Content is and always will be one of the cornerstones in SEO. Not only does it help us spotlight to Google exactly what’s on a page and allow us to improve keyword visibility, but it’s also an excellent guide for any customer coming to the site. But is that it?

Not really… Google’s RankBrain has also become more content savvy than before, so keeping a user on page is key, increasing dwell time and decreasing bounce rate.

Since the Panda update was first rolled out in February 2011 (7 years ago!), we’ve seen all kinds of landscapes, manipulation and new methods introduced to work Google’s algorithms which have driven all kinds of results. One of the biggest, newer introductions is the long-form page.

With all this in mind, and our drive to improve our website’s visibility, have we become blind to some of the basics?

Content, as we know, isn’t just a few words placed on a document. In fact, it’s much more than that. We SEOs create content in such a way that we have to factor so much into each piece. These commonly involve:

This is all well and good when you’re writing for a single page or a one off unique product. But when writing for a product with multiple variants, or, for example, mattresses by the same brand but in different sizes, it all becomes a bit of a blur.

All the foundations of what the content should be can easily forgotten, by which point you’ve created content so similar it may appear duplicated, or as a minimum, spun. This content soon gets indexed, and before we know it, we’re dealing with a lot of pages that have been dumped into the supplementary index…

Reason being? They deem the content so alike, they decide simply not to show it unless requested.

We’ve had many websites approach us with limitations to their rankings without finding the core issues. It’s easy to identify the content that is directly duplicated and action the necessary fix by providing new, unique and updated content, however, not many people these days dig deeper and move onto the next possible cause.

So look a little further; usually the content isn’t quite where you’d expect to be. The best way to check the index is to copy and paste numerous snippets from around the site into Google, using search functions like broad and exact to establish which content may be frequently displayed.

Additionally, there are tools available like Copyscape and Siteliner that are able to crawl a website and check all the content for you.

If your website is stuck under penalty or isn’t ranking well in Google, feel free to get in touch.

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