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Is Duplicate Content Really an Issue with Google?

Is duplicate content on your web site really an issue when it come to the Google rankings?

The short answer is “no”. But there are two caveats.

We have been running a little experiement the last few weeks to see if we could get to page one for the following search terms:

wordpress help brisbane
wordpress help sydney
wordpress help canberra
wordpress help melbourne

Rather than do what most people do, try to get one page to rank for multiple cities, what we did was come up with a standard template page for WordPress Help Brisbane then copy the page for the other cities and made some small changes that took a minute or so.

The key changes were:

a. Customise the title metatag for the particular city page
b. Customise the description tag and keywords for the particular city page
c. Change the page title (wrapped in H1 tags), for each city page

That was it. The rest of the pages are identical.

So what are the results after 2 weeks? Now remember these pages are very new.

wordpress help brisbane – 3rd
wordpress help sydney – 5th
wordpress help canberra – 4th
wordpress help melbourne – 3rd

Not a bad result for a few minutes work. Yes we did build some links into those pages with the correct anchor text. And that link-building will continue till we get them all to position 1 or 2.

The key point here is that if you change the metatags and page heading, you can get away with duplicating the rest of the page and still get decent rankings.


Here’s some more articles and resources about duplicate content:

http://wphacks.com/how-to-blocking-your-wordpress-categories-and-archives-from-google/
http://blog.cherouvim.com/duplicate-content-test-and-url-canonicalization/
http://www.webpagemistakes.ca/website-duplicate-content/
http://www.seoline-blog.de/ubersicht-google-penalties/
http://www.onlinemarketingexperts.com.au/2009/07/how-to-get-out-of-the-950-google-penalty/
http://www.techiecorner.com/1259/how-to-avoid-duplicate-content-using-htaccess/
http://www.seoline-blog.de/duplicate-content-unter-die-lupe-genommen/
http://www.article-rewriting-software.com/
http://money.bigbucksblogger.com/two-tips-to-avoid-duplicate-content-robotstxt-or-meta-robots-wordpress-plugin/

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