Even though reprints and same-site duplication are not entirely harmful, they are also not helpful.
And in fact they can be harmful if they’re handled in the wrong way. You won’t win any points with
a search engine crawler if your site is full of content that’s used elsewhere on the Web. Reprints, espe-
cially those that are repeated often on the Web, will eventually make a search engine crawler begin to
Once it takes notice, the crawler will try to find the original location of the reprint. It does this by
looking at where the content appeared first. It also looks at which copy of an article the most links
point to and what versions of the article are the result of content scraping. Through a process of
elimination, the crawler narrows the field until a determination can be made. Or if it’s still too diffi-
cult to tell where the content originated, the crawler will select from trusted domains.
Once the crawler has determined what content is the original, all of the other reprints fall into order
beneath it or are eliminated from the index.
If you must use content that’s not original, or if you must have multiple copies of content on your
web site, there is a way to keep those duplications from adversely affecting your search rankings.
By using the
tags, you can prevent duplicated pages from being
indexed by the search engine.
tag should be placed in the page header for the page that you don’t want to be
indexed. It’s also a good idea to allow the crawler that finds the tag to follow links that might be
on the page. To do that, your code (which is a meta tag) should look like this:
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow”>
That small tag of code tells the search engine not to index the page, but to follow the links on the
page. This small snippet of code can help you quickly solve the problem of search engines reading
your duplicate content.
One disappointment I noticed with the free version of Copyscape is that the pages that returned in
the search results were old pages. Some of the pages shown in the preceding illustration for my web
site no longer exist. It seems that to receive the most benefit from Copyscape you need to pay for the
premium version of the application.
Copyscape isn’t expensive. Copyscape Premium is just $.05 per search, and Copysentry, an applica-
tion that automatically monitors the Web for your content, is just $4.95 per month.
Another service you can use to monitor or search the Web for copyright infringement is CyberAlert
). There are also several other services, so you have some choice of
protection should you decide that you need it.
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