If every business should have one website, then a business with two websites is better, right?  

About a year ago we built a custom website for one of our clients in the health industry.  At the time, the client expressed their interest in using Risen Creative for all of their online advertising needs, however they had just signed a contract with a major player in small business online advertising.  We contacted the client recently, since their contract is concluding at the end of the year, and requested an outline of services that the agency was providing.  To our shock the agency had never provided the client with a list of where the client’s budget was being spent.  As the client worked on receiving a breakdown of their advertising spend, we began investigating how the agency was advertising this client’s business.

One of the more disturbing things we found, was the agency had created another website for this client.  From what we can gather, the agency took the content from the client’s existing website and plugged it into a pre-built template (not even bothering to resize photos, logos, etc – they just stretched the images to fit).  They then used social media, online ads, etc to drive traffic to this new site, unbeknownst to the client.  Besides the new site not properly reflecting the brand image, it directed valuable links (link juice) to a secondary site and more concerning it created a duplicate website, with duplicate content.

You may be asking yourself, isn’t that good – there is another website that search engines can index that will display in search engine results pages (SERPS) – organic/natural search results.   The short answer is no, it can actually have a very negative effect on your online traffic.  Let’s look at the top two issues with duplicate content.

Search Engines Don’t Know Which Site to Include/Exclude in SERPS:

Duplicate content is content that appears on the Internet in more than one website, more specifically different URLs.  This is an issue because when search engines find duplicate content, it is challenging for them to determine which version/site is more relevant.  To help provide the best search experience, search engines rarely show multiple sites with duplicate content – thus the search engine determines which site to display.  In many cases this may not be your main website.  In an extreme case, with multiple sites with duplicate content, the search engines may see this as spam and disregard the websites all together.

Diminishing / Splitting Links to Your Website:

One of the SEO best practices is link building.  It is believed the greater the number of relevant links to your website, the higher the website’s domain strength/authority will be.  Your website’s domain strength is one of the many factors taken into account with search engines rank your website.  With this in mind, imagine the impact can be on your site if rather than having 100 links to your website, you have 50 links to one site and 50 to another.  You’re missing a huge opportunity and potentially wasting valuable links.

Based off the above, we would strongly discourage any business from created duplicate content websites.  It simply doesn’t make business sense and has the potential to greatly impact your business’s online presence.

Would you like Risen Creative to review your online advertising/marketing plan?  Please contact us, we would be happy to help!

About the author

Rick is a technology and business-savvy, results-oriented leader with 12 years of experience with proven success in managing $1.5M Marketing budget in a challenging, fast paced direct response environment. He founded Risen Creative in 2008 with the goal of helping small to medium businesses grow their businesses.

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