Duplicate Content – Whoa there Leslie!

August 26, 2009 Steve

Whoa there Leslie!So finally we get down to the last few Clinic reviews from the first round at Affiliate Doctors.  The docs are busy finishing off the next round of Q&A’s which will start appearing on the site very soon.

The following question was sent in by John who wants to know a little more about duplicate content …

“I’ve just about finished an affiliate site which has about 10 pages.

Most of the pages are comparison tables comparing the different retailers and products they offer.

I’m thinking of creating multiple duplicate pages using essentially the same comparison tables, but using different (unique) content.

These pages will be hidden from the user and created purely for the search engines by targeting related keywords.

Is this acceptable or would search engines consider these spam pages?”



Kieron DonoghueSpam, don’t bother.


John LamertonWhoa, Whoa, Whoa! Did you really just say “ hidden from the user and created purely for the search engines”? That’s a big, massive red-flag, don’t ever do that if ever I saw one! I’m certainly no SEO guru, but even I know you don’t show your users one thing and Google another – it’ll just get you kicked out of Google!

Duplicate pages are another no-no, but you mention having unique content on each page – I assume you mean the product comparison will be the same on each page, but the content different?

The comparison units we offer at Easy Content Units are served by javascript as default, which ensures that they are “ignored” by the search engines and not spidered as content, thus avoiding any duplicate content issues. We do offer RSS and PHP outputs which can be read by the search engines, but you really need to be careful of duplicate content penalties when using similar content on a number of pages.


Kier MarstonHi John.

This is known as cloaking and is not looked upon kindly by the search engines. As such if they catch on, then you may find your site banned from the index, so unless you’re very sure of your skills in the area, it’s not a good idea if you want to develop the site in the long term.

Editor’s Note

Thanks for sending in your question John, and I hope this gets to you in time before you make the changes to your site! Look out for another post tomorrow which will be featuring a slightly different format.

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Filed under: Clinic, General, SEO

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