4 Common Types of Duplicate Content And How To Handle Them Local Search Engine Optimization

One of the most frequent challenges that digital marketers come across, as they try to maximize on Search Engine Optimization, is duplicate content.

Duplicate content is content that is very similar or even identical, appearing in a number of locations on the internet. This results in search engines not identifying which web link to show in the search results. This almost always impacts the search engine ranking of a web page in the search results, and also the amount of traffic going to the page.

A lot of work and dedication goes into content creation with search engine optimization to bring the targeted audience to the web page. Imagine, being pushed down the rank of search engine results because that content is too similar to content on another page. This is why duplicate content has become a major problem for digital marketing.

The four most common types of duplicate content are:

  • HTTP and HTTPS Pages

Sites that keep content on both HTTP:// and HTTPS:// versions can also create the problem of duplicate content. When both versions of a page are running, the search engines may not be able to tell them apart which can result in a duplicate content issue. This will undoubtedly affect the SEO ranking result by search engines.

After transferring your site from HTTP:// to HTTPS://, make sure to close all back links to the old page so that no similar content is found on both pages. In this case, you can also use a redirect or a program that can audit the website for you.

  • WWW and Non-WWW Pages

Search engines sometimes get it wrong between pages that have the WWW prefix, and pages that don’t have the WWW pages (non-WWW pages) yet have similar content. For example, www.X.com and X.com may have similar content. To the search engine, they will appear the same and only one will be picked.

Make sure to keep only one page, either the WWW or the non-WWW or use redirection, this will make it easy for search engines to decide which content is the best match for a specific search.

  • Scraped Content

This is when content is copied from another site without permission from the original author; this could be from a blog post, book, e-commerce website, media pages and especially product information pages.

When scraped content is identified across the web, search engines automatically move down the duplicate pages, reducing their search engine optimization ranking which in turn reduces traffic to their pages.

You will want to make sure that your content is fresh every time. It will also be worth your while to check the web for any content that may be like yours through plagiarism. This will avoid scraped content.

  • Syndicated Content

This is content that is published on another page with permission from the original author. As legal as this option sounds, it may still appear as duplicate content to the search engine. Measures must be taken when syndicating any content, to make sure the content doesn’t affect the SEO results.

For effective digital marketing and to make the most of SEO, duplicate content must be avoided at all costs! It is important to take the time to scrutinize and inspect your web pages and the content to look for any cases of duplicate content and, if a block of content is similar to other pages, take note and change them.

Common Optimization Mistakes Part 2 Search Engine Optimization

More Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you are doing SEO for a small website or a huge brand, as a marketing expert, you need to be well informed about the common Search Engine Optimization mistakes. If you want your site on the first pages of search results so you can make more money resulting from higher traffic, the following are the mistakes you should definitely avoid:

Adding keyword phrases to your GMB listing’s business name

Every Austin SEO marketer is aware of the fact that keywords are vital elements used by internet users to find a particular product or brand. With that in mind, some people doing SEO often go over and beyond the set standards as far as adding keyword phrases. Notably, they add them to the business name in the GMB (Google My Business) listing thinking that Google will rank them better. Yes, keywords appearing in the business name may help boost rankings, but there is a catch here. The said phrases ought to be part of the legal name of the business; otherwise, it is a direct desecration of GMB guidelines.

It can also be interpreted that adding keywords to the business name in your GMB listing is typically operating like a spammer; something that sincere SEOs across the world and Google despise.

So what are you supposed to do? Well, we all know that it is very tempting to violate this rule in a bid to boost SEO ranking, but do not give in to this urge! The reason why you shouldn’t add keywords to Google My Business Listing is that the risk is not worth. This is because anyone else, including your competitors, can easily report you to Google. If Google marks you as a spammer then, without doubt, they can take severe action against your site’s listing.

Requesting visitors to “click here”

If you have been browsing a lot, there is no doubt you have seen many websites asking people to head their cursors to a “click here” button if you need to get more information! Including this generic CTA (call-to-action) as an anchor text is a complete waste of an opportune moment to boost your search engine optimization.

Click here doesn’t benefit your website directly. We are not saying that using anchor text on a site’s landing page is a bad idea, but the kind of text you use matters a lot. Use text that is not only relevant but also helpful to whoever is reading your website text. SEO best practices advise on using keywords in anchor text because search engines factor in the said text and the direction of the hyperlink. More importantly, avoid stuffing the landing pages with a cluster of keyword anchor text links as this may be perceived by search engines as spammy, and you know the consequences!

The last and the very important point to note are about the content prior to and after the anchor text or hyperlink. Since search engines consider these contents, ensure that the words around the “click here” button are related to the keywords.

