Duplicate Content | Distributing Product Descriptions Without Being Penalized by Google

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

The question:  How can we distribute product descriptions to other websites without being penalized by Google for having duplicate content?

At Welborn Social Media, we make sure to have a deep, thorough, and (most importantly) up to date understanding of how social media works and the latest policies of key internet companies such as Google or Facebook. Every once in a while, a client will come to us with a question that requires us to do a little research, and we see this as an opportunity to learn new information, grow our knowledge, and share our findings with our community.

Such was the case when one of our clients came to us wanting to share their products on the websites of their affiliates.

Duplicate Content Search Engine Optimization SEO

Duplicate Content

From working with many clients and getting their websites to rank higher on Google search results, we have learned that Google does not like duplicate content. What is duplicate content? In simple terms, it is when words, images, or entire web pages appear over and over again throughout the internet. Most of the time this is done accidentally or with good intentions, like products sold on different e-commerce sites or sites that have both a normal and a printer-friendly version of a page. Other times duplicate content can be an attempt to gain more links to a site, which could make them rank higher on search results. However Google is not a fan of the latter and will often times penalize sites that are trying to “trick” Google into ranking them higher.

Another problem that arises is that Google will omit web sites that are too similar to each other. If I want to search for an article online, they don’t want the search results to show me 10 different sites with the same article. They want to show me several different articles. Sometimes a site will publish a story and also have that story published on five other sites. Google is then forced to choose only one of those to display. If a webmaster does not know what they are doing, they can run into a problem where their site is not showing up because other sites are being displayed instead of theirs.

So what are people with legitimate reasons for having duplicate content to do?

The answer:

The solution lies in a line of HTML code known as the Canonical Tag.

The canonical tag is a way for websites to point towards the original (or canonical) source of content and give them all the credit, ensuring that Google displays them over any other copies of the content. It is a way for people to publish their content on several sites, without making it seem like they are simply trying to trick Google into thinking that the content is important and should be ranked higher. However, it does mean that all the non-canonical copies of the content won’t show up on search engines, only the version that they are all pointing to will show up. In most cases, this is not really a problem because people can still access those pages by clicking through any website where a duplicate may be found. Because the canonical tag is all about giving proper credit, instead of taking undeserved credit, it can be used to have duplicate content online without problems.

That said, there are still methods that Google considers “best practices” and would be preferable over the canonical tag. Fresh, original, unique content will always be preferred over copy and pasting. So the best way to go about duplicate content would be ensuring that content is not actually duplicate. If you want to share the same text, image, or link, it would be best to always frame it in a new and unique way for every web page that it is on. Google’s policies are always changing and what is acceptable today may not be acceptable in the future. To safeguard against having to redo your web page in the future, just make it unique to begin with.

Was Article Marketing Killed By The Panda Update? Your New Strategy Part 2

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

Can article marketing still work with a strategy that respects Google’s mission?

Google basically doesn’t want imbalanced situations anymore. And some of our behavior has tipped it off to how the lack of algorithm changes have left the door open for certain predators to be overfed and quality content, quality user experience, to suffer.

Google Search Engine Optimization SEO Article Marketing

Panda Update

So with keeping the above mind, how would you imagine that article marketing can be performed with success? If you’re familiar with what article marketing is and the SEO strategies themselves, you’ll likely have ideas of changes that could be made to the traditional strategy to see results again. It’s likely not very different from what’s actually worked for me and for others.

The ability to recognize what is needed in nearly every case is still in your hands.

Here’s a simple strategy that you can use to determine exactly how article marketing will work for yourself and for your clients.

  1. Understand which concepts are accepted and effective (on page seo, anchor text linking, posting on do follow directories).
  2. Have quality content on the site you work for which reflects the keywords you attempt to rank for (very important for small scale seo efforts)
  3. Experiment by implementing a common sense strategy which includes numbers one and two.
  4. Track what was done and recognize your averages; how much of such and such strategy had to be done and how many spots did I move up in the engines as a result?
  5. When you have a ratio, you’ll have a general expectation of how much you need to produce to get where you want to be.

