Is the Duplicate Content on Your Mobile Site Killing Your SEO?
In a world where most of the population relies on their iPhones or Androids, it’s no surprise that businesses and other organizations have built mobile versions of their website. Just when everything seems to be running smoothly and you love the fact that you’re appealing to a majority of the population that’s dependent on mobile devices, Google’s duplicate content penalty clouds your brain. You can’t seem to escape the fear that your mobile site might be considered duplicate content and you’re counting down the days until you’re penalized.
For those with no experience in website content duplication, you may be wondering what it is and if it’s bad for your mobile site. Or perhaps, you might just have fears that your mobile site is actually considered duplicate content. Either way, it’s best to understand the definition of duplicate content and detect duplicate content before it can dismantle your mobile web presence.
Duplicate Content Definition & Causes: What is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content can be identified as Internet content that appears on more than one website, or URL. When trying to learn, understand and detect duplicate content, it’s beneficial to know that there are two kinds of duplicate content that exist: intentional and non-intentional. When content is deliberately copied from another website, no good can come of promoting plagiarized paragraphs on your site.
However, there are other instances in which the content appears to be duplicated even though it was originally written. Some examples of non-intentional duplicate content are printer-friendly web pages, multiple URLs all directing to the same website and mobile versions of your website.
Doomed for Duplicate Content? Inside Google’s Duplicate Content Penalty
The question of whether or not a mobile site is considered duplicate content or not has been circulating for quite some time now. As more people keep transferring identical content from their main website onto their mobile-friendly version, they worry that they’ll get penalized by Google. Matt Cutts, the man in charge of Google’s Webspam team, breaks down the issues and shows how they detect duplicate content at Google. Cutts addresses duplicate content issues by introducing a factoid about the World Wide Web. He states that around 25% to 30% of the content published on the Internet is duplicate content, imposing that it’s fairly common. Cutts then goes into Google’s duplicate content penalty and how they detect duplicate content.
While you may think that Google treats all duplicate content as spam, you’re wrong. Instead of treating it as spam, Google groups the duplicated content and places them in a cluster so they can correctly rank. Say you have two different URLs that both link to your website but Google is only showing one of them on the search results. Even though this is not a penalty, Google performs this action because they prefer to only show one of the duplicated pages.
On the other hand, if you’re publishing duplicated content in an abusive or deceptive manner, Google can penalize your site whether you like it or not. Basically, unless your content is copied and spammy, you don’t need to stress out about duplicate content issues. For all you mobile site creators out there, this means that you’re in the safe zone. According to Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, “you don’t have to worry about duplicate content – definitely not when it comes to mobile versions when they’re annotated appropriately.”
Do-It-Yourself Method: Ways For You to Detect Duplicate Content
If you want to detect duplicate content on your own, there are several tools you can use that help. One of the best ways to detect duplicate content is to use Google’s Webmaster Tools. This convenient device informs you of pages with duplicated content on your site, as well as other technical issues that it comes across. Another great tool that helps detect duplicate content is the Screaming Frog web crawler, which can crawl your site for free and alert you of any duplication discrepancies and more.
To learn more about helping your website rank in search engines and our web marketing services, contact J.M. Field Marketing today!