In the ever-changing world of SEO lately, there’s been a lot of talk about duplicate content. And for a good reason! Today we’re sharing all the duplicate content details financial advisors need to know for a successful SEO strategy. Let’s kick things off by first asking the basic question:
What is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content simply means that similar content appears at multiple URLs. When people start linking to the different versions of the same content this is known as duplicate content. The “one place” where is it found is defined as a location with a unique website address or URL so, if the same content appears at more than one web address, then that is considered to be duplicate content.
Common Questions about Duplicate Content
Will duplicate content hurt my organic rankings in google?
According to Google, “duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.”
This is a little confusing, but all it means is that if you are deliberately changing and duplicating content on your website to try and manipulate the search engine rankings or to drive more traffic then Google will lower your website.
An example of this is when you “keyword stuff,” which is when you load a webpage with keywords to try and manipulate a site’s ranking search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context. If you do this, the search rankings can tell and that will actually penalize you and lower your rankings.
Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin…..”
– Google Webmaster Guidelines
what this means:
Google’s bots visit most sites every single day. If it happens to find a copied version of something a week later on another site, they’re smart and they know where the original first appeared. However, you can rest easy, because the Googlebot won’t penalize the website, it will simply move on to the next one.
According to Raven, duplicate content is among one of the top 5 SEO issues that websites face. Google understands that also, that no matter how hard you try to offer content that is 100% unique, you simply cannot. In fact, Google’s Matt Cutts said that 25-30% of the web’s content is duplicate and that is okay. Additionally, Google doesn’t treat duplicate content as spam, and yes, Google only wants to show one of those pages in their search results, so while this may feel like a penalty, it’s not actually one.
if I repurpose my firm’s media mentions on my blog is that considered duplicate content?
There are two common scenarios we come across for this with financial advisors:
- Let’s say for example you were recently included in a Wall Street Journal article, congrats! That’s great PR that you may want to also include in your marketing efforts like on your blog, newsletter, social media, etc.
- You stumble across a great read in Forbes that you think your blog readers would like to know more about.
Should you include these kinds of news stories on your blog or would that be considered duplicate content? Bottom line: Think about your readers (and searchers). Are they going to want to see and read the same exact story 20 times? No.
Rather than just re-using that content as-is from the news source the best approach would be to write the article yourself. Sure, you can link back to the original news article but put your own spin on it, showcase your thought leadership and expertise in the area by adding some sort of value to the topic at hand. By simply rehashing a story that’s already out there you’re not providing people with any additional value.
The video below from Matt Cutts at Google shares some great insight and answers this very question thoroughly.
I’m scared my site may have duplicate content on it. should I block Google from indexing my site?
According to Google, they “do not recommend blocking crawler access to duplicate content (dc) on your website, whether with a robots.txt file or other methods.”
Instead, Google recommends allowing their bots to crawl the duplicate URLs but marking them as duplicates by using rel=”canonical” tag. You can also consider adjusting the crawl rate setting in your Google Search Console.
Is Twenty Over Ten’s Content Assist library considered duplicate content?
Our Content Assist Library is definitely NOT considered to be duplicate content, and that is because the content within your Content Assist library is completely customizable. Though it is available for any of our users to put on their websites, it can be tailored exactly to fit a firms’ niche, geographic location, services and more. With Content Assist, you get a solid foundation as a starting point, but we encourage advisors to tailor each article to fit their unique needs.
Watch our video below or read this tutorial on how to edit your Content Assist articles to boost SEO and lead capture.
What if I don’t edit the Content Assist articles from the library? Will the content then be considered “duplicate?”
It is important to remember that Twenty Over Ten does not automatically push out new pieces of content to any advisors’ websites. What does this mean? Every user has to log in and then select the content that they would like to put on their website and then edit each piece accordingly. Posts do not just automatically get published to our users’ websites at the beginning of every month, because there is new and updated content.
It’s also important to keep in mind that many advisors target different audiences. So the content you choose to share on your blog should be specific to your audience and their needs or pain points. We’ve made this easy for you by categorizing all articles into topical buckets like healthcare, retirement, taxes, young adults and more. With so much new content being added to the library monthly, there has never been a piece shared more than 200 times.
how do I know if my website has duplicate content on it?
The easiest way to find duplicate content is to simply do a Google search. Simply take some text from your website and put it “in quotes” in your search bar on Google. Google will display results for all the websites that contain the same text that it’s indexed. If you’re looking for a third-party tool to help spot duplicate content we recommend using Copyscape.
The Bottom Line
The above information should make you rest a bit more easy, as Google does understand that the content out there is going to be duplicated, especially with the sheer volume of content online. When using Content Assist, the ability to customize it and make it your own should help to remedy the situation even further and help you to create clickable content that drives more traffic and leads to your advisor website.
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About the author
Blair is a digital marketing assistant at Twenty Over Ten and has a passion for uncovering what drives online traffic and the highest engagement. She follows more animals on Instagram than humans and her greatest achievement is her daughter, Grey.