Creativedge

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Messages
36
Reaction score
5
I was hoping I could get some clarification on what kind of impact duplicate content has on search rankings for businesses.

Our agency primarily works with dental offices, trying to help them show up higher in search than their competitors whenever possible. Part of what we do involves creating new content for their website around the services they offer (recently, that's included things like explaining things like the importance of gum treatments now that we know that periodontal health can help reduce the chances of COVID-19 complications).

The more clients we take on, the more demanding this process becomes if we want to make sure the content isn't identical across the board.

We've noticed competitors who have provided their clients with much more thorough content (3 to 4 times the word count) but use the same content for dozens of dental offices.

What I'd like to have some clarification in is: what method will work best for helping improve search ranking for our clients?

I've read that Google doesn't penalize sites for duplicate content (and, indeed, I've seen some high-ranking pages with copy that's repeated on many websites for dental offices), but does it actually help?

Are we better off continuing to make smaller, individualized pieces of content for each of our clients like we have been, or are longer, more thorough ones copy-and-pasted for all of our clients more beneficial?
 

coachmarino

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
19
Reaction score
2
Google's official policy came up in the news just the other day, basically saying again that they don't want duplicate content, but that it's not a factor. Stats show it's not a factor. So I guess the advice would be try your best but if your effort is better spent elsewhere don't worry about the duplicate content.
 

Creativedge

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Messages
36
Reaction score
5
Well, ultimately, we want to do what will help our clients the most. The question is still: what's more beneficial for their local search rankings, 500 words of original content on a keyword, or 2,000 words of duplicate content on the topic?
 

coachmarino

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
19
Reaction score
2
not enough info, and it's a weird choice... why only 500 original? And are they competing with the duplicate content?
 

Creativedge

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Messages
36
Reaction score
5
Those were just random numbers off the top of my head. How about this hypothetical, instead?:

Say our agency has 20 dental clients each in different cities/states (we typically do not take on clients who would be competing with each other). They all do dental implants, so their websites each need to have content on that topic.

We could write one 10,000-word article on dental implants and post that same article on all 20 sites, or we can spend the same amount of time to write 20 different 500-word articles so that each client has something original.

If I look at what one competing agency does, I see that they a 13,000-word article for this topic. Running some of their text through this plagiarism checker (Plagiarism Checker - 100% Free Online Plagiarism Detector), I can find more than 100 websites for dental offices that use this same copy, verbatim.

Does having such a large article on the topic help them show up for dental implants in a local search, even though there are 100+ other sites with this exact same article? Would a much shorter article that doesn't have duplicates elsewhere on the Web rank better or worse than a site with such an article?

That's the question our owner wants to know. Should we be investing manhours into very long, thorough articles that are used for all of our clients, or are we better served by creating completely original copy for each client?
 

Contractor

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
204
Reaction score
70
If I understand this correctly, Google doesn't penalize you for duplicate content, but they could hide it.

So if you put up duplicate content that will show in the same search, it will show the original and then put the copy behind that link at the bottom of the results that you have to click in order to see the duplicates.

But if you put duplicate content on websites that will never come up in the same search, such as for a dentist website in Boston and another dentist website in Dallas, then they wont be effected by duplicate content.

BUT, that would mean that if you saw a great website for a local business in another state you can steal it and rank well. Can that be true?
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
18
Reaction score
10
IMO - Original copy for unique (locations) clients. I've done both, since 2010 - most of the bigger dental website companies have identical content, no penalties. The links they buy move the needle more than the canned copy.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
LocalU Faculty
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
4,091
Solutions
9
Reaction score
3,500
I haven't found content to be a massive differentiator for dentists. I totally agree with @1LocalBusiness and would focus more time on links.

I don't think using similar content on different locations is a big deal at all if you're not targeting the same geographic areas. After all, there is only so much you can do to get "unique" content about dental implants for all the thousands of dentists that exist in the country.
 

Creativedge

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Messages
36
Reaction score
5
I appreciate the feedback. I had thought that, since physical proximity appears to be the bigger ranking factor, that duplicate content shouldn't matter too much unless the two sites using them are for businesses physically close to each other, but I didn't know if original copy made a difference at all.

So, getting links would be a better use of our time, then? I assume this is beyond the normal citation-building (GMB, Yelp, Apple Maps, Neustar, etc.)? @1LocalBusiness mentions buying links; what kind of services are recommended for that sort of thing? (Or what should we be doing to get these links for our clients?)
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
18
Reaction score
10
Just to be clear, I do not recommend buying links. Build them organically with local media outreach, events, sponsorships, etc.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
LocalU Faculty
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
4,091
Solutions
9
Reaction score
3,500
My favorite type of link building would be PR. Getting clients mentioned in online articles when journalists are looking to quote experts on a given topic. Craig Mount is actually going to be talking about this strategy and how he utilizes it for his local SEO clients at our next LocalU event in November.
 

carolyn2

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
33
Reaction score
25
Hey I know I'm late to this party. The use of the word "duplicate" is a personal pet peeve. I know it's splitting hairs but none of this is duplicate content - you're speaking about syndication.

Duplicate is same content on same domain, syndication is same content on different domains (think press releases). On the plus side, your titles are likely different - while the niche is the same the location is different, yes? In the case of different offices targeting the same area, then you run the risk of Google "filtering" out what it sees as unhelpful duplication of content and will pick whichever 2 it prefers for whatever reason and then filter out the rest. IF you have more than 2 clients targeting the same areas then yeah you would want to rephrase the 3rd location so you don't hurt them all.

The reason why you might want to invest in long form content is having more surface area to rank for more phrases. And at the same time keep an eye on the end goal which is conversion - whatever it is for that particular case.
 

valentinb13

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
25
Reaction score
7
I haven't found content to be a massive differentiator for dentists. I totally agree with @1LocalBusiness and would focus more time on links.

I don't think using similar content on different locations is a big deal at all if you're not targeting the same geographic areas. After all, there is only so much you can do to get "unique" content about dental implants for all the thousands of dentists that exist in the country.
Hey @JoyHawkins — I know this is from a while ago, but do you think this applies across most SABs? Also, are you referring to content on different sites (like the OP seems to be referring to)?

I'm curious what your take would be on using cloned/duplicate content on one site that targets many areas, say across a state. So Dallas rodent control that is a clone of a Houston rodent control, and San Antonio rodent control, etc...do you (or anyone) see an issue with this type of duplicate content?
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
LocalU Faculty
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
4,091
Solutions
9
Reaction score
3,500
I've found that results vary based on the industry. For some industries, using similar content on these pages doesn't seem to hinder performance. @Colan Nielsen is actually touching on this in his presentation next week at LocalU.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
shripadd Question about duplicate content Organic SEO 2
iFuse Duplicate Content Question Local Search 7
Z Citations and Duplicate Content?- Newbie Question Citations 2
D Duplicate content question Local Search 4
Shelly Report Duplicate Questions in Google My Business Google My Business & Google Maps 3
M Some questions with GMB and multiple locations Multi-Location Issues 1
iwebresults Advance Verification Stalled Question Paid Search and Local Service Ads 6
haileym "Scroll to bottom to confirm" message showing up while waiting for postcard - Verification Question Google My Business & Google Maps 4
Greg Bernhardt User asked a question... Q&A area does not exist in brand panel Google My Business & Google Maps 1
Jeffrey Healthcare Specific Question Local Search 4
FriarTuck00 Question Regarding GMB Listings and Phone Numbers Multi-Location Issues 3
D Google Spam Fighting Question Google My Business & Google Maps 6
accessted Local Falcon GMB Question Service Area Businesses 2
annatindal GMB Customer Uploaded Photos Question All Things Google My Business [PRIVATE] (LocalU) 2
D Shortcut URL to "Ask a Question" Button Google My Business & Google Maps 6
dave101 Question about Content Writing Organic SEO 4
Imperialpest Page Speed and Local / Ranking Question Ask a LocalU Expert [PRIVATE] (LocalU) 5
Imperialpest GMB Q&A section question All Things Google My Business [PRIVATE] (LocalU) 2
ryannbull We have added a question to our client's Google My Business Q&A section and it keeps disappearing. Is anyone else experiencing this problem? Help & Support for Google Local 4
N My Business in Multiple Locations leaving me with 3 unanswered questions Multi-Location Issues 2
B GMB Multiple Questions Google My Business & Google Maps 2
djbaxter NEW New feature: You can now bump a thread if no one has replied to your question How To Guides 1
Mmclean07 Pricing question Consultant's Corner 3
ForwardMotion Multiple Practitioners at One Office Location Questions Google My Business & Google Maps 2
djbaxter NEW How to create a new question and answer thread How To Guides 4
djbaxter Converting some threads to Question and Answer threads Admin Stuff 3
Jason_Parks1 Question on Hours Local Search 3
Ben Walsh Am I asking questions in the right place ? Contact Us Messages 1
raellovepie Question about Article: Your Google My Business Profile Image – The Most Important Image? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
Adam C. Google Ads Question General Local SEO Discussions [PRIVATE] (LocalU) 4
djbaxter Questions about LocalU Upgrades and Subscriptions? LocalU Technical Information and Help 0
S Question & Answers Google My Business & Google Maps 1
H Quick questions about citations (newbie here) Citations 2
Valentin UULE question Local SEO Tools & Software 2
D Questions & Answers - Knowledge Panel (Not Showing) Help & Support for Google Local 5
Jeffrey Taylor Product Carousel Category Buttons Question Google My Business & Google Maps 0
Shelly Vacation Rentals Reviews Question Local Reviews 3
Lanerizz Google My Business Support Request Question Moving or Name Changes 1
B SERP Question Local Search 2
Stephanie Mahnken To Display a SAB's Address or Not Display....THAT is the Question! Service Area Businesses 12
V Question: Bring something to foreign citations Help & Support for Google Local 2
CoRichardson Question & Concern Regarding Article About Stay Verified Emails Help & Support for Google Local 9
J Multiple-Location SEO Questions Local Search 4
C Spam fighting questions Google My Business & Google Maps 15
MKubot Ranking Question Follow Up Ranking Puzzles 1
pconnole Google My Business eligibility question (Hospitality Industry) Google My Business & Google Maps 4
V Google My Business script using GMB API - auto replies, question notifications, post scheduling Local SEO Tools & Software 0
freerunr Share Location Group ID? (GMB Agency account question) Google My Business & Google Maps 1
Theo1313 Questions Vanishing Help & Support for Google Local 1
Niki Gross Responding to Questions & Answers Google My Business & Google Maps 1

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

Trending: Most Viewed

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert


Top Bottom