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SEO Mad Scientist
We’re back with another exciting week of Unicode test updates!
If you remember last week we were still testing different Unicodes and how Google interprets them. Some can be recognized by Google as the alphabet and words.
Just a quick recap, Unicode is the different codes that are used to represent various letters, numbers, and characters. You can apply different funds to a Unicode to make it look different. Even though some Unicodes look different they are not different fonts, it’s the actual character. For example, you can type a cursive letter instead of non-cursive – ? is different than ?.
In our previous tests, we went through various Unicodes and indexed them in Google. We also searched the various unique codes in Google search to see what types of results were returned. We were able to identify a number of different unicodes that Google still recognized as actual text and understood the words on the screen.
For this week’s update, we wanted to test the effects of Unicode when it comes to duplicate content.
If you were to write the same or similar content over and over on a page by keyword stuffing but did it in a different Unicode will this affect that portion of the algorithm and essentially bypass it since they are technically different letters.
Also, if we were to copy a page of content that’s already ranking in Google and posted to our website in a different Unicode would it bypass the duplicate content algorithm.
For this week’s test, we found a competitor’s website for a low comp relevant keyword (traditional marketing vs modern marketing) and took the content from that page, changed the Unicode and posted it to our site.
We then indexed the page and watched the SERPs.
Within a few hours after indexing, we found our listing on the very first page a few listings below the top snippet (the page we took the content from)
This initial result was definitely odd compared to what we’ve seen with our previous duplicate content tests.
The only other duplicate content test that followed a similar index pattern immediately after indexing is when we tested pulling all of the content from the top-ranking 10 sites and put it all on one page and indexed it. You can find those results in last year’s updates. These tests led us to a better understanding on what percent of unique content or unique versus curated content is required for Google to index around the duplicate content algorithm.
Because of this, we feel that there is some type of indexing going on here that is different than if we were to just copy the same Unicode.
Normally when we would index duplicate content it would swap out the content in the SERPs and generally, we would not see both Pages at any given time for a specific target keyword.
It would normally swap in and out back and forth as Google tried to determine which one was the one to rank but never did we see them both showing on page one or in the same SERPs.
About a week after indexing, we did see a drop in the ranking down to page 10 and as of this morning, it looks like we fell out of the SERP.
This again is similar to what we saw with the test when we took a bunch of curated content and put it on a page in indexed it.
We are continuing to track the rankings to see what kind of pattern it follows. We’re pretty confident in saying that Google does look at these Unicode as text for some and they do provide the same functionality to Google as the standard Unicode text.
Whether it helps us get around duplicate content algos or creating unique content is still yet to be determined but, if we see the page come back into the search over the next week (even if it’s bouncing around with the other page) it will be safe to say that we are beating the duplicate content algorithm to some extent.
Be sure to join us next week, where we’ll dig into our final Unicode tests to see if we’re ranking once again and where else we can place Unicode on our site to possibly influence rankings further.
Until next week, Happy Testing!
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