SEO: Duplicate Content

Don’t get lazy with search engine spiders, or they’ll bite you.

A long-time client contacted Webcopyplus to find out why their high rankings went downhill. In a matter of two months, they went from page one to falling off the radar for a couple of lucrative search terms. Their Google PageRank, indicating Google’s trust in their website, also dropped from 5/10 to 3/10.

We reviewed their web writing and meta data, and both checked out. Their inbound links were also relatively stable.

Upon further inspection, it was discovered that they were using duplicate web writing on many blog posts.

Google doesn’t like duplicate content. It’s considered a spam or black hat SEO tactic, and can result in dropped rankings, or even elimination from the search engine altogether.

A simple way to find out if your website has been penalized is to search for your domain name on Google. If your site doesn’t appear as the first result, there’s a good chance you’ve been penalized.

And if Google can’t find any page of your site if you search for “” then it’s almost certain your site’s been knocked off its index.

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Microsoft Releases New Search Engine: U Rank

Microsoft recently launched U Rank, a search engine that allows online users to organize, edit and annotate search results, and share information with others.

Here’s what Microsoft has to say about U Rank.

Almost Half of Internet Users Use Search Engines Daily

The percentage of Internet users who use search engines on a typical day has been steadily rising from about one-third of all users in 2002, to 49 per cent, reports PEW Internet.

That’s huge. In fact, the number of those using search engines on a typical day is pulling ever closer to the 60 per cent of Internet users who use e-mail — to date, the Internet’s biggest app.

Other popular daily Internet activities include checking the news (39 per cent) and studying the weather (30 per cent).

Those using search engines on an average day are more likely to be “socially upscale” reports the study, with at least some college education and incomes over $50,000 per year. They are also more likely to have six years of online experience, have their homes wired with high-speed connections, and be young and male.

Kiss those bulky hardcover telephone directories goodbye.

Mobile Search Grows in U.S. and Western Europe

Mobile search is gaining in both popularity and frequency of use in the U.S. and Western Europe, reports comScore.

In June 2008, 20.8 million U.S. mobile subscribers and 4.5 million European mobile phone subscribers accessed search during the month, an increase of 68% and 38% from June 2007, respectively.

The U.K. had the highest penetration of mobile subscribers using search at 9.5%, followed closely by the U.S. at 9.2%.

Google is proving to be the preferred brand for browser-based searches with a 60% share of mobile searchers.

The cell phone is quickly becoming the mobile PC. Businesses will have to pay attention to this vertical, and get onboard sooner than later as local search starts to dominate the mobile search space. Without a doubt, these portable devices are creating full-scale opportunities.

Google to Release ‘Chrome’ Browser

Google is releasing Google Chrome browser in 100 countries on Sept. 2 to take on Internet Explorer and Firefox, and make the Web a better place.

Google Chrome promises to be “clean and fast,” and run today’s complex web applications more efficiently. For instance, by keeping each tab in an isolated “sandbox,” Google claims it is able to prevent one tab from crashing another, and provide improved protection from suspect sites.

Plus, Google says it’s improving speed and responsiveness across the board. “We also built a more powerful JavaScript engine, V8, to power the next generation of web applications that aren’t even possible in today’s browsers,” reported the search engine giant.

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Google Chooses Quality Over Quantity

Google - Marketing

Google is reducing ads on web pages to an all-time low, which has many people scratching their heads.

“Virtually any other company facing slow economic times would be interested in increasing the places in which it could sell ads,” wrote Saul Hansell, in the New York Times article Google deliberately sells fewer ads – and may have gone too far. “It certainly wouldn’t take steps to reduce them.”

Meanwhile, Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s Senior Vice-President for Product Management, said that Google has no plans to increase its coverage because of its efforts to improve what it calls “ad quality.”

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Flash to Become Visible to Search Engines

Adobe announced July 1 it is working with the search industry to improve search results of dynamic web content and rich Internet applications. Up until now, search engines were not able to effectively view, decipher and index Flash-based sites.

Adobe has created a special Flash player, currently distributed to Yahoo and Google, which allows the search engines to crawl through Flash content and gather any text or hyperlinks within the rich content.

This is great news for businesses with Flash-based sites, which hindered their online presence.

Google has already begun indexing Flash sites, and Yahoo plans to release the technology in a future update. Adobe also plans to roll out the technology to other search engines.

Interview with Google’s Search Quality VP

Here’s an insightful interview with Udi Manber, Google’s VP of Engineering. CNET News Blog’s Stephen Shankland gets him to discuss everything from Internet maturity to upcoming search trends.

Google Releases Paid Search Earnings

Google published its earnings last month, reporting its search result sites generated revenues of $3.40 billion in the first quarter of 2008.

Meanwhile, an iProspect study showed that 60.5 per cent of Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL users selected a natural (unpaid) search result over paid search result as the most relevant on a sample query. Additionally, 60.8% of Yahoo and 72.3% of Google search engine users chose a natural search result as the most relevant.

The conclusion: appearing on natural rankings is most valuable to businesses. Natural search results are more trusted by online users and attract more clicks.

Search Engine Marketing Going Strong

The competition is intense, but Google still dominates the search engine market, drawing far more search users, requests and ad revenues than all its rivals put together, reported eMarketer.

The New York-based research firm estimates that Google raked in 75% of US paid search advertising in 2007, up from 60 per cent in 2006. Number two, Yahoo, collected a mere nine per cent share, while all others divided 16% of the leftovers.

But with over $8.6 billion going to search engine advertising in 2007, that 16% stake still equals nearly $1.4 billion, noted eMakreter. And with search spending expected to nearly double to almost $16.6 billion in 2011, even a small piece of the pie represents serious revenue.

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