Is It Wise To Copy Top Ranking Sites In My Industry? - Semalt
This is probably something you've done or are planning on doing. You're a new website, you don't have sufficient funding for your website, and so, you decide to copy top ranking websites in your industry because they have the best content. The problem now is you aren't sure if that was a smart idea. Well, if you stick around, Semalt has the answer.
It will surprise you the number of websites simply a mash-up of copied contents from other websites. Googles John Muller explains in a brief way what copying top-ranked websites do. After this, he suggests another approach to getting content on your site. Someone randomly asked a question relating to how to make a menu. And the person who asked this question wanted to know if it's okay to design his or hers just like Amazon. Muller suggested that they change their perspective.
The question: the question came in the form of a tweet, and it said, "amazon.com has created a 3 level menu on their home page, and the main item links have been placed in the 3rd level. We are planning on making something similar on our website, and we wanted to confirm how Google bots will react to this".
John Muller answered: unless you're on Amazon, I wouldn't assume that you can reuse Amazon uses and rank like Amazon. Large sites do good and bad things, and the outcome may differ from all other sites.
The person who asked the question gave further details. Like Amazon, they too are a large website with over 20m URLs. So they hope to use Amazon's design to ease navigation for users and bots.
Muller explained that using someone else's concept can work like a charm or destroy your website. It all depends on how you put into action. Muller said he wasn't going to implement it the same way Amazon did. Instead, he's going to work out what he needs for his site and how such a feature helps his users and SEO.
Is it wise to copy websites?
This is something that has no straight forward answer. Learning from a successful website is a win and can significantly help your SEO efforts. However, you must make sure that the feature is right for your website. That is what makes this question so important. The fact that the person who was hoping to copy Amazon reviewed what they had done and pondered on if the links on the menu will be found.
There is no definite way to know if adding that feature will benefit them SEO wise. This is, particularly in competitive niches. Sometimes, Google may decide to ignore some of the aggressive strategies that have been employed.
It is common practice for many top-ranking sites in their personal injury space to indulge in fad link building techniques. They do this because they can see that their competition is doing it also. But instead of jumping in the wagon, they try to modify theirs and make it better.
Websites have been known to have secrete weapons. This means that many times, there is more to their strategy efforts than the obvious. Sometimes, the key to their success isn't in the obvious keywords or web design. Just because you see a website employing a particular strategy does not mean contributing to their SEO success.
You must keep tabs on the leading websites in your industry because, more often than not, they develop amazing ideas. However, you should be clever in your approach and be open to learning new things.
Learn to ask questions. By asking questions, you open your website to new possibilities as the answers to the questions you ask carry valuable information. Like in this case, thanks to the question, we learned something, and now, we can apply that knowledge and imitate features more effectively.
Copying content is dangerous for your website
Having quality authoritative and regularly updated content on your website has many benefits. Some of those benefits include:
- Showing your audience that you are an expert and that you are knowledgeable.
- It helps your potential customers quickly develop trust for you and your brand, which increases your chances of converting leads to customers.
- It increases your chances of getting viewers to become regulars on your site.
- It improves your linking network.
- Increases your chances of ranking high on SERP.
Unfortunately, not all websites are invested in improving the quality of their content. We've had companies that budget poorly for their website content, and considering that content is about 50% of a website, this seems unfair. Companies who are willing to spend as little as possible on developing their website usually end up with copied contents.
Everyone likes to see a well designed, entertaining website, but better still, people prefer a website with great content. Trust us, when a website with an amazing design, but terrible content is placed beside a website with a poor design but amazing content, best believe that most internet users will go for content. That is because most users aren't on the internet to find a pretty website. Rather, most are there in search of information on specific topics. If you can design your website to meet their needs, then you've done great.
Because of the high demand for quality content, websites that lack the resources or time to produce quality content decide to copy content on leading websites in their industry. Considering that copying content is extremely easy (all you have to do is select all, copy, and paste), you do not have to worry about a budget. With this method, it doesn't take you up to 10 minutes to have a new web page and content.
Now come the consequences. Copying content is one of the worst things you can do to your website. Practically, every content that has been successfully published on the internet is covered by copyright law. This means that if you pick and use these publications without giving due credit, you face the law the same way you would if you publish someone else's book under your name. Never believe that because it's from the net, you're free to use it however you want. In the end, you face the law just the same way.
What many people realize is that it's easier to get caught when you copy content online. Some people assume that because there are millions of websites, it's practically impossible to get caught when you copy content. To find if the content has been copied, all you need to do is type in a sentence of that content on google with quotation marks. For example, you search "how Semalt can help your website" once you hit the search icon, you will get results from everywhere on the internet where that exact phrase was used. With this, you can immediately spot websites that have been copying other websites.
Remember that if it's that easy to find copied content, Google will catch up to such websites. As punishment, google can forcibly take down such websites or have them blacklisted. As the original owner of the content, you can also notify Google if you learn that your content has been stolen. Once it's proven that indeed, you are the original owner of the content, Google can remove the page which contains the stolen content from their search result. With this, you are sure no one will benefit from the efforts you've put in creating amazing content.
Even if the original owner of the content doesn't know or care that their content has been stolen, Google's algorithm is intelligent enough to fish out these websites and takes action. Unlike when a website reports another website, there usually isn't any penalty as such. However, the algorithm will consider this when ranking a website.
Google cares about their viewers, and it wants to give its users a good range of relevant and interesting results that meets their needs. Imagine if they gave a list of the same content or very similar content when a keyword is searched. This wouldn't sit well with the viewers because having different views is why they will open multiple websites.