Just Another Copy Cat?
We all know that having fresh content is key. But what about those people who think YOUR content is key?
Today we look into duplicate content and the effect this can have on your website and where it ranks on Google. DejanSEO tested this theory with Rand Fishkin’s blog to see if they copied the content then they would rank above his own blog. The results were very interesting.
When there are two identical documents on the web, Google will pick the one with higher PageRank and use it in results. It will also forward any links from any perceived ’duplicate’ towards the selected ‘main’ document.
If the same content is crawled under multiple URLs, only the URL with the highest PageRank 28 appears in the index. Each link is also inverted so that the anchor text from each outgoing link is attached to the page the link points to. Link inversion must work across duplicates: links to a duplicate of a page should be forwarded to the highest PageRank duplicate if necessary.
They tested this theory on Rand’s blog, he agreed that they could try this. They set up a page in a similar way, with a few minor changes (rel/prev, authorship, canonical).
By doing this they managed to rank for both his name and one of his articles, but only for Australian searches.
When a duplicate page is created and merged into a main “canonical” document version it will display it’s PageRank, cache, links, info but in Rand’s case also +1′s. Yes, even +1′s. For example if you +1 a designated duplicate, the selected main version will receive the +1′s. Similarly if you +1 the selected main URL the change in +1′s will immediately reflect on any recognised copies.
Monitoring your content
By using services such as Copyscape and Google Alerts you can keep tabs on your content to make sure no one has been having “borrowing” any of it.