Question: I am building an eCommerce site where I will be selling products that appear on other sites, including manufacturers’ sites. If I cut and paste descriptions from one of those sites onto my own, will I hurt my Search Engine rankings? Jonathan Rosen, Give.bz
My instincts are to say “Yes, it would hurt your rankings.” In SEO (Search Engine Optimization), duplicating content from one site to another is never recommended under any circumstances. However, if you are adding lots and lots of items onto your eCommerce site, it sure would make it a lot faster and easier to copy and paste rather than having to create a unique description for every single product.
I’ve done some research, and my instincts were right. It is a bad idea to duplicate content from one website to another, especially when you don’t own both sites. But to make your life easier, go ahead, copy and paste; then tweak the text and make it your own. This will serve to:
1. Protect your hard-won search engine rankings.
2. Your site will have a consistent “voice” throughout.
3. You can make your descriptions more compelling than the original.
4. You will have total control over all the content on your site
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