This is the first in a series of articles on Duplicate Content in the floral industry. Topics in this series include: Title tags, Meta tags, Product Info, URL Bad Habits & Identifying Your Duplicate Content.
Google has reached their position of dominance in part because of their ability to deliver relevant results. While relevancy is a subjective issue, the perception is that Google is the most relevant, therefore the most useful search engine. This has lead to Google owning up to 80% of the searches performed by North American internet users.
Since Google must provide relevant results to satisfy their users, it is understandable that delivering several results with the same information is counter-productive. The results should be distinctive enough to offer a variety of choices for the user.
“Duplicate Content” is the term used to describe two or more pieces of content on the internet that are significantly similar. This can be the text, images, descriptive information or even in some cases the coding of the page. The good news is that Google doesn’t actively penalize duplicate content. The bad news is that they just ignore it. When new content is crawled by the search engine and found to be significantly similar to other content already in the index Google will return the page it deems to be the most authoritative and disregard the rest.
What does this mean for florists?
Template sites are the bain of good SEO. Low cost, rapid deployment websites that contain stock text and images are not likely to ever see the light of day in a Google search result. From Google’s point of view, these sites have nothing new to offer.
In today’s competitive internet landscape local florists are not only competing with other neighbourhood shops, you are competing with national order gatherers, wire service websites, drop shippers and online directories. Going into competition with a stock template site is like taking a wet noodle to a sword fight.
What saddens me the most is that no one is in a better position to have something unique to say than a local florist! Few professions have such colourful characters with so much passion for their craft; and yet so many florists are willing to put forth only a feable effort when they are so well equipped to combat the blandness of national .coms.
Over the course of the next few posts we’ll cover the most common reasons your site will get filtered for duplicate content – and how to fix those problems.