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Ditch the Duplicates and Improve SEO Content

It may be January, but many people are already thinking about spring cleaning. You should be, too – for your computer, that is. Business owners often have trouble in the new year because their sites have SEO problems such as duplicate content. A few simple solutions can clean up your computer and make it easier for search engines to recognize you, whether you own a small business, are a corporate CEO, or need your personal website to generate more traffic.

Untitled designGet Creepy

No, don’t stalk other computer users; use a Google index creep to find duplicate content. A Google index creep uses inurl operators to examine your site and similar ones for duplicates. Let’s say you’re a Barnes & Noble manager. In Google, enter something like site:mbarnesandnoble.com followed by inurl: finsinab&n. This will show you sites with content like, “Find in Barnes & Noble” that may not lead back to your product page. Instead, they may lead to authors’ sites with “find my book in Barnes & Noble” as part of the main page, or sites that partner with Barnes & Noble but don’t sell products specific to your store. With this knowledge, you can remove duplicates from your own site without harming theirs.

Check the Hit List

If you type in content like the examples listed above and see millions of hits, your store is throwing away valuable cyber space. The websites listed don’t all belong to your store. Track your site to see how many hits you get on average. For example, according to a recent article, Target received 330,000 duplicate hits on an inurl search – on their mobile platform alone. Those duplicates can come from “negatives” – negative Target publicity, searches that use the keywords “NOT Target,” and more. If you find negative publicity crowding out positive hits, consider troubleshooting ASAP.

Don’t Make Google Nervous

Some people think putting “SEO” in their web addresses or searches will improve their content and ratings. In fact, “SEO” in a search bothers Google because it means they must sift through millions of pages. This also occurs if you build several similar pages to boost SEO. You might not have duplicates on the pages, but the addresses will show up as duplicates in search engines. Also, don’t use JavaScript to generate traffic. JavaScript will gravitate toward your site’s popular pages and – you guessed it – duplicate.

Use Long-Tailed Keywords

A keyword like “romance novels” or “Barnes and Noble for kids” will generate some content but give you several duplicates. When building or maintaining a site, go for long-tailed keywords, such as “Find latest Susan May Warren title at B&N.” A keyword phrase like this will take you straight to that new release.