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Site Penalized For Duplicate Content? G Hates My Site!


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#1 Webseeker

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:22 PM

Here's my problem... If you happened to check my Profile to see my other posts, recently it's all about this one site that isn't show up at all @ Google. When I do site:http://www.mysite.com all the pages of the site shows up. I can then take snippets from any of those pages, put them in quotes and see if G has that particular group of words indexed... and G does every time I do this. However, when I use 2 of my best keywords trying to get results at G, I'm no where to be found!

For reasons specified in my other posts, this site was offline for almost 1 month. Other sites were offline too, but they all recovered... except this one.

I noticed something about my index page. You will see the differences below:

Both urls seem to go to the same place:

http://www.mywebsitethatghates.com
http://www.mywebsitethatghates.com/index.html

Not sure how or why this happens, but when I make changes to the index page or index folder, it affects the other page too. So essentially I'm seeing 2 identical pages. Wouldn't that be duplicate content that G frowns upon? Do you think this "may" be a reason why G isn't giving me any love using my best keywords?

Also, here's something else. I'm trying to get a certain page within the website to show on G using the desired keywords, not the index page. So I don't see the correlation between what's going on with the index page and the page I'm trying to get results for. Unless G sees my whole site as being a wreck because of this dupe content stuff. LOL! I wouldn't get my whole site not showing up because of this... do you think?

How do I get rid of the page marked like below?

http://www.mywebsitethatghates.com/index.html

Is this fixable? Or perhaps do I need to do a 301 redirect from the /index.html to the other?

What are your opinions?

Webseeker

P.S. "Have been building a few anchor texted links to the interior page I'm trying to get ranked. Less than 10 so far, but working on it."

#2 clandestino

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 01:26 AM

Hi @Webseeker,

You will want to 301 re-direct the following URL's to the canonical version which should be http://www.mywebsitethatghates.com --

1)  http://mywebsitethatghates.com"  
2) http://mywebsitethatghates.com/index.html" 
3) http://www.mywebsitethatghates.com/index.html"

You could make the canonical version the non-www version too. I'd go with www.mywebsitethatghates.com .

I don't think this is going to pop those pages up the 1st page of SERP's but it will consolidate links and other attributes on one set of pages and that will improve relevance and rankings in the long run.

There's a lot of possible reasons those pages don't rank. Did they rank before?

@Webseeker

One last thought -- there is no penalty for duplicate content. It's just that one or the other of the duplicate pages (and the situations you describe above are classic duplicate content) may not both show up in the search results. Also, links may get split between various pages. If the links we're all focused on the same page, you would likely get greater SEO benefit and higher rankings.

#3 Webseeker

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:58 AM

Yes, the pages ranked before the site was down. Since then the site has been up for approx. 3+ weeks, maybe a month now. I also did some internal link changes as well, of which several new links were added to direct to the page I'm trying to get ranked. I didn't think duplicate content had something to do with it, but I had to ask since you never know. Besides I was referring to the index and that's not the page I'm trying to get ranked but a different interior page... and it would seem odd for G to penalize the whole site for problems with the index.

As for the canonical, that's what I was referring to and thanks for the info on the redirect. Makes me think I'm doing or will be doing something right along the lines of good site structure. Thank you very much for your input.

===========================

Since I posted this I've found several sites that they too had 2 different or seemingly the same index page... one with siteone.com/ and the other siteone.com/index.html.

No matter what keyword(s) I come up with, even using the ones I'm trying to rank for, that page or any other for that matter, doesn't show up anywhere on G. I'm seriously thinking there's a penalty involved here. At first I thought it was because the site was down, but G gave my ranking back on my other sites after almost 2 weeks.

I'm double checking hard about what the problem is. I fear I'm just going to have to wait it out. Fortunately this challenge has reminded me once again about site design and seo both on and off page factors. Right now I've made additions and modifications to the below:

1.) Title (meta)
2.) Description (meta)
3.) Added some content
4.) Added a few inbound anchored links
5.) Reworded some content to read more natural and not appear "spammy"
6.) Added more links to internal page from other pages.
7.) Hired SEO firm to blast submit my site to 300 search engines for $100 (LOL! Just kidding)
8.) Purchased 500 inbound links from pr5 to pr9 sites.(LOL! jk)

I'll keep on keeping on and try to figure this out!

