Two great reads reads this week was the Eric Enge interview with Matt Cutts and SEO & Link Building trends from Cemper.com.
The interview between Eric Engine and Matt Cutts covered a lot of great points. There was some great info on duplicate content:
Matt Cutts: “”That leads into the topic of duplicate content. Imagine we crawl three pages from a site, and then we discover that the two other pages were duplicates of the third page. We’ll drop two out of the three pages and keep only one, and that’s why it looks like it has less good content. So we might tend to not crawl quite as much from that site.””
There is no duplicate content penalty, the problem with having lots of duplicate content is you get less original pages indexed and suffer page rank dilution (you are splitting links between pages, when they should all be pointing to the one page). Eric Enge went on to ask about internal linking and if you were wasting “votes” by linking to duplicate pages. The response was:
“Well, not necessarily. That’s the sort of thing where people can run experiments. What we try to do is merge pages, rather than dropping them completely. If you link to three pages that are duplicates, a search engine might be able to realize that those three pages are duplicates and transfer the incoming link juice to those merged pages.”
When dealing with duplicate content you are always best to use 301 or the canonical tag, rather than rely on search engines to sort it out.
There was also talk of PR leak caused by a 301 redirect:
Matt Cutts: “That’s a good question, and I am not 100 percent sure about the answer. I can certainly see how there could be some loss of PageRank. I am not 100 percent sure whether the crawling and indexing team has implemented that sort of natural PageRank decay, so I will have to go and check on that specific case. (Note: in a follow on email, Matt confirmed that this is in fact the case. There is some loss of PR through a 301).”
The interview is a great read, lots of information.
I also managed to get 10 minutes to read a post from CEMPER on a link survey for SEO trends 2009 (I am a little behind). Nothing amazing in the post but some interesting stats. Just on the post, a quick tip for analysis using Yahoo Site Explorer and the SEO Firefox plug is to turn on the plugin and run commands like: “linkdomain:stonetemple.com -site:stonetemple.com”