30,000 websites are launched each day. Google processes over 20 petabytes per day of sheer data: how do you make your web site stand out?
Search Engines don't want the same thing for dinner, so your site better be dishing up some interesting content for supper or no one will be sticking around for dessert. Duplicate content isn't on the menu.
What Duplicate Content?
Content that is taken from other websites and generally copy/pasted onto another page. Or perhaps a discussion forum that has been quoting previous entries to ensure continuity. The content can only be duplicate if it appears to entirely replicate or closely replicate content elsewhere within that site or elsewhere on the internet.
How do I avoid it?
Search Engines care about the words and syntax of the content, not necessarily the ideas, concepts, or spirit of the content. Your site wont be penalized if you saw an article on How to sell a house online elsewhere and wrote one as well; they do care, however, if you take blocks of text from an article, like a sentence or paragraph, jumble any of the same text to try to subvert it, or just copy/paste the text from that site to yours.
Often people launching sites have very little time to write 40 pages of content for a web site. Typically they are small business owners or the in-house marketing professional for the larger corporation, or even worse, the IT department (never let them write anything other than code!).
The best advice you can get to avoid duplicate content is to pay a professional writer to write it all for you. There are plenty of people, either freelance or within a digital agency, who write professional web copy and site content for a fair price.
Get a few quotes and samples of work for your site specifically and see how they measure up to your standards.
Write it yourself.
Set aside an hour a night to write your content.
Get your URLs all lined up and make summaries of what you want each page to have on it and then slowly plug away at it. You can start writing content as soon as youve even decided to have a website so it doesnt get held up in development.
Start thinking about articles and ideas you want to include on your site, your services probably wont change even if your site lay out does, so start writing it all, save it, and then have it ready to be uploaded the very next day from the completion of the development of the site.
Even better advice
Write the content yourself and then pay a professional proof-reader to edit the content for you. Poor grammar does not evoke confidence in your site, regardless of what business or niche you are in.
Fundamentally, you know best what you want your site content to consist of. Invest a little bit of money to get better presentation and better SEO results, and never, ever, ever think about duplicating content, your site will thank you for this!
Shawn Graaff is the Content Manager for a Cape Town based digital media agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization.