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.