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Google SEO Makes Tough Choice Between 2 Articles

Stored in Online Marketing and tagged
Search engine optimization

Google search algorithms will choose to show in search results only one of two articles on the same site if they have some similar content. It proves that similar content is an important factor in search engine optimization.

The word “some” is in that sentence on purpose. The two articles don’t have to have all of their content similar or nearly the same. They can have even as little as a few sentences or paragraphs.

For example,I have an article on my small Caribbean travel site about the Jamaica hurricane season and separate articles about the weather in Jamaica for each month of the year. One of those monthly weather articles is “Jamaica Weather in November”.

The Jamaica hurricane season article is more than 1,000 words long. It mentions November multiple times because that month is the final month of the hurricane season. But the word November isn’t in the title. The article about Jamaica weather in November is about 300 words long and does have November in the title.

Guess which article Google shows in search results and which one it hides?

Yep, it shows the hurricane article because Google algorithms see it has having more substance and authority, even though the scope of the topic is broader. It also has the word November in it more often than the shorter November article.

Despite being narrow and specific, the article specifically about November doesn’t show up at all in search results. Even the word November in the title is not a strong enough SEO factor.

An attempt to expand the November article with more information, a graphic and a link to a credible external source didn’t help. The article still didn’t appear, even though the tactic of expanding content for other absent articles helped them regain an appearance.

Is Similar Content Worth Doing?

Although disappointed in the results, I have no regrets about writing or expanding the article about Caribbean weather in November. I don’t write articles only for Google.

A visitor to the site isn’t getting a good product if the site has specific articles about every month except for November.

But it is worthwhile to identify which articles aren’t appearing in search results for a specific site and seeing what shows up instead. For example, the search operator “site:yoursitename.com keyword or phrase” will narrow down the results.

If a prominent article shows up instead of the one expected, the site publisher should consider whether it’s worthwhile to put more time and effort into the ghost.

Either way, Google search algorithms clearly have preferences for articles on the same site that contain only some similar information.

It means publishers who are focused on search engine optimization may want to choose their article topics with more care. No one wants to publish an article that doesn’t even make it into search results.

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