The truth is that when it comes to article marketing, you don’t need a bunch of hidden websites, a spinner producing hundreds of articles a day or other tricks, although some may be doing just find with those right now…Others, obviously, have suffered. What you’ll likely need in the long run, and what Google is getting better at determining you have, is a creative and smart writer to do your research, provide quality content and weave in SEO in the ways that work, before posting the information on some of the most prominent article directories which will actually produce link recognition. And, of course, a good foundation is the best insurance. The better the site actually reflects your goals, your target keywords, the more manageable the job becomes with only a set of forthright tools in your SEO tool bag.

The following is true about the search engines and will likely remain true for some time:

  • Unique content is still valuable.
  • Quality content is still valuable.
  • Content which provides information for the keywords it intends to rank for is still valuable.
  • Giving the searcher what they want to find, being honorable with your use of keywords, both are still valuable.
  • All well intentioned tools which are in line with Google’s goals, mentioned above, still work.
  • Strategies which implement these tools can still work…

They might just need a little tweaking.

For more on the Panda Update from Google representative and leader Matt Cutts, hear his interpretation here.

Good luck in your SEO efforts.

Was Article Marketing Killed By The Panda Update? Your New Strategy Part 1

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

Is article marketing dead? Did the Panda Update finally bid the strategy a strong farewell? Well, is anchor text dead? “Nope,” is the direct answer. Google just got better at determining when our use of the text was out of line with their ultimate goal. And for article marketing, the situation is no different.

When it comes to SEO, it pays to be a bottom line thinker. And the bottom line hasn’t changed even when the algorithms have; the algorithms that so many SEO experts have feared, these formulas which are actually misinterpreted in forums where people go to get the good information in regards to SEO…

These have simply helped Google accomplish its’ ultimate goal; and for those willing to get to the essentials of the situation and profit from that perspective, there’s still room for this good fortune.

Bottom line number one is that Google keeps formulating steps to create a user experience where their user finds the content they are looking for without being manipulated into trekking through a maze of websites which have absolutely nothing to do with user desires or poorly fulfill them at best. Part of what we have to do, as experts, and more honestly, as students of SEO, is experiment with that bottom line when updates such as these occur.

We have to realize what has worked for us in the past, the foundational tools that Google has no problem with, and look at how our strategies, the ways we implement those tools can be tweaked or altered to fit in line with this destination.

Article Marketing Search Engine Optimization SEO Google Panda Update

Article Marketing

A successful expert in SEO, is an experimenter and a scholar; someone who is capable of gaining insight, observing limitations, and falling back on the essentials as a framework to understand where to go next in ever changing situations.

That person can still see gains via article marketing (and in other tools which are recognized as honest by Google), even though well known hubs may have some members whose results have tanked.

To become that kind of expert, we have to observe our success in work, track progress, think of why certain things have worked in terms of concepts we know through experience can breed success; such as accurate on page SEO and anchor text linking, personally testing limits on article proliferation, seeing if our results fair better with diverse website use rather than single website repetitive use, and basically giving the leader of the search engines another one of its’ bottom line objectives: plenty of quality original content, spread around well received websites, so that our balanced little search engine ecosystem is maintained.

Stay Tuned for Was Article Marketing Killed by the Panda Update?  Your New Strategy Part 2

Grow Your Business Through Social Media

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.
Zeb Welborn Grow Your Business Through Social Media HYPE San Dimas Chamber of Commerce

Zeb Welborn Grow Your Business Through Social Media

Tonight I will be presenting at the monthly HyPE meeting through the San Dimas Chamber of Commerce. My presentation is titled, Grow Your Business through Social Media. The event will be held at The Finish Line Sports Grill in Pomona.

HyPE, Helping Young Professionals Excel, is “exclusively geared for young professionals.”  It is a program intended to help young professionals develop the necessary skills to become future business leaders

The talk will be covering a variety of topics, including discussions about websites, Google Analytics, blog writing, social media, Facebook, Twitter, building connections, analyzing online efforts, email marketing, website design, understanding SEO, Google AdWords, Yelp, reputation management, LinkedIn, personal branding, being a human, building connections, developing a higher purpose and being thankful

Listen to Zeb Welborn speak as he shares his journey of going from a teacher, to living with his parents, starting his business and eventually becoming a successful entrepreneur.  Learn how developing a higher purpose and connecting with people will help you grow your business online and in the real world

If you’re interested in attending, here’s the information for the event

“Join us for the next HyPE ”Happy Hour With A Twist” Mixer – July 25th 6pm – 8pm featuring “Grow your business through Social Media” with Zeb Welborn. HyPE is a Chamber Program exclusively geared towards new and emerging professionals. Visit www.chamberhype.com for more information or call 909-592-3818Zeb Welborn speaks at Hype event on Grow Your Business through Social Media with the San Dimas Chamber of Commerce Grow Your Business Through Social Media[/caption]  

27 Tips on How to Build a Vibrant Twitter Community

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

@WelbornMedia

Building a Twitter community is the most important skill to develop when starting a Twitter campaign.  Fortunately, building a strong Twitter community is easy to do.  Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to establishing a thriving Twitter community:

  1. Tweet, Tweet Often and Tweet with a Purpose – Before you start your Twitter campaign begin by thinking of your purpose . . . or generate a mission statement.  Our mission statement is to help business owners share their passion with others.  We work with passionate business owners to help them increase their exposure, build their businesses and become positive examples for their communities.  Every tweet we send out is aligned with our goal of helping business owners become successful.  You won’t see tweets from us about what we had for dinner or our plans for the weekend.  Be true to your mission, tweet, and tweet often.  The more active you are on Twitter the faster your community will grow.
  2. Provide Value – Everyone says you need to provide value, but I never really understood what that meant.  Value is an ambiguous term, but it still applies.  My understanding of value is offering something to someone else that is a genuine effort to improve their lives.  Many people online, and on Twitter post what I call, “look at me articles.”  The greatest way to give value and create a more enthusiastic community is to genuinely try to help others.  It helps by addressing specific people’s issues and concerns and then sharing those issues with others.
  3. Actively Listen – The coolest thing about Twitter in my opinion is the search feature, type in any word into the bar at the top of the Twitter page and every single tweet that had that term in it will show up.  This provides marketers with an amazing opportunity to reach out to people who are actively communicating on Twitter.  For our clients we actively look for users who are communicating about their product or service and we reach out to them . . . we listen to them and we alter our strategies based off of their responses.  Listen actively and you will have a more engaged community.
  4. Don’t Sell – Don’t post “Look at Me” articles . . . most people get on Twitter and constantly post tweets that sell . . . buy this or buy that.  Do that and be sure to create a non-existent Twitter community.  No one wants to constantly be sold to.  So, don’t sell . . . be helpful and sales will come.  Use Twitter as a way to generate relationships first . . . trust second . . . a whole bunch of other things between and sales last.
  5. Follow Others – Follow others who post tweets that resonate with you and engage with them.  The more you engage others, the more likely they are to engage with you.
  6. Use Your Face as Your Profile Pic – People connect more to other people so be sure to use a profile picture that shows your face and preferrably a happy face at that.  We personally use a logo for our business twitter account, @WelbornMedia, but I usually connect with more people using my personal Twitter account, @ZebWelborn which has a picture of my beautiful face.  It always feels nicer to know who your talking to and easier for people to develop an emotional connection with you . . . thus making your community stronger.
  7. Look at Other Peoples Lists.  Once you find people to connect with and people who you enjoy communicating with, check out the lists they’ve created.  Chances are there will be more people like them that share their passions and interests and you can connect with them thus building your Twitter community.
  8. Jump into Conversations – Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet.  Conversations are happending all over Twitter all the time.  Twitter chats are a great way to get involved.  But, most importantly, don’t be afraid to respond to people . . . most people love getting responses to their tweets, so don’t be shy and meet more people.
  9. Followers Don’t Matter.  Active Followers Do. – The amount of people following you will not matter when it comes to making sales . . . the amount of engaged followers will.  There are tons of automatic following programs and Twitter has a large amount of users who don’t use the service on a regular basis, meaning a follower who is no longer using Twitter is no longer seeing your Tweets.  Building an engaged following is much more important than building numbers.  Don’t be obsessed with numbers, be obsessed with relationships.
  10. Be Consistent – I heard an analogy once that being a Twitter user is like being a farmer.  Few people have the patience to be a farmer, to plant the seeds, to tend to the plants all year long and then to harvest the plants at the end of the season.  A farmer can’t be absent during the process . . . if he does not tend to his crops, his crops will die before it’s time to harvest.  Twitter is the same way . . . You plant seeds by initiating conversations with different people.  You cultivate those relationships on a regular consistent basis and, then, and only then will you harvest the fruits of your labor.  If you ignore your crops they die.  If you ignore your Twitter followers they will not become your customers.
  11. The Tutoring Solution – http://www.thecatutoringsolution.com/

    Share Stuff – As the owner of The Tutoring Solution, our mission was to help inspire students to become successful in and out of the classroom.  To develop connections with other groups similar to ours we began sharing messages from other members of the #EdChat group, as a result they learned about our programs and our goals and began sharing our stuff.  We then, worked together to promote our missions and our community grew.

  12. Use directories like Twellow, Twubble, Twits Like Me, etc.  There are numerous Twitter directories that has influential Twitter users in your field, you can then use those directories to follow people who share your interests and in turn may follow you.  At the least you’ll see what influential people are doing to make an impact in your community.
  13. Follow those who follow you.  If someone follows you and they’re an active Twitter user, follow them back . . . not only should you follow them, but you should also reach out to them and thank them for following you.  I feel honored every time someone new follows me and I want to make sure my Twitter users know how honored I truly am.
  14. Develop a Strong Bio – Often times, Twitter users will check out your Twitter bio to see if you’re someone they would like to follow.  Be sure your Twitter bio is compelling and lets Twitter users know exactly what kind of person you are and what kind of relationship you will be creating with them.  Optimize your Twitter account . . . be sure to include target keywords, links to your website, add your location and give users a reason to follow you.
  15. Use a Strong Brand Name – Your name is important.  Use your own personal name, a name that goes with your brand, and one that Twitter users will want to connect with.
  16. Create Lists – You can create lists on Twitter which will help you when you start to follow too many people to keep track of.  I’m involved in many Twitter discussions:  SEO, Google AdWords, Social Media, and Education just to name a few.  By putting your followers into groups you can then jump into their discussions by accessing the list you have created for each group.
  17. Introduce People to Your Followers – As you communicate with people its important to share them with others.  If you know two people who share the same passion, connect them with each other.  Twitter is all about building relationships . . . Help people build relationships and they will help you build your community.
  18. Follow People from Different Niches – Everyone has their area of expertise, but that doesn’t mean you need to limit the users you follow.  If I only engaged in discussions with people who associated themselves with “Social Media,” I would be missing out on the potential to connect with new customers.  As a result, I look for niches where my services could either be used or easily referred by and connect with people there.
  19. Reciprocate – If someone does something nice for you . . . return the favor.
  20. Try to Connect with Twitter Friends Offline – While working for Los Serranos Country Club, I am frequently trying to connect with golfers offline.  Often, they will tell me they are headed to the golf course and I will connect with them.  This gives me an opportunity to meet them and get a face to the name, but it also enhances the bond we have with each other and the golf course.  I’ve always told businesses that one of the benefits of attracting people that use social media is that they have access to much more people, the people who I have met at the golf course have sent positive messages about Los Serranos Country Club to their lists of friends on Twitter, Facebook, through email and in person.  If you can build those connections you’re on the right track.  Check out this video of a user we connected with offline from our social media campaign – Louis Castillo on Golf at Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills.
  21. Build Up.  Don’t Put Down. – Nobody likes a bully.  Being negative and angry is not conducive towards building a strong community.  Everyone loves people who make them feel good about themselves.  Be a person who makes people feel good and your community will grow.
  22. Use Twitter Tools – There are enormous amounts of Twitter tools you can use to  help manage your Twitter account(s).  Do online searches or ask other Twitter users how Twitter tools have helped them.  I’ve personally used HootSuite, TweetDeck, TweetAdder and TweetChat at different times to help me manage my Twitter accounts, but there are lots more.
  23. Learn the Lingo – Do you know what DM, @, RT, MT,  Tweet, Tw, # mean?  Ask the people on Twitter and they’ll tell you.  (I can’t tell you everything)
  24. Pay Attention to @ Replies – (Ok, I’ll tell you this one)  @ Replies are when people mention you directly in a tweet.  Respond to all @ replies in order to generate a discussion and build a stronger relationship.  @ replies is where I spend most of my time on Twitter . . . when you build a big enough community you will spend most of your time there too.
  25. Add Your Twitter ID to All Signatures – As with anything you’re using, be sure to let as many people know you’re using Twitter as possible.  This means including it in any documentation you may have, in your email signatures, on your Facebook page and anywhere else you can think of.
  26. Read the Bios of Those You Follow – You can develop an understanding of what makes people tick by reading their profiles and then develop more meanginful relationships as a result . . . the more you care about their interests, the more they will care about yours.
  27. Know Who the Players Are – Know who the leaders are in your industry on Twitter . . . Follow them, learn from them and try to connect with them.  By reaching out to people who are perceived as the experts in an industry you are associating yourself with the experts . . . and who knows . . . if you follow all these steps you may become the expert yourself.
  28. Get a Personality – Get creative with your tweets . . . the more creative you are, the more you’ll stand out and the more people will want to follow you.

    Scrapbook Expo Tweet

The most important thing to remember when building a vibrant Twitter community is that it takes time and effort.  You must work at it, but that is what makes social media so amazing . . . the small business owners have the same opportunity for success as the big guys and in some cases, when done right, can outshine the largest of competitors.

I am always happy to educate anyone who is interested in learning more about how you can use Twitter, Social Media or the Internet to reach more customers . . . If you would like me to discuss how Twitter can benefit you or your business, please send me an email – Zeb@WelbornSocialMedia.com or call me at (909) 973 – 9089.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noé Gaytán Joins Welborn Social Media

Noé Gaytán

After I graduated with my BA in studio art, I knew that establishing proper web presence was the next step for me. I bought my first domain and set up my first web site using WordPress.  I started shaping my Tumblr to be a more “professional” blog where I posted my writings, art, and events. In February I started working on what came to be Nomad Art Project, a traveling art gallery I run out of a tent, and used KickStarter to help fund the project. This was a way for me to stay more involved with art, but more importantly, a way to help out other artists looking to show their work. A strong sense of community and “paying it forward” has always been important to me, which is also one of the reasons I wanted to join Welborn Social Media.

When Zeb first offered me a position, I was excited to join the team. I spend so much time on the internet anyway; it made sense to finally get paid for it. I think the internet is a pretty fascinating thing. As humans, we can enjoy keeping in touch with friends and family on Facebook, find people with similar interests on Tumblr, or share our videos on YouTube. For business, the internet is more than just a place for social entertainment; it is a vital part of their success. Want to let your customers know the latest news? Writing a blog post is a great way to get the word out. Don’t want to pay for printed coupons? Post a link on Facebook. Want to show up on Google? An effective SEO campaign can go a long way. Knowing the right tools can make all the difference.

For a small business, it is essential that they tap in to their community. With people spending more time on their computer than watching TV, and becoming ever more attached to their smartphones, the best way to engage a 21st century community is through the internet. Social media marketing is great in that it reaches the most people in the easiest way. And if you’re good at it, it can come across so seamless and natural that a business becomes less of a “company” and more of a “friend”. That is why I enjoy the work I do. It’s not so much about “link building”, its more about “community building”.