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Beat Duplicate Content at Article Marketing News Newsletter

How to Beat Dupe Content and Use Web Site Templates Safely and Properly

Hello! It's Mike Liebner from Article Underground here!

I'd like to talk to you a bit about the proper use of web templates as well as discuss Google's supplemental results index and "duplicate content". There has been a lot of talk lately as Article Underground members have been discussing Google and it's policies on "duplicate content" and how pages get bumped to the supplemental results.

We've been discussing Duplicate Content in the Article Underground Members private forum and also on my blog at Mike Liebner's Internet Marketing Blog

Please feel free to join us in the discussions!

Now I'd like to clear up some stuff as well as discuss how web site templates can be safely used, as well as how NOT to use them.

In my last newsletter I told you how search engine giant Google publicly expressed that they do not like "boilerplate repetition". That's their way of saying that if they see blocks of text repeated more than a few times they start to doubt it's importance. It doesn't mean they won't index and catalog those words, it just means they prefer UNIQUE TEXT! And who can blame them! I don't!

So does that mean we are all doomed because of duplicate content penalties??? No way! If there was ever an easy problem to solve it would have to be fixing pages with duplicate content! Panic and frenzy are not warranted! I'll explain later..

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First off, Google has not yet admitted that they "penalize sites for duplicate content". What they have admitted is that if there are pages that are very similar or an exact copy of another page is that they will put the web page data into a "supplemental index". While their supplemental index is not as prime as their primary results index, it does not mean a site is penalized or that it will not be ranked for web queries.

It just means that on shorter and more competitive search queries that Google will first look at their primary index. And that makes sense! And you should all realize it is pretty easy to make a page suitable for their primary index. Simply make it more "unique" and dilute any elements that are duplicates of other pages.

SEO Changes in 2008

All our pages that are in supplemental web results are not doomed! We can easily fix the pages and make them have more value to Google!

Now, don't get me wrong, I would much prefer my pages get indexed properly and not tagged as supplemental, but I have been analyzing stats and have found that some of my supplemental pages are still getting search traffic from Google. Primarily for longer tail less competitive keyword phrases, but hey, the web pages are still getting traffic and clicks.

As an Article Underground member I have long supplied you with tips and suggestions on how to make your article pages more unique. In most cases, simply adding an introduction, middle commentary and closing summary are enough to make a web page unique enough NOT to trigger any filters. The problem often is NOT the article content but rather the "bolierplate repetition" of blocks of text on many pages, often because of templates.

The solution to that problem is to REMOVE blocks of text from the template and ONLY add extra words to pages one by one. That's the best way to do it! That way - each and every page has some original unique content. Sound like too much work??? Well, then you can use articles and break them into snippets!

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Snippets are smaller blocks of text, such as a sentence or two all the way up to a paragraph. Guess what? My research has shown that Google does NOT penalize pages that only have snippets. That leads me to believe that Google is NOT currently looking at smaller blocks of text UNLESS they fall into their definition of "boilerplate repetition". In other words, do NOT put one snippet on many pages and you should be ok.

I noticed this when I analyzed a site and found that NOT ONE of my site's category pages which only had snippets and no "boilerplate repetition" were designated as supplemental.

So, all is not lost... even though the article pages (if unmodified) may end up as supplemental results, it does not mean that you can't get significant traffic from category pages or other pages you create with snippets!

Now, in a perfect world we'd all have original and unique web pages! Many thousands of them! But the reality is that it takes time and effort to build web sites with thousands of pages or all original and exclusive content.

Sure, you can hire writers to crank out pages, but at a cost of $8. to $10. to $15. for an exclusive article, this can be expensive. A 2,000 page web site could cost you anywhere from $16,000. to $30,000. to have created and written for you. That's not an exaggeration my friends... that's how much a 2,000 page site would cost!

Now, if you were an AU member and you used your 400 monthly articles to build a 2,000 page site it would only cost you $485. That's so cheap! Sure, a $30,000. site will get more traffic, but my point is that you can still make a 2,000 page site very inexpensively and do things to get you boat loads of traffic! But it takes work! Not a lot of work, just a little...

Now, one way is you could mix in some of your own original article pages on sites and cut the number of supplemental results down, but writing takes time! Just because a site has supplemental pages indexed does not make it a bad or penalized site... Google e has told us this.

I'm not going to go into the full comparison of why PLR articles are a great alternative, but I will just say this... PLR articles can be used in any number of a 1,000 + different ways.

Clickbank is the Missing Link

One way is to mix and match with original unique exclusive content. Another is to create "feeder" or "utility" pages with PLR articles and strictly use those pages to gain PageRank and get traffic. Use these pages to gain link partners and use with traffic coop services such as Link Vault.

Link Vault

My point is that you can take advantage of the pages listed as supplemental and still use them to gain traffic and links.

So, while a great number of people are quick to cry and moan that Google is putting pages into supplemental results, the reality is that those pages still get PageRank and pass it on too (Google has told us this publicly). In fact Google says a supplemental result is just like any other result. It simply makes it easier for them to present the most likely pages that will make surfers happy. It doesn't mean that what they do not show is not a good page. It just means for that "popular" search that they deem the data as "supplemental".

So.... are there uses for PLR articles? YES! Can you still use templates? YES!

The key is to avoid blocks of text that are repeated too often. So, spend a few minutes on each article adding sentences and changing a few words. When you use templates, make sure you do not put any blocks of text that will be repeated on many pages, or if you do that, make sure to at least use find and replace and do some creative replacing so every page is not a cookie cutter page.

Are templates in themselves bad??? NO! If so, that would mean that the thousands of webmasters that use Dreamweaver's supplied templates or those from other programs like FrontPage or xSitePro would cause penalties and bannings. That does not happen. The danger is when you use a template and do NOT add your own unique stamp on them. A great way to do that is by using snippets and rotating them on the pages. Just make sure and make every effort to remove "footprints" such as text that may appear on may sites (like "put your links here").

Next issue I'll discuss more ways to use templates safely and creatively.

I'll soon be dropping another email with more tips on how you can make your content more unique, as well as customization tips for templates!

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help!

Happy Article Marketing!

Mike Liebner

P.S. New articles will be released on the 16th for current Article Underground members. Sign up now and you'll get 400 instantly on the welcome page + 400 more brand new articles on the 16th! Spots are currently available! Come by and have a look!

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