We’ve seen comparison and aggregation sites that are built on content and getting most of their users from search engine traffic. This guide is meant to help you do the best you can to rank high in search engines.
Looking at comparison sites/aggregators, and also Google’s content guidelines, it is very important for these sites to think about long-term rather than fixing things in short-term. So for these sites, the best way is to choose between
Building a thousand pages targeting keyword phrases that were only attracting a hundred searches per month because of thin content.
Creating hundreds of pages targeting keyword phrases that were attracting keyword phrases for a thousand searches per month because of rich content. So the same potential traffic, but better quality and less risk.
When most of the aggregators go with the first option because it is pretty easy compared to a content-driven approach, here is the catch. You can be lucky with the first approach as far as your results are hidden behind the bush for the first few years. But when you grow, your website will gather the attention of Google and the chances of your content reported as low quality gets higher.
Google Panda Algorithm – What the heck is that?
“Panda is a series of updates to the Google search algorithm designed to distinguish high-quality sites from low-quality ones, with the ultimate goal of providing the user with the most relevant and useful content. Simply: if an affiliate doesn’t add value to their site beyond what the supplier provides, they could see a negative effect on their page ranking through Panda’s criteria.” – source: SearchEngineWatch
Now the question is how different are aggregation sites and comparison portals from affiliate sites when it comes to duplicate or thin content as seen by Google?. Is there a difference at all?
When both affiliates and aggregators use supplier content, they are not providing useful content beyond what the supplier provides. Here is an excellent article by Search Engine Watch to help you understand the seriousness of the problem: https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2131610/google-panda-affiliate-sites-cope
In layman terms, search engines think it is not worthy to store the same information in two different places. From a Google’s perspective, an extra copy does not add any valuable information to search users, it’s just another blob of text to index and store (or, in many cases, to ignore). It simply doesn’t matter whether you are a comparison site, aggregator or an affiliate, Google gives no consideration for your pages as long as your content is copied from other sites, even if it is from an authorized supplier site. You won’t be penalized for copyright violations but that doesn’t mean your pages get better ranks in search indexes.
Many people suffering from content cannibalization in their websites because of thin or copied content aren’t even aware that anything’s wrong. It is time to rethink your digital strategy or consult an SEO expert.
Here is the key takeaway, otherwise
Less duplicated content
More original content