Duplicate content has been becoming more and more of an issue since the Panda update. Stick content on your site that’s the same as content somewhere else, and Google will not like you. But to what extent will they not like you?
The most obviously pressing issue is that any sites that have too much duplicate content will lose pageranks, position in search and subsequently visitors as a result. This means less people looking at your site. Exactly what it says on the tin, so to speak.
Secondly, duplication can add some nasty flavours to the link juice. Imagine a good rum and coke. Now image someone throwing some gravy mix in there; not quite as appealing now, is it? Linking to duplicate content will decrease the reputation of the page you’re linking to, rather than increasing it. So why bother? Unless you want Google to view you as a rum, coke and gravy, of course.
Thirdly, duplicate content can actually end up rather confusing the search engine bots. If there are two pages on your site showing the exact same thing, then how will they know which one to focus on? You might even run the risk of one of the pages not being indexed at all, making it as pointless as a Fernando Torres goal celebration.
Finally, it means that less of your pages will actually receive attention at all. The spiders approach a site with what SEO Moz refer to as a ‘crawl budget’ – ie, there is only so much crap they will put up with before they leave and visit a website that’s less lame. If you have tonnes of duplicate pages, the spiders get bored and leave before they’ve even looked at the pages that are actually good. Like me with a Charles Dickens novel.
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