If your site has content on it that exists on other websites, Google will penalize you. This is called the duplicate content penalty, and it has been strongly enforced in 2012.
Why Is This a Problem?
With their Panda Algorithm, Google routinely examines site content, including yours.
If you have content on your site that is found elsewhere on the web, Google will lower your “site-wide Panda score”. This is like putting a wet blanket on your site. If you have this problem, you will NOT be easily found by potential clients.
How Do You Know If You Have This Problem?
Look at your site.
- Is any of the content from another site on your website? (Even content from a previous website that you don’t care about anymore cannot appear on your new site without hurting you.)
- Did you copy long quotes or complete sections from a great article that appeared on Huffington Post or PsychologyToday.com? (even if YOU wrote the original articles)
If so, then you have a Panda problem.
Want An Example of What NOT To Do?
See the example, below. This website owner treated a whole article as a quote. Even though full attribution is give the to the original author, Google will penalize this site for duplicate content.
There is a Solution
You don’t need to worry that you’ve hurt your online presence forever.
You can reverse any penalty you’ve received by taking the following actions:
- Remove the duplicate content (or, if it’s a substantial part of your site, and you don’t want to get rid of it, then you need to rewrite it.)
- If the content is also sitting on an old site of yours that you no longer use, then shut down that site!
Once Google re-crawls your site, it will update its page scores for you. Then, the next time they do a Panda refresh, your penalty will no longer apply, and your site should be better off!
Note that Panda refreshes seem to take place approximately every other month, therefore, it could be a good 2-3 months before your site recovers from this penalty.
Note that a website platform won’t build your private practice for you. Find out more about building a quality therapy website here.