The Problem With Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is an issue that has plagued the Domaining world for a long time now. As Domainers try to develop their names as quickly as possible they oftentimes look for ways to get content onto their sites in a scalable fashion. Fresh content costs money and when trying to build hundreds or even thousands of domains the costs oftentimes become too high to be feasible for most domain owners.

The problem here is simple – as direct navigation declines domain owners are trying to find ways to retain their traffic – search traffic is the only way to capture that same targeted traffic without paying for it! However, without fresh content, Domainers run the risk of having their pages demoted by Google for having duplicate content.

At the last two conferences I attended this is a topic that came-up a lot in conversation. I would tell people that my company develops our domains to achieve strong search engine placement which drives our traffic. The first question always was – where do you get the content? My answer is – from a real person who writes the content herself! I know everyone is looking for a scalable solution but it is important to remember that Google is trying to give proper credit to sites written-by real people not developed by automated solutions.

Now I’m not saying there are no automated solutions out there – in fact at DOMAINfest I had the chance to see the SmartName platform as well as Traffic Media – both which claim to index well in search engines. I will be setting-up 50 domains with each of these services and will report-back my findings to my readers. That being said, having a site with Fresh content should always rank higher and SEOMoz has a great article discussing this topic and explaining what is really going-on inside Google’s head (or at least an approximation of it).You should take the time to read this article as it will continue to be an important issue in the Domaining world.

SEOMoz Article – Duplicate Content

As always I welcome my readers to share their thoughts and comment!

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • WQ February 1, 2010, 4:15 pm

    Type in traffic (direct navigation) isn’t declining. It’s been steady for 10 years here.

    • Morgan February 1, 2010, 4:17 pm

      Glad to hear that @WQ! This is something that was discussed a lot at the last two conferences I attended and it looks like you might be one of the lucky one’s not seeing the decline. In general the entire Internet is seeing a shift from people focusing on search more and more everyday.

    • Morgan February 1, 2010, 4:20 pm

      Here is an interesting article about the topic that is also worth reading –

  • WQ February 1, 2010, 4:25 pm

    I find that its usually the ones that do not own a bunch of generic type in getting domains that say type ins are declining.

    How many of the bigger players that have been around for years are agreeing with this?

    • Morgan February 1, 2010, 4:28 pm

      Thanks @WQ – definitely would be good to hear from these folks. I spoke with a handful of people at TRAFFIC and DOMAINfest that said their type-in traffic was declining but I’m not sure they want me to blog about them. Maybe I could do a post and put together a survey on this issue.

      You do agree that more people use search now than they did ten years ago though…right?

  • WQ February 1, 2010, 4:51 pm

    More people use search now sure. 10 years ago search wasn’t what it is today.

    I do not see this as negative for type in traffic though…and this is from someone (me) who makes a living from type ins and has for 10 years.

    If someone says type ins have been going the way of the Dodo Bird I would like to see their domain portfolio first before I make any conclusions.

    • Morgan February 1, 2010, 4:58 pm

      Excellent point @WQ – I will reach-out to a number of people I know with strong type-in portfolios and see if any of them are comfortable sharing some data here.

      One question – are you parking or developing your names?

  • Jim Holleran February 1, 2010, 5:09 pm


    Been around since 1998 and own many strong .com names. Type-In traffic is declining on average and many people don’t want to admit it. I have personally seen that with English .com’s and 95% of the people told me the same thing at DomainFest when I talked in private about this.

    However, I own many Spanish .com’s since 1999 and type-in traffic on those have increased because of the explosive spanish market.

    Morgan tells the truth and he knows what he is talking about. Plus he is one CoooooooooooooL dude!!!

    Thanks, Jim

    • Morgan February 1, 2010, 5:34 pm

      Thanks for sharing @Jim!

  • WQ February 1, 2010, 7:40 pm


    Can you share a few of your strong dotcoms?

    I’d have to see it to believe it 😉

    I cant remember seeing your name in the whois when looking up solid dotcoms in the past…most the folks I know say type ins have been steady and some like F. Schilling seem to think that new tech like the iPad is good for direct nav (See post on DNW).

  • WQ February 1, 2010, 7:44 pm

    “are you parking or developing your names?”

    We use PPC.

    • Morgan February 1, 2010, 7:47 pm

      Have you thought about switching-over to do some more affiliate-based marketing? PPC revenues are down – that is an absolute fact…how has this transformed your business over the last year?

      I appreciate all of your feedback @WQ and hope you understand that I am always looking to learn more! Since I am focused on search engine rankings rather than direct-nav I am always interested to learn more from those with strong direct-nav portfolios.

  • WQ February 1, 2010, 8:13 pm

    Yes, PPC revenues are definitely down along with the rest of the economy.

    Starting to bounce back a bit here.

    Fortunately, we made enough from PPC in the past few years to not have to worry about the current situation.

    As far as using other affiliate programs and development, we are starting to dibble and dabble in that. It has not proven itself to make us any money yet, at least not anything worth talking about – but I’m hopeful.


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