Sometimes it’s good to show that not even the gurus get it right all the time – and (unfortunately) that’s occasionally the case here!
We’re always trying to improve the way we do things here and get our business running like a well-oiled machine, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out. But what counts is learning from your mistakes, and maybe with this little “cautionary tale” you can learn from our mistakes, too!
When I first started PuTTin’ OuT and got the website up, things were hectic as my little team and I tried to get this thing going (as you can see perusing puttinout.com, it’s become a pretty complex website!). So I hired someone to do a little in-house guest blogging for the site while we got everything in order. You know, basic social media news updates, small tips, stuff like that.
The first clue that something was amiss should have been that my dog would NOT keep quiet around this blogger, and on top of that, would even “use the restroom” in weird places in the office he otherwise never would! I’ll save the “toilet humor” for your mind, here.
Fast-forward over a year later, and the site is all-new, our team has expanded (WITHOUT said blogger), and we’re doing some renovations. I finally get a chance to take a look at the blog (yes, after a year! That’s how insanely busy this stuff keeps me!) and what do I find?
Every post this lovely “blogger” “wrote” was a copy/pasted excerpt from either an official social media site like Facebook’s blog or a big-name social media news site that always shows up as the first result in a Google search (e.g. Mashable). The featured image was “borrowed” from those posts, and to top it off, the only link in the entire PO blog was one back to the webpage the REAL post came from! That’s what this person was getting PAID to do!!
We all know duplicate content hurts search ranking and is a major SEO no-no, so we had to go back and fix all this stuff. Needless to say, the posts are gone from our site now. (Apply nofollow and noindex, submit the new site to Google, and remove once they are un-indexed.)
So what can you learn from my mistake? First, hire people you can trust!
Second, don’t settle when it comes to content. This is how people find you, how people get hooked on your website, and how you communicate with your market. There’s nothing more important than content when it comes to websites. Make it unique, make it the highest quality possible, and always do it with your readers in mind foremost!
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