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Duplicate Content & NoFollows; Google’s Mythos

Gregger asked 1 year ago
It seems like every day I hear someone making a big fuss about duplicate content or no follow links. There are of course a few SEOs that tested these things themselves years ago and have never believed in them. Now it is pretty obvious that neither of these works the way people wanted/feared them to. So what other Google myths are there?

I’m thinking:
-speed of link acquisition penalties
you can get as many links as fast as you want with no penalty, the thing is, if you’re getting thousands of links quickly, they are probably just crappy links and so that is why it doesn’t help you

-pr bleed
link out as much as you want, you can’t keep the pr by only having internal links

-page load time:
I know some hot consumer sites that take 30 seconds to load and have a loading bar, but they rank well and make money

-penalties for affiliate links
it is much more likely that affiliate sites have a harder time ranking because of lack of unique and new content than the links involved, heck, look at poker listings, they are the biggest affiliate around, but they have tons of content

14 Answers
webber286 answered 1 year ago
Probably all true. With speed of link acquisition we do see a temporary dampening of search rankings when going after a ton of low quality links, but it only lasts for a couple of weeks, then the rankings come back stronger. Page load time is a silly one, the only issue there is that longer page load times might mean slower indexing of sub-pages since Google will only spend so much time looking at your site.

Gregger answered 1 year ago
Good point. Slow page load will not sit well with visitors either, which will increase bounce rate.

I thought of another one. Link exchanges not being worth anything. I do think a one way link is better, but if two sites point in content links to different deep pages of the other site, there is benefit to both. Not only for traffic, but for link juice. Of course I don’t like “links” pages with lists of links for exchanges, but I would not turn down a link exchange from a relevant authority site in my niche any day. In fact I would go after it aggressively.

webber286 answered 1 year ago
You can pretty much add “any backlink is a good link”. Link exchanges from directory pages still provide some benefit, not as good as a home page in content link of course, but much easier to obtain. General directory links still provide some benefit. Basically any link you can acquire (as long as it is cached and isn’t nofollow) is beneficial. Even a nofollow link on Wikipedia is beneficial, some evidence suggests they even pass a bit of link juice.

alexross answered 1 year ago
dup content hurts rankings FACT. i don’t know where you come up with these ideas, but ofc it’s good to stimulate chat.

webber286 answered 1 year ago
I think you missed the point on the duplicate content myth. It doesn’t hurt rankings at all for your website, only for the page(s) that has the duplicate content. I prefer to get my facts straight from the Google engineers and that’s what they are saying, and it’s backed up by plenty of examples online. At worst duplicate content is a zero sum game, and that’s the only point that’s really being made here. It doesn’t help and it doesn’t hurt.

Gregger answered 1 year ago
I disagree. If your site has more topic authority than the other sites with the same content, you can appear above them and send them to the phantom zone of “we found other similar results that are not shown”

Examples:
CNN.com republishing AP news releases
Press Release Sites
Amazon outranking many manufacturers for their own products while using the same text

Want proof? Copy a bulk of text about casino affiliate something or another and paste it in this thread. I bet CAP will outrank the source for it within a few days.

scottpolk answered 1 year ago
Duplicate Content …
penalty – not really, but filtered yes
The main reason is the fact that you cannot control the Link Equity passed when you have duplicate pages. Why spread it out to multiple pages of the same content when you can simply condense into a single page. You get a higher benefit if you would simply architect your site not to produce duplicate content.

webber286 answered 1 year ago
It’s certainly agreed that using duplicate content as a strategy for increasing search relevance is definitely not worth the effort. So everyone is clear, avoid duplicate content wherever you can, it won’t help you. The only point here is that Google doesn’t penalize you for having duplicate content, just suppresses it for the keywords that are in said duplicate content for the page that it is on.

scottpolk answered 1 year ago
@webber286 210461 wrote:

It’s certainly agreed that using duplicate content as a strategy for increasing search relevance is definitely not worth the effort. So everyone is clear, avoid duplicate content wherever you can, it won’t help you. The only point here is that Google doesn’t penalize you for having duplicate content, just suppresses it for the keywords that are in said duplicate content for the page that it is on.

Yes you are correct, but the Link Equity being spread out to copies of the same page will hurt, not in a penalty, but in loss of concentrated Link Equity to a single page vs being spread out to multiple pages. IMO the downside far out weighs any strategy for an upside. That is the difference between advanced SEO and 101 – you must look at the big picture and not just the one factor

scottpolk answered 1 year ago
@Gregger 210210 wrote:

It seems like every day I hear someone making a big fuss about duplicate content or no follow links. There are of course a few SEOs that tested these things themselves years ago and have never believed in them. Now it is pretty obvious that neither of these works the way people wanted/feared them to. So what other Google myths are there?

Ok – Rel=NoFollow – if you have them on your site now do not remove, but do not use any new ones on your site or on any new pages. I know sites that wholesale removed them after Google’s announcement and the their rankings tanked. Google has made adjustments regardless of their public position. NoFollow is a tactic that some people have used well and a majority have misused .. so now we are back to not using it. Be very careful with NoFollow … you will more than likely do more harm than good to your site.