Duplicate content penalties are not worth it.

Duplicate content is NOT the answer to increase search engine rankings

Content is King in the online world, or is it?

If your website has duplicate content, then you are losing the war to competitors as well as missing out on generating greater customer growth and revenue.

Search engine optimization has evolved over many years and will continue to do so in the years to come.

Before the introduction to a plethora of search engine algorithms and their multi-dimensional complexities, it was quite easy to stake your businesses claim to the front page of all major search engines for your respective industry.

There are many advanced SEO techniques that an average person wouldn’t see or ever comprehend when viewing a webpage that can be considered illegal or deceptive SEO.

From shady link building schemes to paid links to keyword stuffing to link stuffing to plagiarizing a competitor’s original content, there were and still are today many ways, some honest while many are deceitful, to arrive at the front page of all major search engines.

In today’s post, we hope to address the Content is King mentality of those businesses operating in gray-hat SEO, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

Today’s focus is publishing duplicate content in an effort to rank higher on the first page search engine results of all major search engines.

Learn the difference between the good, the bad and ugly of SEO

Over the past few years, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) companies have spent time refining various techniques to move their clients to the first page of major search engines.

Some of the search engine optimization techniques used by many were legit, and some were not.

Still today, there is the good, bad, and ugly when it comes to search engine marketing companies, and it’s never truly a black or white conversation although today’s topic is.

There are good search engine marketing companies playing by the rules and successfully implementing white-hat SEO techniques.

But for every one search engine marketing company deciding to execute sound search engine optimization techniques with great character and integrity, there are numerous companies cashing in on unsuspecting and uninformed businesses in desperate need of search engine marketing services to generate immediate, short-term revenue and repeat business.

If Content is King, then duplicate content should not exist.

One of the most unsuspecting ways a search engine optimization looking to take advantage of an unassuming business owner is pushing the phrase “Content is King”. 

There is nothing wrong with that phrase; however, there is when the motive behind the phrase is deception.

For example, effective ways to rank within all major search engines are generating fresh and original content via a blog or write articles as it pertains to your business.

Potential customers and customers want to be educated and informed about various aspects of your business and business industry.

Generating this type of industry-specific, value-add content will serve your business well as potential customers come to know your business to be an industry expert and very informed business.

The opposite stance of this is article spinning, or writing one article and then slightly changing the syntax and grammar used within the article for multiple articles.

In short, it is taking an article and renaming it various times while making only slight changes to an article.

Meet PlanoJewelry.com and their SEM firm experience.

For example, your business is a jewelry store located in Plano, Texas and you own the domain name PlanoJewelry.com and a simple 5-page website.

Your business hires a local search engine marketing (SEM) company that recommends adding additional pages to your website in an effort to achieve your business goal of ranking well when individual search for jewelry stores in surrounding cities of Allen, McKinney, Richardson, Garland, Addison, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, and Frisco. 

You pay the company to effectively optimize your site for the respective city searches for jewelry using local SEO landing pages.

In weeks or months’ time, your business website is ranking on the first page of all major search engines. 

It’s time to party and celebrate as your business is now receiving more traffic and converting traffic into customers. 

End of story, far from it.

The SEM company failed to educate your business how they went about implementing SEM techniques to get your company ranked across all major search engines.

You thought everything was legit.

Long after you’ve paid the SEM company to do an honest job does your business find out the truth in of what harm the SEM company caused and cost your business.

Penguins have arrived to save the day, or ruin it?

How so?  The SEM company so kindly neglected to inform you they created a html and xml sitemap for your website and added links for the newly created city pages only to the sitemap and no other linkage between pages.

Increase search engine rankings without duplicate content.There is nothing wrong as of yet.

However, it isn’t until you take a look a notice the city pages all look and read the same with the exception of the city name and able a handful of words throughout the content (i.e., duplicate content).

Congratulations, you and your business have been had and the damaging news is you’ve been found out by penguins.

Yes, penguins.

And although it’s a hard pill to swallow and understand, thank the penguin ninjas now for the rewards you’ll reap later.

If this sounds familiar, your business has been had by a deceitful SEM company and your site was heavily penalized in Google (a.k.a also known as penguin updates), losing all search engine rankings.

Why did my business website lose all search engine rankings?

In all honesty, the little short-term trick of having city pages implemented by the SEM company was stealthily uncovered Google’s content algorithm, Penguin Update, on the lookout for duplicate content.

The same concept can apply for zip codes and industry keywords as well as a number of options utilized by deceitful SEM companies.

How does my business website regain search engine rankings?

I’m sure you want to know what your business can do to correct this drastic action now that the good times have ended and the deceitful SEM company is long gone and out of the picture?

Here’s the truth: the only option to regain ground is to do so in an honest manner, implementing white-hat seo principles and techniques.

Yes, it will take time to establish firm footing in search engines, but in the long term, it will provide you the greatest protection when weathering penguin ninjas in updates to come.

This may mean you hire another SEM company, one capable of providing your business with detail implementation plans or one that is a pay for performance type of company.

You may also opt to hire an in-house SEM person to join your business.

Take simple steps to self-educate about SEO principles.

With either option, you as the business owner will need to invest in educating yourself about SEO and at the very least, a basic understanding and comprehension of what the differences are between white-hat, gray-hat and black-hat seo. 

As a first step, we invite you to download our latest guide for what questions you should ask of SEO and SEM professionals, whether an employee, consultant or firm.

Until the next post, no scheming the penguin ninjas with duplicate content.

21 Things to Consider When Choosing a SEO Company

Download this quick reference guide aimed to provide you guidance when selecting a SEO company or SEO professionals for your business to partner with.

Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.