Are the Content Cropping Strategies for SEO Safe Enough?

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When writing content for a website, it is critical to provide readers with something unique from what is already online. The goal is to create something original as opposed to giving people duplicate content, defined as information available on two or more URLs. If you need help with this, you can rely on a reputable content marketing service.

The problem is that Google and other search engines have a difficult time differentiating original from duplicate content. As a result, they struggle to determine which content to index to show up in search engine results pages (SERPs). A content marketing company knows how to avoid problems to ensure that your site ranks high.

There are three unique types of duplicate content. First are True Duplicates, which means the page is identical to the original page yet has a different URL. Second are Near Duplicates that include a portion of the text, the same outline as other webpages, or the same image. The third is Cross-Domain Duplications. In that case, two websites have the same content, whether near or true.

The question is, does content taken from original copy hurt SEO? According to the head of spam at Google, this search engine does not stress over duplicate content unless it comes across as spam. Although anyone can copy and paste text, technical information is among the most duplicated. After all, if someone posts a specific formula, there is no way to change it.

Common Reasons for Duplicating Content

Developers duplicate copy for a variety of other reasons.

• Article ID – If a website’s database contains an article used by multiple URLs, a developer may believe that the unique identifier is the article’s ID within that database as opposed to the URL. As long as the developer understands that search engines consider the article URL as the unique identifier, the fix is relatively easy.

• Session ID – Another reason has to do with session IDs, which typically go to sites used for tracking visitors, items people are interested in buying, a brief history of what people do while on sites, and so on. Although session IDs get stored in cookies, search engines do not maintain them. Instead, some systems append session IDs in the URL. Because that ID is unique based on the session created in the URL, duplicate content gets created.

• Comment Pagination – In some systems, including WordPress, there is an option for comment pagination. With that, content gets duplicated across article URLs.

• Content Syndication – Often, other websites copy content from a site without proper consent. In fact, many do not even cite the source. For this, search engines become confused by finding similar material on two different domains.

• WWW Versus Non-WWW – Duplicate content also comes from a site with a www and a non-www version. The same goes if it has an HTTP or an HTTPS in its URL. With both accessible to search engines, duplicated content is the result.

• Printer-Friendly Pages – Sometimes, a developer will create two identical versions of every page. One contains ads, content, and so on, which is what appears online. The second page contains the same information, but the difference is that it is printer-friendly. Unless blocked, search engines will crawl the printer-friendly page. When that happens, Google deems it a duplicate.

Resolving Duplicate Content Issues

A top-rated digital content marketing agency will take the appropriate steps to resolve any duplicate content issues. Some of the strategies include:

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• 404 Error – Perhaps the most straightforward method for handling a duplication problem is by removing the content and returning with a 404 error. If you have material that provides search engines and visitors with zero value, it is best to eliminate it.

• 301 Redirect – When having a Web design development company redesign or restructure your current website, it can use 301 redirects in the .htaccess within the file. That way, search engines, as well as visitors, get directed to the correct site.

• Consistency – For internal linking, consistency is imperative.

• Top-Level Domains – For country-specific content, top-level domains always get used. For instance, if providing content about Australia, instead of www.example.com/au, the developer will use www.example.au.

• Syndication – When it comes to syndicated content on other websites, you have no clue what search engines will consider important for listing in SERPs. Because of that, your content will need to link back to your content. That way, Google can crawl it without indexing. Ultimately, only your content will appear in SERPs.

The above are just a few examples of ways an expert will resolve a duplicate content issue. For SEO, as long as the duplicated content does not come off as spammy or stuffed with keywords, there is no adverse effect.

Sandeep Sehrawat
SEO Expert
Sandeep Sehrawat is a professional SEO expert with more than 9 years of experience in the multiple industries. Currently associated with MacRAE'S Marketing, A leading digital marketing company in North America and Canada.

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