Recently Chris Rand of Pro-Talk posted a discussion of the problem of duplicate content filters employed by search engines to a Pro-Talk mailing list. With all the major search engines employing techniques to detect duplicate content and penalise websites that have “too much” of this content, press releases could be a real problem for search engine optimisation (SEO). The problem is not exclusive to electronics – the SEO Chat blog has an in-depth analysis of the issue, but Pro-Talk are the first European electronics publisher to publicly raise the issue.

The problem for the search engines is how to stop websites being created using content taken from other sites, purely to make money from advertising rather than actually informing. Clearly, however, reproducing a press release is a very different exercise. If online media stop or cut back their coverage of press releases to optimise their position in search engine results pages, this would be bad for all concerned. Fortunately it appears that the duplicate content filter has had little impact on most of the electronics media to date. With many of the leading sites in Europe focusing on their own content first, and release coverage second, we hope the filters will remain smart enough to keep them high in the search results. Currently there are several sites that are driven almost entirely by covering press releases, and it may be that they become less important in the future.

Want to know more about this problem, or hear what we think the effect will be on a specific electronics website? Contact Napier now!