I was recently hired by a new client who wanted help getting his website higher in the search engines and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t getting higher. They had a pretty large website, 40 pages. That is a big website for the average small business; you don’t need a site that big.
But the reason why he had 40 pages was because 15 of them were almost completely duplicate content. 80 to 90% of the information on each of those 15 pages was almost exactly the same. He was trying to get hired for several cities in his local area, so he copied each page and only changed the city name.
I’ve talked about this before, and that’s a big no no. Back in the day, you could actually have gotten blacklisted from Google® for doing something like that. Google doesn’t do that anymore, but what they’re going to do is they’re going to pick one page and say, Okay, this one page is what they call a canonical page, or the cornerstone page, and they’re going to ignore all the rest of those 15 pages.
So you just did 15 pages of information that Google isn’t going to look at in the least bit. And I don’t mean just Google: Google, Bing, Yandex, Yahoo, no matter who they’re all doing it now.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have two pages that say the same thing, you just say things the same way but use different words.
I’ll pick on me, it’s very difficult to write about marketing. There are a lot of marketing companies out there and we all write about marketing. So, how do you say that my marketing page is any different than somebody else’s marketing page?
Well, it’s the way that I write; it is written in my voice with my tone. And of course, my voice shows up in what I’ve written down. So that’s how you can have original content and say basically the same thing as another page.
There’s nothing wrong with doing different pages for different cities, but the wording that you use has to be different for each city. And that really shouldn’t be too difficult because every city has its own unique things about it. So rather than talking about you… let’s say you’re an architect and you’re in Los Angeles, and you want to pick on all the smaller communities around Los Angeles, or San Diego, or wherever it might be.
Find specific things about those communities and talk about them and throw in architectural things in the middle of it. That way, you have original content for each page and you’re not duplicating the content, it’s actually about those localities.
Now, of course, there’s always a chance they still won’t, because Google is getting a lot more picky a lot quicker. They have their core essential update and their page experience update. They’re really big on getting unique content onto their search engine, which is what people want anyway.
People don’t want to see 15 pages of the exact same content, and nothing changed but the city name. They’re going to know that you’re spamming and they’re not going to like it, because they’ve had to wade through all of that, so they’re going to go somewhere else. So it’s not going to help you in the least bit to have duplicate content. Take the time, take the energy, or hire somebody to write the content for you.
And make sure that the content on your website is unique for every single page.
That includes the title tags, the descriptions of each page, and the content that goes on each page.
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