Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Michael Martinez on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, August 5, 2021).

Would this be deemed to be duplicate content by Google?

A new client of mine is an author. (I m just working as an online marketing consultant for him not as an SEO specialist) He has a website and sends out bi monthly emails (content is usually an essay) to a good sized data base. He has a selection of email content on his website.
But his ESP generates a web copy of the email and that seems to be also hosted on my clients site albeit with a different URL.
Would that be deemed to be duplicate content by Google ? Should I ask him to change the format of his email so that it does not contain the whole essay, or shall I tell him to stop putting his email content up in his blog?
Thank you in advance for your thoughts.
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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Michael Martinez: It`s NOT duplicate content but it does dilute the value of his private emails. He needs to make a business decision about whether to archive those posts where they can be found or to disable the archive.

    That said, you could compromise and set up a "robots.txt" directive to block crawling of the archived emails. Their URLs can still be indexed and old indexed content may remain search-visible for years, but new content (going forward) won`t be indexed.

  • Amanda Fong: Michael Martinez thank you, would you mind drilling a bit into why that won’t be duplicate content if both are online and also in the same domain?

  • Michael Martinez: Amanda Fong Sorry, but this is going to be a little long.

    Generally speaking, email archives embed contextual information that (I am -assuming-) is not included in the essays he publishes on the blog.

    That is typically enough to distinguish the content as "relatively unique" for major search engines.

    What the search engines -generally- consider to be duplicate content falls into 2 categories:

    1. Same content is published on multiple URLs on the same site via "faceted navigation", where you can change the sort order for qualifying criteria - think of size, color, price, etc. on an ecommerce site.

    2. The same body of text is republished on MANY sites (more than a few).

    Now, there are edge cases where different criteria might be used to deem something "duplicate content" - but the idea behind the concept is that there is too much of the stuff and the search engines know their users don`t want to see the same thing over and over again.

    2 copies of the same few posts on a Website - especially where contextual information differs - usually doesn`t cause a problem.

    That said, if the email archive is not linking to the blog then any PageRank-like value that flows to the archive (through links pointing to it from other sites) will NOT flow to the blog. And that leads to a RARE situation where you are splitting PageRank - metaphorically, leaking fuel all over the road as you drive your vehicle.

    Split PageRank isn`t normally a problem. If you have 2 copies of the same article on 2 URLs on your site, but they both link to the site`s main navigation and the navigation links down to those 2 copies, then you`re NOT splitting PageRank because it flows through the site navigation.

    I guess another way to put it is that as long as you can click from 1 page to another on the same site, you`re not splitting PageRank. But if you can only click from page 1 to page 2, or you can`t click through from either to the other, then they`re not sharing any PageRank they earn.

  • Richard Hearne: Michael Martinez what do you think about posting the emails after a delay? It seems wasteful to me not to publish that content, unless of course he charges for the email drop.

  • Michael Martinez: Richard Hearne I`ve debated doing that myself. But for me it would require extra work and I don`t have time for that. So I guess - again - it`s a business decision.

  • Pranav Madan: Hi all... I have a question and seek hel in sorting it out.. 15 webages of a portal have been made using WP Bakery pagebuilder and indexed. Though not ranking well. Now they have been redone using Elementor and improving content writing. Should I submit those pages for indexing again, via GSC? Does Google take it as fresh page to crawl n index? What happens to the pages built via WP Bakery? URL remains same.

    Many Thanks In Advance.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, August 5, 2021).

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