Disclaimer: The coverage is brought to you in real time, using a custom live blogging tool. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments for inclusion into the live coverage. During the live event, live notes will auto-scroll with newest entries at top. After the session is complete the archive version will have the oldest entries at the top. We ask you to please excuse any typos, as these are live notes.
Stay tuned! Live updates will begin momentarily.
Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issues
More and more site owners are concerned that they might get penalized accidentally or overtly because of duplicate content. If you run mirror sites, will search engines ban you? If you have listings that are similar in nature, is that an issue? What happens if you syndicate content through RSS and feeds? Will other sites be considered the "real" site and rob you of a rightful place in the search results? This session will take a look at all canonical issues and explore repairs and solutions.
Danny Goodwin, Associate Editor, Search Engine Watch
Katy Collins, Senior Product Manager, AOL
Eric Enge, President, Stone Temple Consulting
Chris Keating, Director, SEO, Performics
David Naylor, SEO, Bronco
3:17:17 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Eric Enge is up first.
3:17:36 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He starts talking about the details on major Google patents.
3:17:55 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He says you need major medication to get through the Google patents.
3:18:25 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He puts up an example of a typical website wireframe.
3:18:58 PM Ben Pfeiffer: If you think about what goes into a dup content algorithm, everything is igorned except for a a content block that sits in the middle.
3:19:08 PM Ben Pfeiffer: The main content is what is focused on.
3:20:18 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave Naylor jumps in and asks. If elements like right or left column, footer where randomized would it major, would it be counted in the duplicate content equation.
3:20:30 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Eric says it just depends.
3:21:14 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He puts up an example of ecommerce website and the duplicate content situation that can occur with these types of website. Manufacturer content... is duplicate content.
3:21:38 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He takes it one level deeper and talks about Singles.
3:22:37 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Shingles are blocks of content. He puts up an example of 4 pieces of content on one page, and then shows the same content put rearranged. The search engines can figure out that this is content.
3:23:29 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He shows another ecommerce example for shoes. To us it looks different (colors of shoes) but to the search engines its the same content/page. It's fail the basic shingles test.
3:23:47 PM Ben Pfeiffer: There is no reason for the search engines to show multiple pages of the same info.
3:24:03 PM Ben Pfeiffer: One solution to duplicate content is the rel=canonical tag.
3:24:32 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Another thing search engines are good at, is simple database substitution.
3:25:26 PM Ben Pfeiffer: This is where you interchange words out in a block of content. the search engines can detect this as well. For example, changing "biggest" with "largest". They can usually detect this.
3:25:47 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Another type of duplicate content is query specific.
3:26:42 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Some solutions for duplicate content are:
3:26:56 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Delete the duplicate, and 301 the page to the master copy.
3:27:11 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Keep both copies but implement the rel=canonical tag.
3:27:46 PM Ben Pfeiffer: You can go into webmaster tools and tell Google to ignore certain parameters.
3:28:30 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave Naylor is up next
3:28:47 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He says the rel=canonical is suggestive, not directive.
3:28:54 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Good tip.
3:29:52 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Another solution is using an AJAX call, where you show the users what they want, but you also give the search engines what they want.
3:30:46 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave says noindex is really dangerous. It can really slow down crawling of the page.
3:31:02 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He says use Robots.txt instead.
3:33:20 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He says he prefers using Robots.txt and Ajax calls.
3:33:33 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Chris Keating is up next/
3:33:52 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He has some interesting stats for us. His staff did research on 100 websites.
3:34:13 PM Ben Pfeiffer: 93% had duplicate content of some form.
3:34:38 PM Ben Pfeiffer: The majority has duplicate content within their own internal websites, other had duplicate content on other websites.
3:35:07 PM Ben Pfeiffer: 73% took some defensive measures to prevent duplicate content.
3:35:57 PM Ben Pfeiffer: 0% is using watermarks. 6% is using the Google Author tag. Others were using a copyright in some form at the bottom of the page.
3:37:16 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave says if your giving your RSS to AOL or Webpronews, unfortunately you will not win here. They will give credit to that article to AOL and not you.
3:37:59 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He says if you do give your RSS feed out, only give AOL or whatever site only 1000 words and keep the bulk of your data, content that really matters. You'll get the benefit from the article.
3:39:14 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Katy Collins from AOL, says that if you have a good relationship with your specific syndication partner you can ask to put in place canonical tags, etc..
3:43:25 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Eric says that if your designing a website to rank in co.uk and you will be okay, but you might not rank in the main .com results.
3:47:45 PM Ben Pfeiffer: There is some Q&A from the audience regarding ecommerce websites.
4:10:17 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave says you need to get in the mindset of Google these days. They don't care about websites anymore. They care about about people in this room. They care more about who wrote this article, etc..
4:10:43 PM Ben Pfeiffer: The question is What is your value? What is your reason for existing?