Exactly a month ago today, Scour, the new meta search engine went live. It continues to soar and score high points from its users unlike Cuil, the other search engine who took the blogosphere by storm and promised a bunch of things and failed to deliver. That just shows that just because the brains behind the site are ex-Google honchos doesn’t mean they can compete with the god of search herself, Google- head on.
Scour on the other hand, didn’t promise anything. As stated on their About page, its mission is simple: “to bridge the gap between searchers and relevant results… to provide users with the most relevant results available by providing a platform for searchers to vote on relevancy, share their feedback and connect with one another creating a true social search community.”
That’s more like it. Unimposing. They didn’t do much talking and allowed its users handle the raving. We waited before the initial launch publicity is over before jumping on the train. We registered as member today to test it and we are very impressed!
While professional bloggers and webmasters know a great deal when it comes to the value of duplicate content, we are still seeing a number of websites whereby they promote “my other” blog or “my other” site that shows exactly the same content as the other site. The only difference is the domain name. Our conclusion is that they may be newbies and simply unaware of the effects of their actions. So we come up with this article.
What is duplicate content?
Simply it is text content that is shown elsewhere in the internet- either in your other web pages or other people’s web pages. It is a copy of the same article found in another page in the internet.
More exposure of same content=More Traffic?
When we maintain multiple websites, there is the tendency to cross-promote published articles from within these websites- thinking it would promote the articles more and get added exposure. For most, a simple cut and paste of the entire article does the trick. It stems from the idea that “the more places I put it out there, the more people would see it, so my traffic will increase!” That line of thinking comparably, is like reproducing a book for distribution so more people could get to it.
Unfortunately, that only works in actual products or services for distribution offline. What we do online with our published articles has consequential effects in terms of search engine optimization and rankings. For the unaware, the simple syndication of our articles in feeds and aggregators already qualifies as duplicate content. Same goes as say, maintaining a blog in Blogspot and allowing your Multiply or Facebook account to show the same articles in the respective accounts.
Duplicate content matters to Search engines
Although there is no direct duplicate content penalty, you are making it hard for search engines to rank your individual web pages when it is also available from another source, either the same or nearly the same content. They may be considered duplicate even if they are not fully identical. In this case, search engines will only list or show one version of the content in their search results and you better hope it is your website appearing on the search and not some other sites that syndicated your article without a permanent link back to your original article!
When search engines find duplicate contents, their search algorithm will determine which one is the better article to show in the results. That is only understandable as you don’t want to be typing a keyword and finding four articles with the same exact content found on different web pages. Google and others will filter those articles out and pick the best to show in the result. They would base it on the number and quality of the inbound links connected to the content.
How to avoid Duplicate content
If you must show the same article in your other web pages, choose which one you want Google and others to show in search results. Remember that search engines also see the printer version, mobile version when available on your site on top of your regular content version. Hide the others. How? By Adding a noindex meta tag to your duplicate contents. We showed you how in this previous article:
Require back links from other sources. If you syndicate your articles, make sure the articles point back to your website so search engines know where the content came from. They may like the other content from another site not your own, then your article will not show up in search at all.
Some tips and more explanation on duplicate content from Google may be found on the Webmaster Help center.
What about snippets or quotations?
It’s all right to get a summary or some quotations and lines from your own original article to place it on another site of your own. We stress original article as copying someone else’s article and claiming it your own is a whole different issue- and a serious one at that. That is called plagiarism and original articles are in fact copyrighted and is protected by law. You can not just copy another else’s work. When you do, that is also a duplicate content and it will show.
Make your own original unique content for your websites and avoid getting penalized by Google or by copyright laws.
Here is a tool checker we found to detect duplicate contents from two websites. They give our results in percentage and basically, the lower the percentage- the lower your chances of being penalized by search engines for duplicate content. When checking, you would want a lower percentage result and not higher.
Note: This tool when used will open another browser leading to the host’s website where it can yield the result and interpret it.
According to the latest Nielsen online report released in May 19, 2008, Google is the top search provider in the United States garnering a whooping 62% share of all search queries made in April 2008. Yahoo! Search came in second with a mere 17.5% while MSN/Windows Live Search has a lousy 9.7% .
To represent the huge difference in numbers, it means that Google easily handled roughly 5.1 billion searches in the United States in April alone while Yahoo! Search had only about 1.4 billion and MSN Search, about 796 million.
Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, delivers comprehensive, independent measurement and analysis of online audiences, advertising, video, consumer-generated media, word of mouth, commerce and consumer behavior. The Nielsen Company is the leading internet media and market research company in the world.
Checked your website lately? How easy is it to navigate? Are your readers often confused what your site is all about? Are you marketing something? What? Is it using too many flash or too many colors? Are you using too many fonts within a page? Too many unnecessary links? Perhaps it is time for a clean up!
Yahoo, Inc. submitted a patent pointing out that search engines may soon be looking at our web page design for consideration in Search rankings. The patent is a method with guidelines determining a usability of a web page.
“It can be important to make web pages easy and pleasing to use, which can be particularly important for web pages it is desired to monetize. This may include, for example, advertisement-containing web pages (of a so-called “web portal,” for example), for which an advertiser pays money when a user views the web page and activates a link of the advertisement. If such web pages are not easy and pleasing to use, the money-making potential of those web pages can be jeopardized. One conventional indication of whether a web page is easy and pleasing to use is called “clutter,” Yahoo further explains on the patent application.
Structural Characteristics of a web page
Here are 51 factors detailed on the patent that search engines may look into for usability of a web page:
* Total number of links
* Total number of words
* Total number of images (non-ad images)
* Image area above the fold (non-ad images)
* Dimensions of page
* Page area (total)
* Page length
* Total number of tables
* Maximum table columns (per table)
* Maximum table rows (per table)
* Total rows
* Total columns
* Total cells
* Average cell padding (per table)
* Average cell spacing (per table)
* Dimensions of fold
* Fold area
* Location of center of fold relative to center of page
* Total number of font sizes used for links
* Total number of font sizes used for headings
* Total number of font sizes used for body text
* Total number of font sizes
* Presence of “tiny” text
* Total number of colors (excluding ads)
* Alignment of page elements
* Average page luminosity
* Fixed vs. relative page width
* Page weight (proxy for load time)
* Total number of ads
* Total ad area
* Area of individual ads
* Area of largest ad above the fold
* Largest ad area
* Total area of ads above the fold
* Page space allocated to ads
* Total number of external ads above the fold
* Total number of external ads below the fold
* Total number of external ads
* Total number of internal ads above the fold
* Total number of internal ads below the fold
* Total number of internal ads
* Number of sponsored link ads above the fold
* Number of sponsored link ads below the fold
* Total number of sponsored link ads
* Number of image ads above the fold
* Number of image ads below the fold
* Total number of image ads
* Number of text ads above the fold
* Number of text ads below the fold
* Total number of text ads
* Position of ads on page