SEO Rules -Introduction (Part 1) – Duplicate Content

Good position on search engines can be provided with quality content, marketing campaigns and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Work for better position on search engines, starts with the very beginning of website design and development and follow the website destiny and life cycle. New pages on website or changes to the existing Web pages are the sign for SEO professionals to reconsider the existing SEO solution and make changes to existing concept. In the next four articles we will explain basic rules of SEO.

SEO-Elements

The basic activities of website optimization are:

  • Writing and optimization of web page content
  • Keyword(s) research and implementation
  • Meta tags usage
  • Visual aids
  • Choosing the right hosting, website concept and structure and URL definition
  • Link building

Writing and optimization of web page content

Every serious course or article which emphasizes the importance of web page content starts with the most famous sentence: “Content is king.” How important is content of web page? Everyone knows the term “duplicate content” and the fact that search engines do not prefer this type of activity (or author “inactivity”). We are aware of the fact that authors can hardly be original today. The reason and statistics behind text writing, today, is simple: In the last few decades more text is written than in the entire known history of mankind (before the advent of the Internet).

Is it possible to write different article when there are many published articles, already? How to avoid getting “duplicate content” label? You don’t need to write 100% original, or “never seen before” text. The most often mentioned recommendation is: A new article must differ from the existing articles more than 35%. This also applies to the articles on the same website.

There are programs and websites for article testing. The most popular websites for checking duplicate content are “CopyScape” (paid service) and “Plagiarism Checker” (free service).

Unique And Fresh Content For Good SEO

Search engines follow this rule: The content on website pages must be unique. Remember the new term: “unique content”. Content writers and website owners and webmasters forget that duplicate content search must involve pages on the same website. For example, if an online store has a separate page for each T-shirts with different color, but have the same description of the product, all pages except the first one will be declared as duplicates (duplicate content). All pages will not be indexed, and the site may get a warning and content value will be diminished.

Unique ContentIt is essential constantly refresh the content of the site by adding new pages and/or refresh old pages. There is a common blogger recommendation about the website content: New content must be added at least twice a month. Therefore bloggers and web marketers, use this features to boost website rankings. Ordinary websites with regular post entries may be highly ranked. The one of the most common search engine fact: Pages with fresh content usually occupy very high positions on search engines. Content may be a new one, or rewritten.

Make it beautiful

Formatting a document is one of the most influential factors regarding on-page optimization. Highlighting important parts of the text and the right usage of tags to highlight the titles and subtitles <Hx> (H1, H2, H3 …) are often ignored in content creating and formatting. It is not enough to have just a good looking and “roaring” titles and subtitles. It is necessary to have content, between titles, which is long enough to keep visitor interested. Of course, the length of the content is not enough; this content must have a good quality, also.

Too long article can negatively affect the popularity and reduce visitors’ interest. The recommended length of the article should be between 500 and 1000 words. Attention and interest of visitors decreases with longer articles. It is therefore recommended that the longer articles have to be divided into shorter articles in order to maintain the attention of visitors.

On the other hand, very short articles (from 100 to 200 words), generally cannot meet the basic criteria for good grades, especially for content and formatting.

For very long articles there is no penalty, but short articles can, for example, get a label: “thin content” from Google and spoil the website ranking.

What should not be placed on the page

Duplicate content has already been mentioned. For duplication of content within the website a webmaster may get the warning. Websites with duplicate content may be punished for low content quality. Copywriting is the second sid of this story. However, if you copy articles from other sites, this is content duplicating, without consequences. Your website won’t be punished, but website won’t have any benefits, too. Pages with duplicate content will be ranked poorly on search engines. Worst case scenario: a site with articles from another websites will not be indexed.

Transient web pages (doorway pages) used to be very popular. The name of the game was simple: High ranked and well optimized pages will convert visitors to another site without their knowledge or warning.

Do not hide content

Another popular method was making pages filled with text that is invisible (hidden content) for the ordinary visitor. This text, for example, has white letters on a white background. This text is visible to the search engine spiders, only. This kind of text is strictly held for filling the page keywords. Practicing this is illegal and search engines use to sanction this behavior.

Sale of narcotics, illegal arms sales, racial and religious hatred spreading is forbidden on the Internet. This is illegal content that is banned in all countries. This content will not be indexed by search engines, but the problems for webmasters begin, if police “index” illegal activity.

Hiding (cloaking) the content represents a kind of website content separation. When bots and spiders sent by search engines find very well optimized content, but visitors get completely different content on the same page, website reputation will be questioned. If website page displays different content depending on the browser (Browser), IP address or device, this may be interpreted as content separation. From the point of SEO efforts, one URL should have an immutable content. Simply put: The content of the page must be the same for both humans and robots.

SEO Puzzle

That’s Not All

This series of articles should be an introduction to SEO. Because the topics is broad, content will be divided into four articles. One of the reasons is mentioned earlier: A document should not be very long.

In the next part three elements that influence the optimization of web site will be covered.

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