Duplicate Content on Mirrored Sites across Multiple Domains
Duplicate content can cause major headaches for gaining positions in natural search. If content is not unique and can be found in identical form on another domain – this could greatly inhibit your site’s ability to gain a commanding presence in the SERPs.
Duplicate content is frowned upon in the eyes of search engines. This is because understandably they want to ensure users are not subject to identical content displayed throughout search results.
So what is duplicate content defined as? According to Google Webmaster Central, duplicate content is:
- substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.
Duplicate content is commonplace, and many are unaware that their site even has duplicate content issues.
Simply linking back to your site’s homepage by the pages filename (e.g. index.html) is a duplicate content hazard. If a search engine was to follow and index that link, they would be seeing the content of your homepage on two separate URLs:
Even though the above links are actually referencing exactly the same page, this would still be seen as duplicate content as search engines index URLs not pages.
The same problem would arise with a site that contained canonical URL issues, that is a site that is accessible via both www and non-www URLs:
So what about quoting other peoples words? This is fine so long as the quote is not too long and you do not quote excessively there will be no duplicate content risk.
Almond Resorts UK, a site offering luxury all-inclusive holidays in the Caribbean has been subject to duplicate content issues.
The US .com site was replicated on a new .co.uk in order to offer the holidays to UK based consumers, but the identical copy meant that the newer domain (www.almondresorts.co.uk) was struggling to rank competitively.
For this reason we looked at ways to differentiate the two sites, to put the .co.uk domain in a better position to rank competitively.
We began by rewriting the Meta data for the site. Rewording and rewriting the page titles, Meta Description and Keywords tags and we have already begun to see the benefits of making these changes.
These are encouraging jumps and show how, by making content unique you are greatly enhancing your site for both users and search engines.
The next step for the UK Almond Resorts site will be to rewrite the copy. We are confident that this will only serve to propel the site to even higher visibility in the natural search listings.