Forgetting or ignoring to use image Alt Tags

We all know that the internet is more or less about images, video, and text. They are the exact spices that make up a business website, but let’s focus on images. SEO fundamentals require that images should be fully optimized and, if this is not the case, then you are missing out on great SEO strategies.

Top Common Optimization Mistakes to Avoid (Part 1) Search Engine Optimization

Taking your business into the online world has benefits and challenges in equal measure. Competition is just one of them, but fortunately, there are a myriad of solutions, one being the SEO or the search engine optimization. SEO is a powerful marketing strategy that ensures your business website is ranked better in search engines, which increases lead conversion.

It is important to appreciate that SEO techniques are evolving each day because of new developments in search engines and changing user perspectives. This means that it is not always easy to stay up to date on the most effective optimization methods, which explains why many online businesses fall into the snare of doing SEO incorrectly. There are some common errors that are often tricky to avoid. However, by learning about these potential pitfalls, you will be in a better position to turn them into prospects to achieve the desired result that matches your marketing efforts. In this article, we focus on the top two mistakes.  If you need help with any of the following give Ysais SEO a call today!

1). Having a business website with slow loading time

Search engine optimization is not only about keywords and content, but it is also about the page’s loading speed. Can you guess how many minutes potential customers will wait for a page to load before they abandon the search altogether? Did you say one minute? Yes, you are close to the answer, but not exact! Metrics from Google claim that more than 50% of website searchers abandon their query if the said site does not load in fewer than three seconds! That may be an insane threshold, but that is the reality behind consumer habits.

Slow loading speeds have been one of the biggest challenges facing online business websites, even the “big boys” are not spared. Unfortunately, if your site does not load quickly, it will definitely affect your rankings simply because search engines want searchers to be happy.  Fast loading websites make them happy! So the implication here is that a site that loads slowly will undoubtedly drop in search rankings and there are slim chances to recover.

There is a solution to this challenge though; just use the Site Speed Test from Google. You are required to enter your site’s URL and, in a matter of seconds, you will receive outcomes for desktop and mobile device alike. It does not stop there though; Google will present you with incredible tips on what you will do to fix speed issues on your business website.

2). Running a website not secure with SSL

In 2014, Google clearly stated that running a business website that is highly secured has a great positive impact on your ranking. It seems SEO teams and digital marketers did not pay serious attention to this opportunity until recently, and so the damages have already been done! It should be noted that Google is currently displaying “Not Secured” warnings on some of the popular browsers like Chrome for sites that are not secured.

When a target customer clicks on your website and is welcomed by the warning sign stated above, they will immediately think otherwise. Could this site be a fraud site? Will my personal details be safe? And many other confidence eroding questions. Without further ado, having a secure website will potentially boost its rankings as well as help in lead conversions.

If you want to make a business site secure, you will first be required to buy something called SSL certificate from the site’s host or even from the domain name registrar. Once you have the certificate, proceed to install it on your site. Yes, there is a possibility that installation can get somewhat technical as unexpected challenges may arise. If this happens, you may request the site’s host to help with the installation or hire a website developer to fix it. Upon successful installation, the software will redirect all non-secure (http://) URLs to new secure (https://) URLs.

Since making your website secure boosts your search engine rankings, it is essential to ensure the SSL installation process is done professionally and correctly. Therefore, after switching, it is important to test if any errors exist. If everything is okay, then rest assured that your rankings will rise henceforth!

Everything thing you need to know about Google Medic Update 2018 Search Engine Optimization

Over the years, Google has been rolling out updates that are geared toward improving site’s ranking and quality content creation. In the recent past, on the first two days of August 2018 to be precise, another broad core algorithm update was implemented. Popularly known as Google Medic Update 2018, there was quite a lot of buzz around it. Some popular sites are deemed to have lost, while others won, which is somewhat logical because at the end of the day it’s a zero-sum game! Let’s delve into this topic and unravel the mysteries of Google Medic Update 2018.

What is Google Medic Update 2018?

As previously stated, Google has been launching several updates quite often to improve the site’s ranking. Although Google did not call it ”Medic Update”, most prolific writers like Barry Schwartz called it that. The very first iteration of this update hit websites in July 2018 and it continued to roll out over several weeks. The mother of it all was at the beginning of August 2018. What followed were several days of heavy ranking flux, which can be confirmed easily in chat streams across many websites.

