Duplicated Content… What Duplicated Content?
Duplicated content - a common problem that makes publishers cry and SEO professionals shake their head. Amongst the SEO community, the general consensus of duplicated content is that Google would pick the original page (assuming it knows which one is the original page) to display in the SERP while banishing the duplicated pages to supplementary results or simply result pages where a normal searcher would never see.
But does that rule apply to all the sites out there? Maybe not.
While I was searching for some information about the EURO 2008 earlier today, I stumbled upon this search result page:
What’s so special about this SERP you ask? Aside from the nice piece of info about the upcoming matches at the very top of the page, the second and the third results are basically the same page in every aspect aside from their URLs. Except for the meta descriptions, these two pages are identical; from layouts, to content, to page titles, to the design, a carbon copy of each other.
So why do both pages not only show up in the SERP, but also appear in the top three spot? Isn’t one of those pages supposed to be “penalized” and banished into the abyss?
Well, I guess common rules don’t apply when the sites are created by one of the largest sport organizations in the world. The 301 redirects from the official UEFA site provide the much needed boost to its rise to authority status, while the www site gets site wide links from various versions of the site including this En site.
If you haven’t read it before, this is what Matt Cutts has said about the duplicated content issue:
“… However, I would be mindful that taking all your articles and submitting them for syndication all over the place can make it more difficult to determine how much the site wrote its own content vs. just used syndicated content. My advice would be 1) to avoid over-syndicating the articles that you write, and 2) if you do syndicate content, make sure that you include a link to the original content. That will help ensure that the original content has more PageRank, which will aid in picking the best documents in our index.”
It seems like Google couldn’t decide which page is more suitable for the searchers this time around since both pages have been given the same PR and both appear on the first page of the SERP.
So what we have learned from this? Well, we have another piece of evidence that duplicated sites wouldn’t make a dent to the original site’s ranking as long as there are enough links pointing back to the original site, but that there’s also a chance that both sites could coexist in the same SERP if there is a large amount of high quality inbound links to support the “duplicated” sites.
Ok, it’s late now, I still need to wake up early tomorrow to watch the first match…
One last thing, HUP ORANJE HUP!!!!