second one targeted his product at a pharmaceutical market and was required to have some FDA specs here and there that are not appropriate for his regular market.

While doing further research to establish which site Google was favoring, I came across yet a third site with some of the same content on - this being the site of his umbrella company.

When I take snippets of text off random pages and Google them, I see that Google sometimes favors one site, sometimes the other, and sometimes all three turn up on page one.

He has a lot of text that's professionally written and I'm sure he doesn't want to change it. But this can't be a healthy situation for him right? I'm uncertain how to take it from here.

#2 Randy


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Posted 11 December 2008 - 07:29 AM

And he needs to maintain all of these different sites instead of simply having the information available in a single location? There's a legal requirement to do this? I would think it would be the other way around, where the legal requirements would apply to every site.

If he does indeed need to maintain the different sites for some legal reason I'd probably recommend setting up robots exclusions for the non-retail sites. At least this way it should keep from confusing potential visitors. Though it may be detrimental to his traffic if those extra sites send traffic over to the main site. He'd lose that referral traffic if the main site doesn't rank for the phrases the extra sites show up for.

#3 copywriter


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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:22 AM

The client can have copy written that says the same thing, but in a different way. If he's targeting 2 supposedly different audience segments, I'm wondering why he has the same copy for both.

I'm with Randy. I don't follow as to why he can't create 1 site and funnel the visitors to the sections that best suit them.

Here are some tips from Google on duplicate content issues.

#4 JakeG


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Posted 11 December 2008 - 10:43 AM

I had a very similar situation recently and advised that the duplicated site be excluded from the search engines. Still I'd only recommend this if it was really impossible to combine all the sites into one.

#5 Jill


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Posted 11 December 2008 - 01:20 PM

It doesn't matter too much as long as the client isn't expecting all 3 sites to show up in the search results for the same keyword phrases.

#6 austk


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Posted 12 December 2008 - 02:51 AM

He'd be better off hotlinking on dynamic tagged sites than reproducing his content twice and diluting its originality.

#7 Say Yebo

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 04:43 PM

He has explained that his two markets are different enough to justify two web sites - and his product pages are in fact reasonably different on each site. But all the pages that are about the company, their safety measures, the quality of the products etc - identical. I guess it's the product pages that are the important ones in the end.

#8 Dougwaldodemagnificenzo


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Posted 31 March 2009 - 03:31 AM

This is not a unique situation.

In the marketplace we operate in we have witnessed competitors who have multiple sites promoting the same products to the same (not different markets). They have simply taken the view that the web is a big place and that you can promote your products or services in more than 1 location - you simply write unique content for each page.

I would suggest that the easiest approach would be to create unique content - selling the extra cost to him (and extra sale to you) as increased web presence. Simply put - the more content you have (regardless of how many sites it's spread over) the more visitors and sales he will get.

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