Do you create landing pages for your PPC ads?
Do You want to maximize their SEO benefit?
Being raised with a thrifty mindset and borderline hoarding tendencies, I am compelled to use every website asset to further SEO success. This article will reveal to you:
- How to know if your landing pages are causing duplicate content for organic search engines
- How to eliminate duplicate content penalties
- How to reclaim unused back links
- Long term strategy to build organic traffic using your paid search landing pages
Are Your Paid Search Landing Pages Causing Duplicate Content Penalties?
A lot of clients don’t realize that their PPC landing pages end up in the search engine index. If your landing pages have nearly identical content as each other or other pages of your website, they will potentially cause duplicate content penalties without you realizing. Your website will not completely drop out of the search results, but those individual pages will waste resources (link authority, PageRank, crawl budget) that should go into other areas. And, Google will remember that your website has useless duplicate pages, which affects your website’s overall profile. Over the years Google has told us to disallow, redirect and apply canonical links to those pages. Depending on how you address duplicate pages can hold back your potential for Google PageRank and high search engine rankings.
Check Google for your landing pages by searching…
A lot of times I find duplicate versions of the same landing page in Google or Bing, the only difference being different strings in the URL. The URL may have some random looking string at the end such as ?src=W4THMJHWWZRP. Because these have different URLs, the search engines assume they are supposed to be different pages. They may have identical content with only slight differences. Unfortunately, search engines are penalizing you for duplicate content in the organic results. You can turn this around to your advantage!
So the first thing you’re probably wondering is how do these pages find their way into the Google or Bing index? You don’t have any links to them, they are complete islands, pages hosted on your server with no links from any part of your website. So how does Google find them?
Easy… someone else landed on the page from your PPC ad and created a link to the page.
Here’s the proof. Once you find a page in a search index using the “site” search above, check that page for backlinks. Go to Yahoo Site Explorer and enter the URL for the page. Make sure you click “Inlinks” and chose the drop down “Except from this domain”. Here you will see other websites that link to that landing page.
How to Eliminate Duplicate Content Penalties
Some people would say to use your robots.txt file to disallow search engines from listing those pages in their results. For a long time, this has been the standard way of addressing duplicate content. However, there is always the potential for other websites to link to your landing pages. Even if you don’t see back links in Yahoo Site Explorer, there may still be back links not shown (search engines just refuse to show you everything they know and there’s nothing we can do about it), you need to plan on the possibility of people creating links in the future. Using the robots.txt to disallow a page with potential back links does not let you take advantage of potential back links.
How to Regain Unused Back Links
Every back link you have is one more that your competitor may not. …continue reading this SEO article »