Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

If you write Internet content, you’ve probably heard all the fuss about ‘duplicate content’

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The phrase “duplicate content” strikes fear into bloggers and webmasters throughout the Internet, raising fears that their websites or blogs will be penalized or even outright rejected by the gods of Google and suffer the fate of being ignored worldwide.

So I thought it was worth some discussion here — what is “duplicate content,” is it penalized by Google and the other search engines, and really just what’s the big deal?

The “long answer” to this issue is found at Google’s own Webmaster Help Center. I encourage anyone who maintains a website or blog to read that carefully.

The “short answer” is: If you’ve got identical content “within or across domains” that is NOT something deceptive and is NOT something you are using to try to manipulate the search engines, you really have nothing to worry about.

It really isn’t possible or necessary to repeat all the tips for handling content and handling duplicate content which Google gives you in the location I’ve linked above. But you absolutely should go there, read it carefully, and apply the information to your websites.

The bottom line about duplicate content and all these other issues related to writing for the Internet is probably Google’s use of the phrase “user experience.” That is, websites and blogs should contain information for USERS, for people who go to the Internet for information, to find products and services, to interact with websites, blogs, and other people. And, really, isn’t that what we writers are all about?

What experiences have you had with duplicate content on your websites or blogs? What have you heard about duplicate content that most concerns you? Tell us, please.
[tags]Internet writing, duplicate content, Internet search engines, Google’s Webmaster Help Center, writing tips at garyspeer.com[/tags]

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