Business risk of duplicate website copy - Business Works
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Business risk of duplicate website copy

John Spence and Grant Barton, Co-owners of Add People Recent research carried out by Add People has revealed that almost 25% of its new customers were being penalised for hosting duplicate content on their websites and nearly all of them were unaware that the problem existed.

According to Google, duplicate content 'generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely matches other content or is appreciably similar'. Recent changes in Googles search algorithm mean that while low level duplication through the use of quotes is fine, sites that are heavily duplicating content, typically by copying and pasting from another, have received significant penalties in their Google ranking. Googles changes have been met with controversy, with the algorithm often not taking the original content owner into account when determining duplication.

With as many as 8 out of 10 buying decisions beginning with a Google search, SMEs are becoming progressively more dependent on the internet as a source of new business. The research reiterates the importance of original and engaging content, as well as highlighting the benefits for business owners who take the time to implement changes and avoid common web copy pitfalls.

Although it is perhaps understandable for small business owners who are under time pressure to try and duplicate, it is not just search engines that loathe duplicated content. As a web user it can become laborious to see the same material and information on tens or even hundreds of different websites. Business owners with e-Commerce websites need to be extremely cautious as product descriptions are frequently plagiarised across numerous websites selling the same products.

Business owners can easily check their website for duplicate copy by using online tools such as copyscape.com. This will make the user aware of the webpages that contain duplication and will allow them to replace it with content that is both unique and engaging.

"SMEs are increasingly reliant on search engines to enable potential customers to find them so its quite alarming that based on our sample nearly 1 in 4 are being penalised for duplicated content" commented John Spence, Co-owner of Add People. "Following Googles recent algorithm changes, it is important small business owners invest time into reviewing their website and, where applicable, replace content that is damaging their page rank performance with fresh, unique content as well as having the patience to wait for the benefits."

There have been recent reports suggesting that in the near future Googles algorithms might be able to identify the owner of original web content with the help of Google authorship, but until then, it is important that SMEs create great content that is unique and avoid plagiarism at all costs.



For more information about Add People, please visit: www.addpeople.co.uk.



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