Thursday, May 3, 2007

Duplicate Content

I had asked google adsense if it was OK to put up sites which substantially mirrored partial content from our main site. There are currently quite a few of them, using the .info domain, etc. It was OK with adsense, but maybe now it is NOT ok with google search.

Duplicate content is duplicate content. A search engine wants only
to display unique content and the original source of that content.
If you have some repetition of content for usabilities sate that
should not be a problem. However, Google in particular will, at
the least, place your content in Supplemental Results, which means
it is indexed, but will rarely direct anyone to it.

For duplicate content the polite thing to do is to place no index
no follow tags on the pages or disallow in the robots file. This
way you can have whatever content on your site you want without
concern for penalties.

To see what I am talking about just query your URL at Google and you will see the list of pages indexed
of your site. If you see something like this:

The top line is taken from the title of your site ...
The descprition of your site is here often taken from the
meta description or from the first couple of lines of your site... - 12k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

The result tells you this is in Supplemental Results. If you
have recently seen many pages moved into supplemental results
it may just be that Google is evaluating the links that point
to these pages as much as before. Low PageRank is apparently
the major cause of Supplemental Results. See Matt
Cutts comments.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Supplemental Results

Hi Robert,

Thanks! Yeah, I tend to agree its a good site even if it has seen better days. At this point the problem is keeping people interested in maintaining it. I've been involved for a long time and am one of the advocates for keeping it going in some form - I'll pass along your message to the powers that be (I'm a powers that be lite - webmaster and former chair of the board). Seems like these "links list" sites are starting to drop unless they're commercial and can afford to pay people to maintain them. We've had 10+ years as an all volunteer effort, and very democratic too (we've resisted partnering with commercial or large professional associations to maintain independence). In the last 2-3 years things have really started to decline, though.

The current Board Chair is wanting to figure out a way to save things, I'll mention what you had to say (a number of other users agree - its the people behind the site who are running out of steam). It might also convert to something different (like, say, a Google custom search or set of bookmarks or something).

Take care,

I would not change the site into another form. Change can only upset the search engine applecart. If you think to go in a different direction, add the new angle to the old. If over time the new succeeds, you could delete the old.

You could do Google ads and but if may not pay enough to cover
expenses. It would be easy to find out. The trick is to make the
ads relevant to the content. I looked very quickly at the structure
of your site, and there are a number of things that you could do to
help with Google. This should create more traffic.

One problem is the HTML on your site puts the navigation bar at
the top of your content giving the wrong impression of your
content. You have most of your content listed in Supplemental
Results. This means that Google thinks this content is not that
unique or important, so it may never call it up as a resouce for
any given search.

There are two steps you can take to cure this. One is to redo your
HTML so that your content is literally at the top of your page
(view source of your page to see what a search engine sees).
The simpler step may be to create Meta Descriptsions for each
page that pull the first 28 words from the page itself.

This way you would have some description of the content and
Google can easily see each page is unique. Overtime this should
move your content, that is unique, out of Supplemental Results
and give you more traffic.

BTW I would also change the titles to each page slightly. Your
current page is

HealthWeb : Rheumatology: Clinical Resources

I would change it to

Rheumatology: Clinical Resources: HealthWeb

This emphasises the uniqueness of each page in the title.


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