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Solution To Duplicate Content


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11 replies to this topic

#1 bladelink

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 03:11 PM

Trying to make a long story short, we have hundreds of sites for individual financial representatives. Each are their own business, and while they all sell our products and services, they technically compete with each other. So, for existing and prospective clients, each rep has (and probably needs) his/her own Web site. The challenge is that to provide some meat to those sites and still remain compliant with the regulatory agencies, we wind up with largely the same content on most of the pages on each of those sites. A few pages are highly customized, but the bulk of each site is almost identical for each kind of rep.

That's probably one reason none of them rank well on Google, many haven't even been indexed after being live for many months, etc.

It's simply not practical to make each site sufficiently different, so I think we're left with one basic solution:

Put the common content on one central site that serves as the origination of the content, and, in effect, syndicate the content out to the various rep sites. According to Google, if we link back to the source from each syndicated page, and if each rep site has a noindex tag on the common content, it should be clear to Google. Worst case is the pages won't rank well, but they don't rank well today. At least the rest of the site should be identified as unique and get indexed. A variation of that would be to display that content within an iFrame.

I'm looking for any and all input, including validation or "you're nuts." Please let me know your thoughts and suggestions, or if there's anything we're missing. Thanks for any help you can offer!

#2 Jill

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 04:16 PM

Are you thinking that the sites have a duplicate content penalty?

Because if so, there isn't such a thing. The duplicate content is just getting filtered out, which is what will happen if you do the things you suggest. In other words, there will be no differences.

#3 bladelink

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 05:19 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Feb 17 2010, 03:16 PM) View Post
Are you thinking that the sites have a duplicate content penalty?

Because if so, there isn't such a thing. The duplicate content is just getting filtered out, which is what will happen if you do the things you suggest. In other words, there will be no differences.


No, not a penalty, per se. But the search engines aren't valuing the sites very much, and in some cases, the only page on a site that's been indexed is one of the duplicate content pages. And that was months ago. Thus, the search engines aren't even finding the site for the rep's name. My thinking is if there's a clearer signal that the duplicate content is syndicated, or doesn't show up for the spider at all because it's in an iFrame, that they might at least index the content that can be customized.

Does that make sense?

#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 05:53 PM

You should be able to provide enough information about each rep to create a unique, distinctive (even if templated) microsite for the reps. That should resolve the unique content part of the equation.

I think your idea of consolidating all the duplicated content in one repository makes sense. You might be able to embed Javascript widgets on the representative microsites that randomly serves snippets from the central content (with a link back to the original). Think of a Twitter feed widget.

This way you embed some relevant text on each representative microsite without going overboard, and it will look a little different each time the crawlers come by, thus minimizing the chance that sites will be deemed similar enough to kick in a filter.

But the representative microsites probably need some decent inbound links. That will be the real challenge.

#5 Jill

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 08:51 AM

QUOTE(bladelink @ Feb 17 2010, 05:19 PM) View Post
No, not a penalty, per se. But the search engines aren't valuing the sites very much, and in some cases, the only page on a site that's been indexed is one of the duplicate content pages. And that was months ago. Thus, the search engines aren't even finding the site for the rep's name. My thinking is if there's a clearer signal that the duplicate content is syndicated, or doesn't show up for the spider at all because it's in an iFrame, that they might at least index the content that can be customized.


That's typically due to them having no links pointing to them.


#6 copywriter

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 09:55 AM

You could create a custom Home page for each site that focused equally on the rep and the company's products/services. Then the custom About [Reps' Name] page (like Michael said) would give you two pages on each site that could stand on their own.

That would make sense from a user's point of view too. If you have all these reps that are selling the exact same products/services, searchers would need help in determining why they should buy from whom.


#7 GreyWill

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 04:36 AM

But how duplicate content is just getting filtered out.I think it makes no sense.

#8 Jill

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 07:51 AM

The search engines will show one version and not the others which are filtered out.

#9 Scottie

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 09:44 AM

I hope search engine rankings aren't the primary means of marketing that your reps are using... sites without much content in a competitive field simply aren't going to rank well without a LOT of incoming links.

A website offers additional information to prospective customers, allows them to use some tools, maybe submit information and is a great thing for a business to have. It can be a landing page for your other marketing efforts but expecting it to rank well in the search engines just because it exists is unrealistic.

#10 bggb33

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 01:39 PM

Hi Jill,

How do I fix the duplicate content from "regionalized pages"? For instance, I"m working with goodyeardealers.com and I have sub-directories for over 100 cities/areas. Ex: goodyeardealers.com/atlanta, goodyeardealers.com/southflorida, etc. All the pages within each sub directory are the pretty much identical with the exception of the city name (when mentioned on the page or in the tags). The only slight differences are the coupons (on occasion) and the dealer locator page.

I'm sure this is bad for SEO puposes. Is there any way I can make these pages high quality while they are still serving the same purpose?

Thanks.

#11 copywriter

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 01:46 PM

I'm not Jill, but I can suggest including unique information about each dealer on the page along with the standard Goodyear info. You could talk about the physical location (convenient to which areas of town?), the manager and how he treats customers, any awards this location has won, add photos with captions (caption count as copy), post customer reviews of this location, etc.



#12 webstream

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 03:23 PM

QUOTE(copywriter @ Apr 27 2010, 03:46 PM) View Post
I'm not Jill, but I can suggest including unique information about each dealer on the page along with the standard Goodyear info. You could talk about the physical location (convenient to which areas of town?), the manager and how he treats customers, any awards this location has won, add photos with captions (caption count as copy), post customer reviews of this location, etc.

Bingo!

What you have done is create an instant "info" website, but that doesn't mean these mini-websites will appear on page 1 for the organic listings for the most relevant keyword phrases used by their targeted audience. I have seen numerous examples of these where all aligned agents or stores have a cookie-cutter, templated website. When I been asked to help resolve these issues I recommended exactly the above. Each agent needs some unique, geo-targeted pages talking about their local services, etc. Allow them to also edit the content on these unique pages, including the title tags and meta descriptions. The advice you are getting here from Jill and the others is excellent.






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