Whether you’re a retailer populating SKUs or a small business owner filling out pages on your website, you must obey one cardinal rule to have any hopes at search engine optimization (SEO) success – avoid publishing duplicate content at all costs. The failure to do so could mean dire consequences for your content marketing bottom line, although the right ecommerce solutions and content packages can help. Here, Virtucom Group, a trusted agency with decades of experience in generating unique and engaging content, discusses the dangers of duplicating information and data.
What Is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content is exactly as it sounds, although it is often confused with plagiarism, such as stealing a competitor’s idea for a blog post. Instead, the term refers to when retailers and other businesses do the following:
- Copying and pasting product information from a data feed: Retailers are allowed to do this. However, it is problematic, as any retailers who sell the same products could be copying the same information from the same data feed, making it appear in more than one place on the Internet.
- Using identical sentences/paragraphs across multiple website pages: It might seem like a smart shortcut when revamping your content marketing strategy and updating your landing pages. Unfortunately, this is far from the case and could make search engines think that your website is irrelevant.
Duplicating content that you are permitted to use should be an absolute last resort. That’s because publishing identical product information that may appear elsewhere on the web, or using the same wording over and over across the landing pages of your site, can take a serious toll on your SEO efforts and search engine results page (SERP) ranking.
Know the Consequences
When it comes to appearing on page one of the SERP, search engines list results based on the page’s relevancy and quality of information. And take it from Virtucom Group – having duplicate content on your site will only lead to a lower ranking than your products or services deserve.
Take Google, for example. Not only does it penalize websites for deceptive and manipulative content, but Google also considers unoriginal and uninteresting content when ranking websites for its SERP. In other words, your website must have 100% unique, engaging, and accurate content on each and every page to achieve a higher SERP ranking and be seen before your competitors. And this is for good reason – why would users take the time to sift through endless pages of identical information each time they type a term into the search bar? Plus, when duplicate content exists, Google will only pick one version to rank, meaning another website with the same information could win the coveted SERP spot over yours.
Aside from issues with ranking high, there are other problematic consequences for those who choose to publish duplicate content. For one, there is a higher risk of inaccurate product information appearing on the site, especially when copying and pasting from data feeds. These feeds are produced cheaply and quickly without regard for quality standards for ecommerce content, which the specialists at Virtucom Group rely on for every product description, landing page, and blog we produce. Duplicate content can also result in decreased consumer engagement, as competing pages with more engaging, specific content could win the eyes – and wallets – of search engine users.
What Can Retailers Do Instead?
In short, your website needs factually correct, captivating, one-of-a-kind copy to have any success with your company’s SEO efforts and convert consumers into loyal customers. Of course, this process is time-consuming and may not be realistic depending on your internal resources. That’s where the experienced writing team at Virtucom Group comes in. Trained in the latest SEO best practices, we’re here to help retailers and companies across all industries create the ecommerce content needed to enhance their content marketing bottom line. For more information about our ecommerce solutions and content marketing packages, contact Virtucom Group today.