Duplicate Content Problems Only For The Weak

Over the past year there have been many discussions about duplicate content and how it can affect a website. Both on and off site duplication has been discussed in great detail on forums such as WebmasterWorld & SearchEngineWatch. Even MarketingPilgrim has covered duplicate content for blogs.

It’s to the point that some people are almost obsessed with the issue and swear there are penalties associated with it. Google has 52,600 results for “duplicate content penalty” and WebmasterWorld has 6,160 threads discussing the subject.

So what happens when one article is hosted on many different sites? All the articles rank well if you have trusted domains according to Google. It seems illogical based on all the discussions but here’s a recent example I ran across.

Yahoo Delete URL Feature Disaster Waiting to Happen

Yahoo announced a number of very nice new features for Site Explorer today. The Yahoo Search Blog has a full list.

The feature I am most interested in and also worried about is the new “delete URL” feature. It is literally a disaster waiting to happen. There is zero verification other than being logged into the proper Yahoo account to delete an entire site from the Yahoo index.

With Google you are required to upload a robots.txt file to the webserver that verifies the same information being requested through the Google delete URL/Site tool. With Yahoo, you just log in, click delete, click confirm, and it’s gone.

OneBox Showing Wikipedia Entries

On the heals of many webmasters declaring that Wikipedia gets too much Google love, Rubel has scooped Google showing Wikipedia results in the OneBox.

wiki_one_box

I am very disappointed with this move by Google. Just as the use of DMOZ has turned into a joke, so shall the use of Wikipedia. It’s only a matter of time. All Google is doing is inflating the egos of Nazi editors who deny factual information while allowing misinformation to remain. I can just hear the chest thumping now from my down stairs 13 year old editor neighbor.

Disclaimer to all you trusting people, please ignore the following few lines because it’s tin foil hat time. Does the NoFollow changes recently made by Wikipedia have anything to do with the OneBox change? Was it a private arrangement with Google?

How Far Are You Willing To Go For Linkbait?

It looks like the Copeac Affiliate Network and WickedFire Forums decided to play shirtbait at the recent Affiliate Summit. I didn’t attend but Shoemoney did and he posted a picture of the Copeace shirt. I won’t even try to put in words what the shirt says as I don’t want Andy’s site ranking for such things, but let’s just say it goes to the edge if not over.

This is an obvious attempt to create the type of buzz that I have the feeling is about to happen. I am a fan of both WickedFire and Copeac. They are both run by some great people who are very smart.

Viral Contest Campaign Case Study

I’m a huge fan of case studies. I find it inspiring to hear success stories. Sverre Sjøthun of SEOBomb has posted about his most recent viral campaign success for Crestock.com.

Sverre coordinated a photoshop contest with some very high profile judges and the results were amazing.

Crestock.com got 200,000 unique users from the contest, went on Digg, doubled their average daily traffic after the contest, got over 5000 new customers and increased their organic search engine traffic by 1258% – in one month!

With so much talk about linkbait and social media marketing lately, we tend to forget there has always been that traffic magnet for the web, viral campaigns. They are separate but the same. Most viral campaigns are linkbait but very few pieces of linkbait can be considered viral campaigns.

Yahoo Answers Adding More Social Features

Yahoo has just opened a whole new bag of Social Media Marketing fun for us Internet marketers. On the 360 blog they announced the ability to star Yahoo Answers questions.

Starring questions lets the Answers community surface the best questions on the site. When a question is starred, it is automatically nominated to appear in the new “Popular” list on the front page of Answers (check it out!).

Answers’ Popular list is similar to Flickr’s “Interestingness” and the del.icio.us “Hotlist.” Sharing popular content has made these community experiences much better, and we believe our community will benefit from sharing interests with each other.

Google Domain Parking Arbitrage

Richard Ball has a great write up concerning Google’s Adsense for Domains program and potential abuses. He is concerned that certain keywords being bid on through Adwords are producing garbage traffic.

A whopping 72% of clicks for a single exact match keyword originated from the searchportal.information.com domain. Investigating this domain, it turns out to be owned by a company called Oversee.net that owns DomainSponsor, a parked domain operation.

What Richard seems to miss is why the traffic is garbage. It’s because Information.com is one of the largest arbitrage 1.0 operations around. The reason it doesn’t convert is because Information.com bids on long tail search words for cheap and then send the clicks to ads targeted at the high paying general search terms. Terms which may be related, but are not actually what the user was searching for.