While Google has not said anything in particular about the update, not much is known as at this time. However, it is important to note that the update did not target medical sites only. Yes, many websites in other niches were affected as well, such as insurance, e-commerce, finance, entertainment, business-to-business, deal sites, and so on and so forth. But the most interesting thing is that many of the e-commerce sites that sell medical or health-related stuff were heavily hit by the update. This perhaps explains why many SEO experts decide to call it “Google Medic Update”.

What happened during the update?

Now you know why it was nicknamed the “Medic Update”, so what happened during and after this major update? With the recent update, Google changed the implication of its algorithm’s core ranking dynamics. In other words, it altered the overall framework with which a website’s content is ranked in its search results. Notably, a big number of sites saw momentous changes in visibility index, with medical industry websites being affected the most. While some SEO experts urge that the update was envisioned to show superior outcomes for the intent of a user’s search inquiry in their customer’s journey, others were of the opinion that its purpose was to bring more supremacy to websites with higher authority.

How do you know if your website was affected?

You may be wondering if your website was affected by the Google Medic Update, and so are many other website owners! It is simple and straightforward to discern this; just look at any slight changes in your Google ranking and carry out the modest math of comparing them to their positions before the beginning of August. If ranking changed immensely, either positively or negatively, then your site has been affected by the update.

So, what can you do?

Prior to the update, Google made it clear that there will be no specific fix for the “Medic Update”. This statement alone may have left many people who have had their sites affected and lost ranking feeling hopeless. However, there is some good news at the end of the tunnel! Health-based websites struggling with poor ranking because of the update should focus on high quality and organic content. They also need an emphasis on achieving EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) standards. Optimize those service pages that dropped in rank by typically adding more paragraphs and subheadings. Improve content creation by learning how to focus on keywords. Experts advise exploiting Latent Semantic Indexing (or LSI) on pages, adding images, examples and lists, and even adding more internal links. Yes, to implement all these can be a little bit problematic, but you can always hire an SEO agency if you feel your website was hit by the Google Medic update.

Mobile First Indexing Search Engine Optimization

Google Mobile Indexing Not Completed

Lately, we have been hearing of a new development called mobile-first indexing. In an ever-continuing effort to make website browsing reflect behavior trends of a user and make it more mobile-friendly, Google is promising us something that will definitely redefine content indexing. However, there is a lot of confusion about what this means to an average site owner. What does it mean for your ranking? Should you do anything about it? Should you be worried? If your website is mobile-friendly, will the new developments be good enough? Well, this article unveils in all you need to know about Google’s mobile-first indexing!

What does mobile first indexing mean?

Google mobile first indexing is just what it sounds like! It means that the mobile version of your site takes priority for what Google includes in their content indexing. It also forms the bottom line for how it determines site’s rankings. Ordinarily, Google used to index websites based on the desktop experience as well as the content on the site. The switch-to-be is based on the premise that more and more searches originate from mobile devices and it is expected that the launch will give users a better experience. It is essential to note that the Google mobile first indexing is not a separate index as Google has a single index from which it delivers the results.

It is referred to as “mobile-first” simply because it is not a mobile-only index. In other words, if a website does not have a mobile version, the desktop site will still be included in the index. However, the absence of mobile-friendly experience may negatively affect a site’s rankings and vice versa.

The last interpretation of mobile-first index is that the mobile version of a website will be considered as the primary version. So if your desktop and mobile versions are equivalent, in theory, the site will be optimized based on the mobile version.

When will Google Mobile First Indexing take effect?

The above is a loaded question, and there is a response from Google themselves, but you may not like it! For the past few months, tons of webmasters have been receiving notifications that their websites migrated to the new indexing system. However, that is far away from the truth! Google mobile first indexing will take years to be go into effect as it is far from done. At one of the conferences attended by Google’s Illyes Gary, he said that they would only launch it when results are “quality neutral”.

Reading between the lines of his words means that mobile first indexing will take years before we see the benefits because getting to “quality neutral” is not only difficult but quite tricky. However, at a later interview, Gary reiterated that launching it early next year is somewhat a more realistic timeline. Experts in SEO predict that Google may roll out the new product anytime but in batches. Ours is just the “wait and see” scenario!

Are you ready for the change?

Anyone reading this article may think that Google is delaying the launch with the intent of making your site’s experience more difficult. However, there is nothing to worry about, as the product will seamlessly make browsing experiences and rankings even better. All you need to do is to prepare for the take-off by implementing a couple of things. First, ensure you catch up with all the latest news by reading the webmaster blog post for Google. Second, ensure your site has a responsive design, and if not, all primary content should be on your mobile site. Last, but not least, think about UX on mobile and carry out a mobile-friendliness test. If you are done with all these practices, sit back, relax, and wait for the roll out of Google Mobile-first indexing!