Having an online presence is very different to an offline one. Offline, you can publish a catalog and no one really cares if some descriptions are very similar if not identical (apart from name or color references). Online, the opposite is true. If you have products that have identical or near identical descriptions, then you could find that some of that content never appears in search results. The reason? Google won’t even index it let alone have it appear in search results.
Duplicate content on the web has been a big problem over the years. Search engines, in particular Google, do everything possible to filter out the duplicates. If you have product descriptions that are the same, then the search engines will consider some of them to be duplicates and filter them out. It’s not just on your main website either. If you are a little lazy and copy those descriptions to your blog, or if you have affiliates that publish your content, you could have similar problems.
Google has become fairly adept at determining which content should be classified as the original, however, it does get it wrong on occasions, so your blog, or worse yet, an affiliate’s content, could be indexed as the original. If you have a number of similar products, you have a couple of choices. You can write original content for each product or group them together under the one description. The latter generally makes the better option.
If you have a blog, be sure the content is original and that you’re not just duplicating what’s on your main website. If you have affiliates that sell on your behalf, be sure their terms include a denial of the right to copy content from your web pages. They too should be creating unique content to promote your products or services.
Finally, when creating articles for guest posts or article marketing, ensure that each article is only published in the one place. So-called ‘spinners’ rarely do a good job of rewriting content, and content produced is generally poor quality and hard to read. Avoid duplicating your content and you’ll have more pages indexed for search, and that means more opportunities to be found.