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    Duplicate Content Penalty and SubDomains


    Hi,
    I have a question that has been bothering me for some time now,
    It is related to the duplicate content penalty from google in the context of subdomains and databases, let me explain.

    At Google Guidelines There is a guideline that says

    Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.

    What does substantially duplicate content mean exactly ?


    My website has 2 subdomains on which the same content is shown with different themes (look and feel). The main entry page of my website clearly allows the visitor to optionaly try a different look and feel - one without images and one with lots of images, what I mean is that the main page has links to the 2 subdomains and explains to the visitor that the subdomains will provide a different experience of the website.

    The differnt looks on the 2 subdomains have totally different main menus, navigation, blocks, filenames etc and on first look will appear totally different websites, but they share a common database from which the content is displayed (yes, they are dynamically generated)

    All my pages on both domains are successfully indexed by the search engines including google. My conceren began after I read the guideline from google, Am I doing something wrong ?

    I don't want to be changing my site design for the vague searchengine guidelines unless I am sure that my fear is based on real facts and not vague superstitions about google penalties !

    In any case, the mother of all guidelines says

    Design your pages for users and not for searchengines
    So I really do not think changing my design for the searchengines is a good idea ;-)

    I wish to know if anyone has experience regarding this, could this be sufficient reason for a penalty,

    Any light on this issue will be greatly helpful,

    Thanks.
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    just for your info:
    one of my sites got banned for using similar content in sub-domains.
    then i called up at google's office in california and sorted it out and then it took abt 2 months for my site to get back.
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    gauravkumar - can you tells us how similar the content was? What do you think it was exactly that got you banned? And how do you define banned - was it completely removed from the index?

    Gringo.
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    Originally posted by Gringo
    gauravkumar - can you tells us how similar the content was? What do you think it was exactly that got you banned? And how do you define banned - was it completely removed from the index?

    Gringo.
    Hi Gringo,

    The sub-domains were exactly same as the original website.
    And my website as well as the sub-domains occupied 5 out of 10 spots on google's page 1 for some very competitive keywords. Hence so many complaints, I guess.
    Then when it disappeared from the index and didnt came in for many days, I realized it was banned coz I nearly used every banned technique and spammed like hell ;)
    Then I called up google's office at California but only answer machines available. Then I called up google's office in London, they were really helpful and gave me an email address on which I mailed and gave reference of that lady to whom I spoke in London office.
    Afetr that they replied and said "Your site is under review".
    They also confirmed that my site was banned for using identical sub-domains and some hidden text.

    Then after about 30-40 days it was re-indexed.


    Gaurav.
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    Gaurav,
    My Site does not use exactly same pages and does not have any hidden text.
    The subdomain is optimised for different keywords and there is very little chance that they may come up together in the search results.
    Do you think that I may get banned if one of my competitors complains to google ?
    If I do get banned, will they remove both domains or one of them, if one of them will they remove the one with lesser pr or higher pr ?

    Any inputs from anyone who has any experience with these issues will be appreciated.
    Thanks.
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    well abt removing with less pr or more: in my case my site and sub-domains all were removed from the index.
    btw, why are you posting same question in so many threads.
    ur general attitude is definitely spammy ;)
    lol.....
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    lol ;-) Its my first time here so please excuse,
    Only shows how desperate one can get, I think we should penalise google for ruling our lives ! :-) Just Joking ! ;-)
    Any one has any answers to help my situation ?
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    your question is answered so many times....
    what do u think is still not answered?
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    Gaurav,
    You shared your experience, but that does not match my situation and I do not have the answers to the question that I raised, I am hoping that other people may share their experience or provide some advice,
    Thanks.
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    What does substantially duplicate content mean exactly ?
    Err, maybe its substantially similar to posting this question in 7 different threads?
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    Duplicate content means identical, exact. Modify the content from sub-domain to sub-domain. Sub-domains are not inherently evil, but rather are often signs of a complex website.
    SootleDir - When only the finest link will do | Webmaster Forum |

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