Addressing Duplicate Content: Part 1

We all know the dangers of duplicate content and how search engines can penalize you for duplicate content. In my post entitled “Strike that Page from the Index” I discussed one of the ways to address duplicate content and avoid being penalized for it. There I mentioned how you can block some pages from being indexed by simply specifying those pages in your robots.txt file as disallowed pages. Aside from blocking those pages though there are more ways to avoid being penalized for duplicate content including:

1. Syndicating properly – When syndicating your work make sure that you ask the other sites to give you credit for your work by linking back to you. When linking ask them to link back to the URL of the original article instead of just your homepage.

2. Minimizing the use of canned text – Most sites make the mistake of putting repetitive canned text at the bottom of each page. The usual canned text include copyright text, terms, etc. Though they really are important what you can do is provide a very short summary or just single but descriptive phrase with a link to a page that contains the detailed content.

3. Not publishing pages without content – You should do this instead of just blocking these type of pages. What happens is that these pages will usually show repetitive content (including header, list of categories, your blogroll, etc.) but having no other content will just appear as duplicate pages. Furthermore if you have really unpopular pages that almost never get clicked on anyway (zero page views) it is best to overhaul that page or just junk it and not publish it anymore.

Source: Webmaster Central Blog (Deftly dealing with duplicate content)