Boilerplate content; another cause for concern
We mentioned boilerplate content previously, but didn’t explain, so you might be wondering how it fits into this whole concept.
Boilerplate content is simply content that is available on different parts or web pages on your site. According to Annie Smarty, it can be often found in:
- Some specific areas including links such as blogroll and navigation bar
- Global navigation such as ‘about us’, ‘home; and so on
A standard site often has a header, sidebar and a footer. In addition to these features, most content management systems let you display your most recent posts or the most popular ones on the homepage too. When Google search algorithms crawl your site, they index them separately, so they turn out to be duplicate content.But this sort of duplicate content does not impact your SEO negatively. Search engine algorithms are designed to recognise them do you are safe.
However, if this boilerplate content is very common, and forms part of the primary content of several pages on your site, Google can easily sieve through to ignore- or penalise- your site depending on the perceived intentions.
It is therefore smart to heed Google’s warnings to reduce– or at least spread- the occurrence of boilerplate content, from page to page on your website.
The danger of boilerplate content
Be aware that thin content worsens spun boilerplate text issues on a site, because it (thin content) continues to create more pages that can only be produced with boiler plate text.
If a sales item has 15 URLs- one for a different design or colour- the title, meta description and product description will usually rely on boilerplate techniques to spin its content, therefor creating more duplicate content across the pages. Copywriters should take note of this.
John Mueller emphasises that the practice of making your content ‘more unique’ with low-quality methods is counterproductive to your website’s search rankings. A website with too many similar pages will give Google algorithms a problem of which page to rank the most. It may end up ranking the non-primary page as the highest. To prevent this, you can use canonical tags. We will discusscanonicalization further in this post.