If you suffered a drop in rankings recently, Panda 4 might be to blame. This is especially likely if your site contains any kind of duplicate content. Don’t worry, your experts can help.
Duplicate content can arise in many ways. It may be caused by using articles from directories or spun content, or it might arise from your content management system (CMS).
Another major reason is through relying on the same source text as many other websites. A prime example is publishing information received from the producers of the products you sell.
The whole issue of duplicate content is a contentious one but essentially what Google does is filter not penalise it. Of course, if your content isn’t showing the content on your site owing to a filter, it feels pretty much like a penalty.
One type of site that may suffer due to the duplicate content issue is the ecommerce site. Typically these just contain product descriptions taken from the products manufacturers. This content is likely to be duplicated on many vendor sites as well as on the manufacturer’s site itself. eBay was badly hit by Panda 4 possibly for this reason.
On a positive note, specialised firms have gained visibility owing to the uniqueness of their content. This also aligns with Google’s stated policy of giving more weight to smaller operations that provided a rich user experience and specialised industry knowledge.
If you’re a small or medium sized firm, it will pay you to make your content as unique as possible. Find ways to educate your prospects about how your products can help them. This makes perfect marketing sense as well as helping with SEO.
You’ll also need to check for duplicate content issues on your site. If you’ve just been pasting up the text provided by the supplier or manufacturer, it’s time for a rethink.
If you use a CMS such as WordPress, you should also use canonical tags to indicate which copy of a piece of content should be regarded and primary.
You may need to remove some content that’s indexed elsewhere. You may find however that your overall traffic rises over time as the unique content ranks better in the SERPs.
Meanwhile if you syndicate your own content, be sure that the sites displaying it handle attribution properly. Otherwise if they have more SEO juice, they may well outrank you for your own content.
Ultimately the best way to handle present and future Panda updates and give your users the quality experience that converts them into loyal customers is through proper content strategy. Remember Panda rolls out each month so get started now.
If you’re worried about duplicate content, contact Smart SEO for a thorough audit and solid advice on your site’s optimisation. Meanwhile let us help you prepare the kind of Panda-proof content that will keep working for you long into the future.