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    Avoiding a Duplicate Content Situation

    I have a site that sells approximately 1500 widgets. We have spent considerable time writing unique descriptions for each of these items, so that in addition to the picture, price and certain specs, we also have a paragraph about 50-200 words long to go with each item that talks about how unique it is, how good it is, how it is best used and so on.

    I have been approached by the owners of a website that is kinda like a mini-AOL that focus on my products general market. For example only, let say I sell outdoor equipment and this website that has approached me is a community site for outdoor activities. They have a forum area, where people can discuss many different kinds of outdoor activities, everything from freesbie tossing to camping. They also have columns each week, trip reports, articles about different activities etc, etc.

    The owners of this site want to incorporate a store into their site and of course collect a commission. However, they don't want to have to be involved in running it or operating it, maintain inventory etc. Basically, they want to partner with us and have us completely run that portion of their website as well as handle all the adminstration, operation, ordering etc. Basically what they want is a special co-branded or branded situation.

    One of the things they discussed is that they want the store to be spiderable so that it's pages will get picked up by the search engines and thus assist in not only providing a revenue stream, but also help add to their traffic.

    Creating a store for them and integrating with the design of their existing site is not a problem. My real concern is that unless I write completely new descriptions for all 1500 products, then the product pages within their site are going to be duplicates of the product pages currently on our site. I am very concerned about this because our site is not as old as their's is and I'm not convinced that a the duplicate content penalty is based on page age rather than site age. Further, I'm not sure if this is worth doing if it is going to result in our site losing some of its serp results. I'm not sure what I can do to eliminate the possibility of a duplicate content penalty unless each products description is rewritten completely as this is the bulk of a product page's content.

    Anybody have an thoughts or ideas on what we should or could do to avoid the possibility of a duplicate content penalty or what we should do in this situation ? Naturally the obvious idea would be to block it from googlebot, but that then makes the store pages unspiderable which is completely outside their desires.

    Any thoughts or ideas will be appreciated !
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    SEO Chat Hero (2000 - 2499 posts)

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    I tried looking for a thread about this here but couldn’t find it.
    I do remember someone complaining about his site disappearing from G’s index (it was a web hosting site, I think) and it turned out that he had used copies of his index page as inside pages in two other sites.

    Something I tried for re writing content was to run an ad in monster.com limiting the ad to our local universities ($50.00 ad) and offering 25 cents a word. Within two days I had 15 resumes… By the sound of it you should be able to affored that.

    #include <Cognac.h> -The only code I know How to Write!
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    SEO Chat Good Citizen (1000 - 1499 posts)

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    Seems to me, if you are changing the "Layout" or template if you will, just drop the text content portion (What really makes your pages special IMHO) and maybe the page and image names. If he wants the new pages to develop traffic charge him for writing new unique descriptions and farm out the work, let him do it himself or simply don't add the text content.

    Overall, I think it's a good partnership, but partnership entails the partner does something if he's planning to make money from the deal. ;) - yes yes, he is providing a highly relevant venue...but so would an affiliate without the headache of setting up their site for them.

    just my opinion.

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