Everything you say online sends a positive or negative message to internet users and search engines. You need to be careful not to post duplicate content from another site or Google, which favors sites with original content, may downgrade your site. Here are important things to know about duplicate content and why you should avoid it.

How Search Engines Reward Sites

Search engines first and foremost care about creating the best possible online experience for their users. That means connecting users quickly with the content they are looking for. For that reason, search engines try to weed out irrelevant or weak content sites that slow down searches. Ultimately, search engines want all the links on page one of search results to be useful to users. Since most users don’t do much exploring past page one, it’s imperative to use the right Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to show up on page one.

Sites with deep original content have the best chance of getting high rankings in Google. On the other hand, sites full of fluff, more ads than content and overuse of keywords (spam known as keyword stuffing) are likely to get pushed down the list, if listed at all.

Examples of Duplicate Content

The worst form of publishing duplicate content is outright plagiarism, which all search engines frown upon. That means you should not copy and paste any content from another site to your site. A software program called CopyScape can identify in seconds if content has been previously published on the web. Since it’s fairly easy to check if web content is original or duplicated, it’s best to focus only on creating 100 percent original content.

In some cases duplicate content is unintentional due to the wide usage of certain terms and phrases, especially for a particular industry. Many digital marketing firms offer similar services such as those listed below. The key to avoid duplicate content with competing websites is to come up with a unique set of offerings. Here are phrases that are commonly used in digital marketing:

Web Development and Mobile Apps Design
Content Management Systems (CMS) and Managed WordPress
Ecommerce / Shopping Carts
Web Site and Email Hosting
Digital Marketing and PPC Management
Web Applications
Logo and Graphic Design
Audio & Video Streaming
Social Media Marketing
Email Marketing
Website Maintenance
Domain Names Blogs

Focus on Original Content

The best way to steer clear of copying some other entity’s work is to plan a calendar full of unique campaigns, whether it includes blogs, newsletters or personalized messages. Each month or week you should plan creating content that hasn’t been done before in your industry, such as video interviews with industry experts. Your own industry expertise and the storytelling that goes with it can be very original. Inviting customers to post reviews is another valuable way to generate original content.

Other ways to showcase original content are to create Q & A lists based on common customer questions and to take customer surveys then publish the results.

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