Monday, September 29, 2008

I should have listened ...

Google slapped me silly.

I've read some great geek blogs I've found since joining Entrecard. And I've even attended a MeetUp meeting of a group of geeks. I learned Google penalized duplicate content (but I OWN the content). When I found out duplicating items from a blog was a huge no-no, I stopped doing what I was doing. But I guess I should have done more.

I belong to various social networks using the Ning platform. These networks are nice because they are topically focused, which helps in marketing because one knows they are reaching a targeted audience. All these networks give members their own profile page which also includes a blog. So I thought "Cool!" and I could duplicate blog posts among my Ning networks and reach a wider audience.

Live and learn. My rank went from a sweet little 3 to a basement bottom N/A. With great sadness I removed my PR rank button from my "Techies" sidebar section.

I contacted Google for advice and surprisingly, they responded within one hour! The responder gave me the suggestion to use the Google Webmaster tools, particularly the "sitemap" and wait. I had already deleted all duplicate content before contacting them.

The sitemap tool is giving me a report of "duplicate title tags" for 20 of my posts. I wonder how penalizing that could be? There is truly nothing new under the sun and with however many million of blogs out there, duplicate titles are going to happen. What does one do when a particular title is already used, but it's perfect for the post?

What a bummer. And to top it off, my nearby Starbucks was out of Kenya coffee so I had to settle for Ethiopia Sidamo. There's nothing better than a nice, hot cup of Kenya java first thing in the morning.

Stumble It!


Dan Brantley said...

The learning curve for this blogging stuff appears to be at about an 89% slope. Thanks

Lindsey said...

I don't really understand anything in this post, lol. I'm still fairly beginner in the blog business, though. :-)

Thanks for the comment on my blog, and the pics of my daughter. I'm glad she gave ya a smile, lol. I can't help but smile myself when she grins up at me. You have a baby and suddenly you're so important, so popular! :-) Anyway. I'm going to have to try the Starbucks Kenya coffee. I never notice a difference, but then I usually go for mochas, lol. Bad!

God bless!

Imelda said...

Thanks for sharing this experience, i am sure this could be of of help too with other bloggers, like me.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I hope there's a better answer than "Move to WordPress"!

PurrPrints said...

Fascinating--I had no idea about this duplicate content thing--I'm on a lot of ning networks too--does that happen when you choose to have your RSS feed coming in to your profile, or just if you copy the same post into the actual blog section on the ning page?

Thanks for the compliments on my new design by the way--I'm so thrilled about it--I definitely recommend C&P for blog designs--she was absolutely awesome.

Tammy Warren said...

Wow...I did not know this. I usually just post and never pay attention to titles around me.

I am so sorry.

Designing Hilary said...

@Purr ... I tried to log onto your profile page through Blogger, but apparently that's broke. I'll be sure to respond tomorrow when I visit your blog, but just in case you check back here:

Don't worry about RSS feeds, the Google monster knows the difference. In my case, I was outright duplicating my posts, hence the smackdown.

And I'm sure if I were on WordPress, I still would have been smacked because of duplicate content. Some of my posts were copied and pasted over 9 different network blogs.

I felt a bit conflicted about posting this since I'm laying bare my stupidity. But the purpose of this blog is to take any one who is interested along for the ride as I learn and grow my business. And if it helps someone else avoid the same pitfall, I'm happy to be red-faced. It will make it worthwhile for me!

Rebecca said...

I hear about the Google slap. :(

Still, I think you have a terrific blog going here. Google is SO dumb to slap it (and all mine) when they rate those lousy slopgs higher. The ranking system is such a mess it's not funny.

Waterrose said...

Thanks for posting this information. I haven't duplicated any posts, but it seems that you could change the title and that would fix the problem. I guess it will also cause us all to be more creative with our titles, but you're right, I don't know how we could prevent using the same title as someone else at times....hmmm

PurrPrints said...

Thanks Hilary--I did happen to check back (surprisingly enough--I don't usually--lol).

Did it seem to just be ny profile page that was down/ Or was it a blogger-wide thing? That's rather concerning...

Annette Piper said...

How disappointing Hilary! I hope it builds back up quickly.

Lou said...

Hi, can u please share with me how you contacted Google?


Designing Hilary said...


I hope you see this ... you didn't leave me with a clickable name so I don't know how to contact you directly.

I joined Google a while back for both their Analytics and their Webmaster Tools. Sign-up is free.

In addition to outright contacting them, within their webmaster tools they have a way that you can submit your site for reconsideration in case you get slapped by them. There was a warning that it may take weeks. Ir hasn't been quite a week yet. I just hope they restore my ranking.

If you need to contact me directly, on the sidebar of my blog is a "My links" section where you can go to my website and from there send me an e-mail.

Web CRM said...

this nice tip you gave

Alyson, the 3 P's Mama said...


You may have just provided me with the answer to what happened to my PR! GRRRR!!

I am so sorry this happened to you.

Guess I am off to 'talk' to Google.