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Duplicate content.  What is it?

Your site should have works that are original to the online environment.  If not, you’ll be penalized by Google (in terms of your ranking) — don’t worry, no nun is going to come to your house wearing brightly colored letter-badges and slap you with a “Search now” ruler — but you don’t want to lose your ranking in Google if you can help it.

This is part of being a contributor who shares things with the online world!

A recent change to Google’s algorithm sticks it to duplicate content harder than Google did before.

There were a couple of articles about all this—and one that ironically quotes the other (duplicate content?) here: Google Algorithm Change, Greenlight: Small Business – Technology , and here: Google update cracks down on duplicate content.

I’m bringing this up to remind everyone that the main thing you want to contribute online is good, high quality, unique/original content.  …and I also want to solve a problem I may have inadvertently caused.

A little while ago, I showed a mock-up of a World War II veteran stories website, that was supposed to be a demonstrator to the good folks at the Film Farm, but I neglected to explain duplicate content penalties, and how a real website shouldn’t have content just copied and pasted from Wikipedia.

They recently put out a new post (as I’d urged them to become more regular about content being posted to their site) and they’d followed through with gusto.  However, their latest post, featuring a new type of update that they were going to share—namely videos from their archives.

However, I noticed that a big (more than half) part of their post was a chunk of quoted material from Wikipedia, and I realized that might get them sent in the wrong direction on their search rankings.

Oops!  So, I wrote them an explanatory comment…and then in searching around for more information on this topic, I wrote this article to compile it all here.

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