Webseeker

#4 Jill

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:08 AM

Not sure how or why this happens, but when I make changes to the index page or index folder, it affects the other page too. So essentially I'm seeing 2 identical pages. Wouldn't that be duplicate content that G frowns upon? Do you think this "may" be a reason why G isn't giving me any love using my best keywords?


Absolutely, positively not.

Have you read my article I posted the other day about "over optimization"?

You need to make your site stand out from the millions of others. Editing your content and creating fake anchor text links to it, doesn't do that.

#5 clandestino

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:32 PM

7.) Hired SEO firm to blast submit my site to 300 search engines for $100 (LOL! Just kidding)
8.) Purchased 500 inbound links from pr5 to pr9 sites.(LOL! jk)

LOL x 1,000! Can you give me a list of the links and who provided them? Maybe you will want to look at some Blog Networks too, LOL! (just kidding, of course)

So as not to be confusing -- the various versions of your domain have nothing to do with your pages not ranking in this case. 301 redirecting them is just one of those general maintenance things that you will want to do to make sure your site is finely tuned. Probably the most important factor is visitors will only see only version of the domain so they will link to that one version. Consolidating all links on one page will make a difference in the long run, this is important.

Note: By 301 redirecting the various versions of the domain, you will consolidate all links on the canonical version of the domain. People say you may lose 10% to 20% of the link juice on redirect but consolidating them on one page will be worth it.

Matt Cutts says it's fine to help Google by doing the 301 re-directs. He claims Google will figure it out without you and there are settings in Webmaster Tools that can be used.

In my opinion,and that of many very experience people in the industry, it is better to take care of it yourself with the 301 redirects. The best solution is always a server side solution so Google never even sees it and you don't have to worry if they get it right. I can show you many cases where they don't.

Having said that, and so you understand, the theory is that when Googlebot finds your site through the various versions of your domains, it sees every page as a brand new set of duplicate pages -- home page and all the sub-pages.

For example --

1) http://mywebsitethatghates.com -- Google sees every page in this version of the domain as another duplicate copy of the canonical version, www.mywebsitethatghates.com in this case.

2) http://mywebsitethat....com/index.html -- Google sees every page in this version of the domain as another duplicate copy of the canonical version.
3) http://www.mywebsite....com/index.html -- Google sees every page in this version of the domain as another duplicate copy of the canonical version.

Edited by ChuckFinley, 15 April 2012 - 09:43 PM.


#6 Jill

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:39 PM

Google has been able to figure that stuff out for many years.

#7 clandestino

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:42 PM

@Webseeker

Just out of curiosity, what happens if you paste mywebsitethatghates.com in the Google Search Box?

#8 Webseeker

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:15 AM

Have you read my article I posted the other day about "over optimization"?

Editing your content and creating fake anchor text links to it, doesn't do that.


No, I have not read that post, but you can bet that I most surely will.

As for editing my content, I had to do that anyway. I felt it didn't read as well as it could... catering to the search enGines, instead of thinking of the reader. I also wouldn't consider what I did as to be "fake" anchor text links. Blog posts, article submissions, upload videos and a few posts on a few different sites all created inbound links I didn't have before. Eventually as part of the link building strategy, it was something to do.

I look forward in reading that post... along with the many others I haven't yet taken the time to read. There's a lot to read and learn from.

Thank you!

==================================

Just out of curiosity, what happens if you paste mywebsitethatghates.com in the Google Search Box?


The index page showed up as #1 followed by a few other pages/sites where I have my links, etc. Also, no other of the site's interior pages showed up.

When I do the site:http://www.mywebsitethatghates.com, ALL the pages show up. I also take snippets of sentences from any of the pages, place them into quotes at G and they always show up. G spidered and indexed everything. But take any combination of keyword(s) I'm trying to rank for and notta, nothing, zippo... I don't rank anywhere... at least in the top 100, ... but we're talking low competition local results. Come on!

