Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Neil Cheesman on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, May 30, 2019).

Similar content around the same thing

A slightly different dumb seo question... what to do with `similar` content around the same thing...
ie... a theatre website has reviews of productions... ie Phantom of the Opera - over time (several years), reviews happen with different cast... perhaps 2, 3, 4 etc - but the titles generally are similar and compete with the same search term - ie "review of Phantom of the Opera" - how best to deal with the cannibalising of the search term? Add a year to the title? or lead character in the title?

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Dustin Nay: Create a central page about that production specifically, and then link to each of the posts relating to specific productions (including reviews). Update as needed when new/relevant information comes up for upcoming productions. This builds a pillar piece about the production which is not based on dates and allows your site to be the authority on that production.

    You won`t compete with Wikipedia, but it would build your evergreen authority on "Phantom of the Opera" for example, and the various productions would be secondary to it (giving a clear hierarchy for ranking purposes, rather than keeping all content "on the same level with the same keywords, " it creates a "look at all these relevant pieces pointing back to the central hub of info on X play/musical.

    That`s the approach I would likely take. I`m no expert on schema and reviews, so I`m not sure how that part of it would work, but IMO, that is of lesser concern than making sure you own your keyword targeting.... if you don`t rank anyway then schema markup won`t be helpful so much.
  • Stockbridge Truslow: I agree with the above - and make your titles reflect what`s "different" about them - so add something like "Review: Phantom of the Opera - Broadway 2017" or whatever.
  • Michael Martinez: If they are about different productions then they are not really "similar" content. As for the titles being similar and "competing", that`s a myth. You can have up to 10 pages appearing on the first page of the search results. It`s up to the search engine to decide what to show there. That said, I like Dustin Nay`s idea. And interlink the various production pages so that it`s clear they are all related.
  • Neil Cheesman: they are `similar` in as much as they are all `reviews of Phantom of the Opera` - and as such are surely competing for the search term `review of Phantom of the Opera - they are all unique content so I think some tweaking as above is in order...
    Phantom of the Opera, for example, had its first performance on 9th October 1986 - so I guess a few reviews of different cast online..
  • Michael Martinez: Yes. And I`m probably a bit oversensitive to people asking in forum after forum how to remove "similar" content because they believe (based on the fear-mongering among SEO bloggers, some of it unintentional) that Google doesn`t want to see this stuff. It`s Google that decides, after evaluating trillions of URLs, to show similar content from the same site for a query. If it`s a user experience problem it`s Google`s problem, not the Website`s problem. If the most current production is buried on page 3 and a production from 3 years ago is ranking 1st, yes, THAT`S a problem. But if the searcher can easily identify and get to the most current information, then it`s okay to let the search engine do its thing.
  • Michael Martinez: "You can have up to 10 pages appearing on the first page of the search results." <-- Sooner or later someone is going to ask me where I`ve seen this. So here is my answer: When I search for certain videos YouTube fills up the front page.
  • Neil Cheesman: No problem, I am not looking to remove this content but just looking for clarification as to how best to manage/organise it...
  • Michael Martinez: My vote is for Dustin`s recommendation.
  • Neil Cheesman: Currently have that - in part - but need to `clarify` the different reviews and link with them..

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, May 30, 2019).

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