Using Sitemaps to Combat Duplicate Content

If you talked to anyone at the recent pubcon you realized one the things that’s on everyone’s mind is duplicate content, scrapers, splogs and adsense. While I didn’t get a chance to spend any time with anyone on the Google Sitemaps team, sometimes it takes a few hours on a plane for an idea to gel.

Now that the big three are supporting a universal sitemaps protocol how about kickin’ it into gear and using this tool to address a real problem and not just pay it lip service. I know lots of people have a problem with this kind of thinking, but in my experience if you want people to change or do something, providing a positive incentive is a great starting point. So when a webmaster pings the sitemaps services with a notification of new content, make that first discovery a claim of content ownership.

Sure it’s not a perfect solution but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Should it be an absolute irrevocable claim, absolutely not, but it should carry more weight. The most obvious problem with this solution is if someone in the sitemaps programs “steals” content from someone who’s not in the program. The solution is obvious, get the original content owner involved in the sitemaps program. Now a clever search engineer might even come to the conclusion that website that was constantly pinging and trying to claim content that had been previously claimed might be an indicator of low quality.

What do you think good idea or not? runs on the Genesis Framework

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