Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT?

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Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? David Coton 11/18/13 7:18 AM

I've read the FAQs and searched the help center. 
My URL is: http://www.gardensite.co.uk/Christmas/Outdoor_Christmas_Lights/

We have had a sudden drop in traffic which is apparent since last Thursday but only effecting a lot of Christmas related keywords example "outdoor Christmas lights" where we were in position 9 and has traditionally been at this position for a number of years.

Could a footer (seen on http://www.gardensite.co.uk/Christmas/Premier_Father_Christmas_Silhouette_with_LED.htm) lead to duplicate content if rolled out across multiple pages be a reason why we have dropped off a cliff?

This footer was recently added to most of our "splash" pages. Should we expect a warning for duplicate content?

note: We have removed the footer on http://www.gardensite.co.uk/Christmas/Outdoor_Christmas_Lights/ as a matter of urgency.

Any help appreciated.

Kind regards
David
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? Ashley 11/18/13 7:58 AM
There's actually no penalty for duplicate content - it just means that it may dilute the focus on the unique content per page, or if you have pages that are totally duplicate Google will likely choose just one version to show. 

I'm guessing what may be a larger contributor is a huge drop in keywords/referring pages:

What remains are some good, natural links - but also a bunch that may through red flags. Actually, it seems like there were lots of exact match domains for keywords that linked to you that have recently been taken down. Some remain. Have you built any links?



Do you own any other websites?
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? camcamcz 11/18/13 8:05 AM
Well if you have a lot of duplicate content you could possible be penalized by Panda but there is no way to find out.

They did do an obvious update last Thursday, my site got affected too. I'm surprised not many people are talking about this random update.  
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? Ashley 11/18/13 8:11 AM
camcamcz - Google updates over 600 times per year. I think we'd all be feeling a little over-chatty if they talked about all of the updates. 

Panda looks more at thin or low quality or spammy content. A footer is pretty standard boilerplate and not likely to be the issue, in my opinion. 
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? David Coton 11/18/13 8:44 AM
Hi Ashley,

Thank you for your message.

We have not been hit for any other pages for our domain only Christmas, we did have other selling sites in the past and felt with all the recent algorithyms it would be wise to loose these and focus on our main brand.

We cannot find any red flag links for our christmas pages.

We have removed our footers on the pages most hit to see if this will help a recovery.

Kind Regards
David

 
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? David Coton 11/18/13 8:56 AM
Hi again Ashley,

I would tend to agree about the footer being a boilerplate and we use this on other ares of the site. What was apparent was that we did not have any footers on Christmas splash pages previously and on Tuesday we rolled them out to around 20 Christmas pages, Thursday we were hit.

Do you think a recovery may happen in time on the next crawl if it is content or do we need to take action to request a reconsideration?

Kind Regards
David  
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? Ashley 11/18/13 9:04 AM
Google is opaque - so, there's no way of knowing that the footer was even an issue at all. 

You cannot request a reconsideration unless you have a manual penalty. Is there anything under Search Traffic > Manual Actions in WMT?
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? Ben Griffiths 11/18/13 9:19 AM
Did you recently NOFOLLLOW a bunch of backlinks to the Christmas section from your other sites, eg


Or have they always been nofollow?

There's still self-created dofollow links out there too,


Plenty of domains still live it would appear.
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? David Coton 11/18/13 10:52 AM
Hi Ashley,

Agreed, i wish G would be more clearer.

Thank you for the response about reconsideration i did not think we needed to do this as we have had no manual penalty in WMT.

The odd thing is we had a message from google last week to say big traffic increase to http://www.gardensite.co.uk/Christmas/Outdoor_Christmas_Lights/ we took it as seasonal change and in a round about way a positive, but did think at the time it was too good to be true!

maybe this was an early sign of a problem?

see my earlier post https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/webmasters/crawling-indexing--ranking/yDm28LaVUjA

Thanks again
David
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? Ashley 11/18/13 11:15 AM
Argh, duplicate posts.... not helpful.


I think you need to read Ben's post a bit more carefully. 
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? David Coton 11/18/13 11:23 AM
Hi Ben Hof

Thank you for joining the thread.

Worldofchristmas.co.uk is an old selling site which we closed a few years back and changed to a small information site as our garden centre has a massive Christmas shop this time of year called the world of christmas, all links on the new site have always been nofollow so it does not look like a link network (which its obviously not meant to be) so we have made no recent changes here, we would have closed the site completely but we have billboards, banners and cards with this domain printed on so though it best to keep. Please feel free to comment if you feel this site could be hurting our main site.

The same applies to
http://www.hallsgardencentre.com/
This is a none selling site for our garden centre and coffee shop and we have a page on here to promote our local Christmas trees but have included a link to our ecommerce site gardensite.co.uk if customer wanted to buy online, the links are follow on this site but again please feel free to comment if you feel this site and links could be hurting our main site gardensite.co.uk

I really feel the whole gardensite would have been hit if links were an issue but its only our Christmas pages being hit. We actively monitor links and understand that only quality matters to google.

again thanks for the response.

David


 

Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? David Coton 11/18/13 11:39 AM
Arrhh Sorry, I did not think my initial post would hurt keeping it separate as it was relating to the message we saw in WMT about increased traffic.

After that time I had concluded duplicate content being the cause and opened this tread about if a warning would be visible in WMT for duplicate content - now i know not.

Looks like i will have to dig deeper into Ben's post, should i expect a warning message if backlinks are an issue to us, i have read site owners see messages about unnatural links if this is the case?








Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? JohnMu 11/29/13 12:39 AM
Hi David

Fluctuations like this can be normal - the algorithms don't stand still and use many signals to review & determine the relevance of pages & sites. Looking at it just now, it seems that it may just have come back again :). That said, working to improve the overall quality of a website is always a good thing. If this is currently one of your busier times, then it might make sense to do that a bit afterwards -- but I'd definitely think about what you could do to get feedback from users (customers or not) already. 

Cheers
John
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? mrfixit341 12/5/13 9:06 AM
I noticed one day I was #2 for a key word phrase and boy was I excited. Then the next day I was no where to be found. It's like I was out in a boat fishing and catching fish hand over fist when a shark hit my boat and knocked it over. A week later my boat was floating again at #2. I have came to the realization that because I was submitting articles and using blogger and my wordpress blog my stats climbed. I guess content is King.

The Best Pain reliever
Re: Will duplicate content always thow a warning in WMT? Ashley 12/5/13 9:10 AM
Start your own thread, please mrfixit341.