Thanks for the replies CF. Every bit helps.

=====================================================

I, with help and persistence, will get it figured out!

It's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma locked away surrounded by armed guards at one of G's data centers.

Webseeker

#9 clandestino

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:24 AM

I, with help and persistence, will get it figured out!

It's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma locked away surrounded by armed guards at one of G's data centers.

Webseeker


LOL! That's a great quote and so true! You have to be curious and not afraid of trial and error to succeed with internet marketing.

I love Monetate's logo which is a piece to a jig saw puzzle. That is the perfect logo and serves their brand so well.

If you have done all of the on-page optimization, built some links with anchor text that matches the keyword you're trying to promote, added some internal links with anchor text, you ranked previously for those same keywords, and those pages are being crawled, they should rank today.

If the pages aren't being crawled, I would put up some links in places that Google crawls all the time and bring the crawlers back to my site.

Otherwise, I'd give it 30 days and see what happens. When you pull a site off the internet like that, it always seems to create problems. My experience has been that you're rankings never seem to come back the way that were before. Then the trick is to focus on new keywords.

I hope you have better luck.

You did check to see if you have a penalty notice in Webmaster Tools didn't you? Is there any pattern to the drop in rankings like -50 or -70 meaning your rankings seemed to drop 5 or 7 pages across the board? Any of those things could be a penalty related to bad links.

Let me know what happens, I'm curious! Post here when you see results.

I am an enigma wrapped in a riddle inside a mystery searching for armed guards that are the tip off that I've found one of G's secret data centers where the meaning of the internet is located.

Edited by ChuckFinley, 16 April 2012 - 03:26 AM.


#10 Jill

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:44 AM

Please read:

Over-Optimization: It's Not Your Mother's SEO Anymore!

#11 Webseeker

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:35 AM

Please read:

Over-Optimization: It's Not Your Mother's SEO Anymore!


You bet your seo boots I will. Thank you!

If you have done all of the on-page optimization, built some links with anchor text that matches the keyword you're trying to promote, added some internal links with anchor text, you ranked previously for those same keywords, and those pages are being crawled, they should rank today.


You must have broken into one of G's data centers, because you're spot on! Yes, I checked a few minutes ago, after checking multiple times a day for a few weeks now... I OWN positions #1 & #2 with my keywords with the site that wasn't coming up at all. With the other work I did in the last few weeks, I also have spots #4, #6, #7 & #9. Good call!

One thing I may add though CF, is the anchor text doesn't have to be the same keywords I'm trying to rank for. G is good for pulling up synonyms. I try and diversify my anchor text and seo writing content to reflect my keywords, but also for the synonyms to vary so that I don't over-optimize like I sometimes may be guilty of!

Thanks again for the replies and info, etc.

===============================================

Not too sure if what I did made the difference because I was ranking before. However, the site IS better now because I fixed some meta tag info that wasn't right, not there, nor filled in properly. I adjusted the title, keyword and description content. I also added more inbound anchor texted links, restructured the internal linking and adjusted/edited/added the content to read more smooth, less spammy, instead of having something typed in I thought the search enGines would prefer. I filled in the alt tags for the images which were blank before making sure they were more descriptive in nature instead of a another spot where I can throw in my keywords. I know I did more too, but I'm so happy to be back again it's hard to contain myself or think right now. LOL!

Over all I didn't really learn much new in the last couple of weeks. Or I should say I didn't implement anything new I didn't know already. When I first got into seo several years back I consumed a lot of info. I had since forgot some of that info and am refreshing my memory... and implemented what I learned prior. One of my sites is almost 8 years old and once I set it up, I hardly made any changes and dominated the ranks. When you pick industries, products, services or arenas where the competition is low or easily overcome with seo and internet marketing skills, it makes the seo rookie and internet marketer like me look good. LOL!

Webseeker

Edited by Webseeker, 16 April 2012 - 10:42 AM.


#12 Jill

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:57 AM

It was likely just a time delay factor after your site having been offline.

