Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Duplicate content

We have over 300 local web sites, each advertised on the radio as a local domain. But they all redirect to because of 1 thing: Google.

If you have separate domain names that all have significantly similar content, especially if they are all hosted at the same IP, Google's algorithm infers that you are trying to spam the search engine, and all your domains get banned from Google. The broad rule is "duplicate content."

It does not matter that for our business model, separate domain names are completely legitimate. Google has no mechanism to make exception, and no venue to argue the merits of our case.

We learned this the hard way with Can you imagine: we had tonsvof radio play, but when someone went to Google and searched for Cupid, we were not listed. Not on page 1, or 1000, or anywhere in between. It took us awhile to figure out what they had a problem with, and of course they
don't tell you, but even after we changed our system, it took 9 months for Google to list again.

I guess that's the downside of Google owning the search space: they make the rules and everyone else follows or sits out.

No comments: