Can Googles Supplementary Results Kill Your Traffic
You may have heard recently that Google is getting tough on duplicate content. If they see pages with almost identical content, they'll show the most relevant result and list the other pages as "supplemental results". If your page is in the "supplemental results" bin, you're probably not going to get any traffic. I think it's technically called a "second index", but basically, it's the trashcan for webpages. Google has visited your page and decided it's not important enough for their main index. Doh! Some people are saying that this "duplicate content" issue also applies to things like disclaimers, privacy policies and templates, but that's most likely not the case.
A lot of HTML editors for webmasters come ready loaded with templates. You can't seriously expect me to believe that Google would put a new site in their supplemental index just because a webmaster selected a template for his site that other people use? Let's get real. The issue is your content. If you use the same content as other webmasters, you could see your pages in the supplemental index. Especially if your pages are new and don't have many links pointing at them. So beware of using content that other people have access to such as press releases, articles from freely available article databases, merchant's datafeeds and rss feeds in general.
If you do use content like that, try to get several links into your website so that your pages get some PageRank or add enough extra content to your pages to make them unique. Ideally, you'd like YOUR page to be the "most relevant result" for the content on your pages. That way, you'll be the one getting the traffic while other webmasters using the same content appear in the supplemental results.
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