#13 Michael Martinez

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:53 PM

Both urls seem to go to the same place:

http://www.mywebsitethatghates.com
http://www.mywebsitethatghates.com/index.html

Not sure how or why this happens, but when I make changes to the index page or index folder, it affects the other page too. So essentially I'm seeing 2 identical pages. Wouldn't that be duplicate content that G frowns upon? Do you think this "may" be a reason why G isn't giving me any love using my best keywords?


Your internal links create this problem, as well as any poorly managed external links. Based on what little information you provided in the above post I would infer that you are most likely using relative links in your internal navigation, and perhaps a mix of link styles. You should always use fully resolved, absolute URLs in your internal links (they would begin with "http" and include your domain name).

To "fix" the problem you do NOT want to use redirects as was suggested above.

Instead you want to fix your internal links AND embed "rel='canonical'" link elements in your page headers.

NEVER use "index.html" or whatever in any link URL you create.

#14 clandestino

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:11 PM

Hi Webseeker,

Glad your site is back!!! I'm almost as happy as you are, LOL!

Just a note -- canonicals will solve the problem with duplicate content from multiple versions of your domain as Michael Martinez suggests. The drawback with the canonical tag vs 301's is --

1) It won't stop users from seeing those various domain versions so users may still link to multiple domain versions.

2) The canonical, in theory will consolidate link juice as the 301's will, but anytime there is a redirect/canonical, some of the link juice be lost so you would rather the user only sees one version of the domain rather then letting them link to the other versions and discounting the link value when it's redirected.

3) There are 5 or 6 reasons that the crawlers will ignore canonical tags. With a 301, Google never sees it, it's controlled by the server (depending on how the 301 was created - I recommend server side impementation).

4) Unless you can implement the canonical by template, the 301 is much less work.

Webseeker,

I was thinking about you when I saw the following 2 posts. It looks as though they don't apply to you now, but food for thought.

1) Lessons Learned by an Over-Optimizer ---> http://www.seomoz.or...optimizer-14730

2) Google: Go As Far Back As Possible To Remove Paid Links---> http://www.seroundta...inks-14968.html

This is from John Mu at Google, the part that I thought may apply to you is --
Getting A Notification Now Doesn't Mean It Is A New Penalty

Google stepped up their notifications, so if you get a notification today, it doesn't mean it is a new penalty. Google is sending notifications out for old penalties. John explained, "while we have just recently started sending out these messages, they may apply to issues that were already known (and affecting your site's standing in our search results) for a while."

Well, another search for an enigma wrapped in a riddle inside a mystery searching for armed guards that are the tip off that I've found one of G's secret data centers where the meaning of the internet is located -- completed!!!

Aaron Wall at SEO Book said it best (I paraphrase) -- "Most of the important things that you will learn in SEO you will discover by working on your own sites. Sometimes because you made an error such as accidentally removing your site from access to the crawlers. Sometimes it will be positive, sometimes not."

No one can really tell you how to fix your site. Just because it worked for them doesn't mean it will work for you. There are many, many variables the average internet marketer isn't even aware of that makes your situation different. You would really have to be a software engineer to appreciate the degree to which each situation is different and do exhaustive testing to reach a conclusion. Take their info with a grain of salt. Use their ideas as a basis for focusing your troubleshooting efforts, but don't ever rely on their advice carte-blanche. Or mine -- check it out for yourself. I'll always give you cites to supporting info. If I don't, just ask and I'll be happy to pass it on.

BTW - a generalized view of what the average link graph should look like -- 50% exact match anchor, 40% related and keyword variations (to include synonyms, modifiers, keyword stemming, mis-spellings and permutations), 10% branded or unusual terms such as -- "click here".

#15 Jill

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:59 PM

BTW - a generalized view of what the average link graph should look like -- 50% exact match anchor, 40% related and keyword variations (to include synonyms, modifiers, keyword stemming, mis-spellings and permutations), 10% branded or unusual terms such as -- "click here".


Sorry, but that sounds like BS to me.

50% exact match anchor (unless it's a brand) would be mainly as a result of link building and in no way natural. I would imagine Google would know that.




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