Google is thought of as the search engine king. When people build websites, they often try to optimize them for Google’s search engine algorithm. There are many different myths that circulate the internet regarding this algorithm. That is due, at least in part, to Google keeping many facets of the algorithm close to the chest.
One myth that is almost as old as Google is that your website will be penalized if it contains duplicate content. While that isn’t directly true, it is important for you to understand that duplicate content won’t penalize you but it will affect your website’s standing in the all-powerful search engine.
What exactly is duplicate content?
Duplicate content is a chunk of text that is exactly the same as the text on another website. There isn’t any definite number of words that have to be the same in order for Google to classify the content as being duplicate. Instead, the search engine algorithm will automatically “flag” any content that it considers duplicate. From there, it will condense the information.
How does Google handle duplicate content?
Saying that Google penalizes duplicate content isn’t factual. Instead, Google condenses results that contain duplicate content. This means that it will take away results from the search engine if those results contain duplicate content. Think of it as Google hiding results. The results are still there, but you just can’t see them.
If you want to see how this works, do a search for something on Google. Now, open a new tab, copy and paste the link from the other Google window into the new window, and add &filter=0 to the end of the address you pasted. When you press enter, you will be able to compare the results from before and after you added that tidbit.
The results without the addition are the condensed results. The results with the addition are the full results. For some searches, there won’t be much of a difference. For other searches, there will be a huge difference.
Why is original content important?
Think about going to get your photo ID or do anything having to do with finances. Most of the time, you have to bring in original documents to prove they are real. The same thought carries over to your website. You need original content to show your visitors that you are the real deal. This shows them that you know what you are doing and you can be trusted in your field.
When you are coming up with original content, you should make sure that it is factual. It must be authoritative. This matters because you want visitors to see that you know your stuff.
How can I get original content on my website?
You have two main options that you can use to get original content for your website — you can write all the content yourself or you can hire someone to write the content. The issue with writing it all yourself is that you might self-plagiarize. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it could trip up Google’s duplicate content tool.
Hiring a company to produce the content for your website might be a better choice. You won’t have to come up all of the ideas yourself while you try to avoid saying the same things in the same wording. Instead, professional writers can do the job for you.
When you are hiring someone to produce your content, be sure that you don’t fall into the “cheapest is best” mentality because that is what you will get — a website that is filled with grammatical errors. Factual errors might also be thrown in there. You might even get regurgitated content that sounds like the teacher from the old Charlie Brown cartoons.
Where should I use original content?
The original content that you use for your company shouldn’t be limited only to the wording on your website’s landing pages. You need unique posts for social media and unique posts for the blog. That’s the thing about search engines — you want your websites to remain as high in the search engine results as possible. In order to do that, you have to update the website often so that new information is being added on a regular basis. This can mean rewriting the answers to questions on the landing pages, publishing new blog posts, or adding new social media status messages. A comprehensive approach to fresh content is always best.