SEO Omaha 101: The Perils of Duplicate Content

September 10, 2014
by Conor Treacy

SEO Omaha Duplicate Content_Big Red SEOYou may know that search engine optimization (SEO) professionals help your business get top rankings on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing for targeted keywords and questions relating to your industry, but you may not know exactly how we go about doing that. One of the first things we at Big Red SEO in Omaha will tell you when you come in for a consultation is that you need fresh, interesting content that’s regularly updated in order to start climbing up the search engine rankings. We even provide content creation services for those businesses who don’t have the time to produce the content necessary for their Omaha SEO strategies to work.

Some businesses, though, decide to go against best practices and simply copy content they find on other websites. Not only does this not make sense from a business perspective (as you’re not putting the time and effort necessary into showing potential customers what makes your business unique), it can also genuinely hurt your SEO and Omaha internet marketing efforts. We’re going to tell you a story that illustrates the dangers of one of SEO’s worst enemies, duplicate content.

How Not to Do SEO, Omaha Business Case Study

We here at Big Red SEO in Omaha perform content creation services for many local and national clients, but one recent case really got us thinking. After writing a series of blog posts and sending them to our client for approval, they sent them back with extra copy spliced in. Curious that the additional copy didn’t match the tone and style of the rest of the writing, we did some digging and found that the client had pulled, or “scraped,” content from other websites and added it to their own.

As a company we know that this is terrible practice for SEO, but we realized that this particular client had no idea of its harmful effects. By scraping content from other sources and duplicating it on your own site, you send confusing signals to Google and other search engines. Search engines don’t like to place multiple pages with the same text into the search engine results pages (SERPs) because that leads to a worse user experience. Think about it—when you use Google to perform a query, would you like it if all the results matched word for word? Probably not.

That’s why when 2 web pages have the same or very similar content, search engines will only recognize the original source of the content, and only that content is displayed in the SERPs. While it’s bad for SEO, it’s also bad ethically, and it’s also possibly illegal to copy someone else’s hard work. Essentially, you’ve plagiarized their work, and depending on the context and extent, it could open you up to lawsuits.

What to Do Instead

Rather than populating your business website’s pages or blog with scraped content from other websites, you should focus on creating new, original content for your pages. Even though it might seem easier in the short term not to invest in creating rich, value-added content for your website, you’re actually doing your company a disservice in the long run. Sure, your can build a legitimate-looking website quickly by scraping great content from other sites, but in the end you don’t want to just look legitimate, you want to be the real deal. You won’t get search engine credit for any of the content you scraped, and you won’t rank for it, either.

Contact Big Red SEO in Omaha at (402) 522-6468

One final note—the easiest way to tell whether the duplicate content you have on your site (or are thinking of putting on your website) is going to harm your SEO Omaha strategy is to think about why you’re doing it. If you’re thinking about using duplicate content for reasons that are all about you (e.g., it’s easier to use duplicate content than create it, you want more eyes on the content, you want to manipulate the rankings to get yourself to the top), this is the wrong strategy.

Instead, your content creation strategy should always be customer or client-focused. With every piece of content you develop for your website, you should be thinking about how your company is best suited to help potential customers solve their problems. That’s what a great content creation strategy is all about, and that’s the key to a successful internet marketing strategy. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to create content that will make your website deserve to be on page 1 of Google, our team at Big Red SEO in Omaha can help. Give us a call today at (402) 522-6468 to get started!

Conor Treacy

About

Conor Treacy has been in the SEO game since the mid-90's when SEO hadn't yet come into full fruition. He spends most of his days performing website audits, reading and writing SEO blogs and industry related material. The rest of his time is consumed with correcting people on their invalid and blackhat ways. The SEO world has changed in recent years, there's a lot of disinformation on the web!