What is the issue? Many situations can cause an e-merchant to think about duplicating all or part of his shop in order to recover more natural traffic. Here are some cases…

– the main shop is already first on all keywords and the goal is therefore to come and recover the 2nd position in addition with a 2nd shop.

– the main shop is made penalize (Penguin for example) and you prefer to start over with something new without “killing” the first store which continues to generate an interesting turnover which will be difficult to develop.

test 2 netlinking approaches so as not to put all these eggs in one basket and less fear the penalty.

– sell to a different target (Individuals / professionals)

segment its product catalog (e-commerce on a range of products in particular already integrated into the main e-commerce)

Other reasons may exist, do not hesitate to add yours in the comments to make this article even more complete.

Whatever your case, you will have to take the necessary precautions so that this duplication is not badly taken by Google, which could have the effect of penalizing your new store, or worse still, your main store. And this is where it gets complicated because, as everyone knows, Google is not going to help you with this daunting task of measuring what will be acceptable or not. It is therefore not a particular criterion that must be monitored but an entire environment: the shop as a whole.

Study setting

For the example, we will put ourselves in the shoes of an e-merchant wishing to duplicate his shop with 10,000 product references, with the same product offer, the same template (which is unique to the base).

The goal of the study is to highlight a methodology that works by going to the simplest, without attracting the wrath of Google 😉

By taking into account the different issues that will arise, we will inevitably come to the conclusion that doing this “simply” is impossible.

What criteria should be taken into account, and how to achieve a result that holds water?

Even if you have to think of the site as a whole, there are specific criteria that should not be left to chance. For this, I also asked their opinion to 6 other SEOs:

Guillaume Peyronnet
guillaume peyronnet
His site: www.gpeyronnet.fr
His Twitter: @gpeyronnet
The training he gives with his brother: www.peyronnet.eu/blog/

Alexandre Santoni (alias Keeg)
alexander santoni
His agency: www.econcept.fr
His Twitter: @keegfr
His blog: www.keeg.fr

Walid Gabteni

walid gabteni
His site: www.lightonseo.com
His Twitter: @lightonseo

Sylvain Richard (alias AxeNet)
Sylvain Richard
His agency: www.axenet.fr
His Twitter: @axenetwit
His blog: blog.axe-net.fr

Victor Lerat
victor lerat
His site: victor-lerat.fr
His Twitter: @VictorLerat

Mathieu Chartier
mathieu chartier
His site: www.mathieu-chartier.com
His Twitter: @formation_web
Her book (co-written with Alexandra Martin (Miss SEO Girl): Web SEO techniques on Amazon

The exercise is difficult since the problem is still very specific. What is stated is therefore binding on their authors. The main goal is to give you the right lines of thought for the duplication of your store in order to increase your turnover more quickly.

Rebuild a store with the same product offer (without segmentation), possible or not?

There are sometimes several McDonald’s, from the same owner, in the same municipality. They offer the same products and the same prices.

Alexandre Santoni

Guillaume Peyronnet

It’s always possible to do the same thing again. But this is not really a solution that I would recommend: doing the same job twice in the same company, in terms of SEO, marketing, etc. it rarely gives good results. Or more precisely, it doesn’t work as well as making it unique.

Alexandre Santoni

To start with, I’m not sure about anything and I basically want to believe that it is better to focus on your store than to duplicate it. But of course it is possible! Well I think. Why couldn’t we build a shop with the same product offer? Google has long sought to understand what the site is and how popular it is.

I tend to believe that Google bases its algorithm on a certain physical reality. There are sometimes several McDonald’s, from the same owner, in the same municipality. They offer the same products and the same prices. The difference lies in the issue of proximity and premises. This is where you have to think for a website, even if I think segmentation would be more efficient.

Walid Gabteni

The exercise seems difficult to me, in addition to the duplication of content, it is necessary to take into consideration the concept of duplication of structure or “footprint of a website”. But difficult does not mean impossible.

Sylvain Richard

If all the product offer is identical, it seems risky to me.
And then as long as to offer identical products, I would modify at least a little the names of the categories, sub-categories and products to allow me to position myself on different key expressions and to rake wider with my 2 shops.

Victor Lerat

Technically it is quite possible but the visibility and interest of this 2nd shop will be reduced. From a marketing point of view, I don’t see the point of creating an identical store in the same market with the same products at all. It is possible to sell the same product with a different approach from a marketing / webmarketing point of view. The idea is to seek out the different market shares that exist by differentiating on the positioning of the store.

Mathieu Chartier

Anything is possible, but not without difficulty. I find it extremely risky to duplicate a store with the same product offering. Let’s say that it is possible, but the room for maneuver to succeed is very low, and the success that goes with it also …

Conclusion on this question

Everyone seems to agree that it is too simplistic and too risky to start on a pure duplication, but we see emerging the fact that by rethinking certain things at the level marketing / webmarketing for this second shop to make it different targeting, to target additional requests, this can become interesting. The difficulty and the dark side are there, but by doing things intelligently, it is possible to be successful, but how to do it intelligently?

Whois visible and identical. Same IP. Suicidal or honest?

Given Google’s desire to protect consumers on YLYM (Your Life Your Money) themes: we lose less by being honest.
Alexandre Santoni

Same site, same products, and same server, this is clearly telling Google that we are trying to cheat.
Victor Lerat

SEOs are fairly divided on this notion as you can see opposite.

In fact, half think that it is necessary to play the card of honesty, in order to show that one has nothing to hide. In addition, Google being a registrar, hiding information from the Whois would be useless for example.

The other part of the SEOs would rather bet on making everything unique and hidden. On the one hand to have new criteria that do not thwart their strategy, both with Google and competitors who could study their way of doing things.

Conclusion on this question

In my opinion, it all depends on the level of duplication that we will achieve on this new store. If many elements are changed on the new site and we can legitimately justify the existence of this new store, then it will not necessarily be useful to have a different server for its site.

On the other hand, if 99% of the elements are identical from one site to another, you might as well make these elements different, but you will have understood at this level of the article, make a “simple” copy- sticking from the existing will take you right to failure, different IP or not!

Identical theme causing duplicate content in wording and navigation: dangerous or not?

We are talking about the fact that an imprint can be found between the two shops, because of identical wording on elements of the site, knowing that the first shop had a unique theme (we mean here “graphic theme” and navigation elements such than the menu, the filters).

Example of the fluorescent zones on the Sarenza site:

sarenza footprints

Wording is real footprints

Walid Gabteni

The “main” tag in HTML5 can help

Victor Lerat

Guillaume Peyronnet

The identical theme will actually show some duplicate areas. Avoiding them is largely possible, just a little elbow grease. So we do it!
Besides, from a marketing point of view, if you have segmented the audience, you must certainly address it in a different way.
Similarly, in terms of graphics, having exactly the same rendering does not make sense.

The identical hierarchy is not that bad in absolute terms. Where this is problematic is that behind the products are the same: we will then have a hierarchical structure that leads to identical pages, with the same content inside.

Alexandre Santoni

It is at this level where, if we want to have a hope of having a certain success in the end, we must modify and think carefully about these points. This is where there has to be a differentiation of approach. It goes further than SEO and encroaches on a marketing strategy, real or not.

Walid Gabteni

If we consider that the duplication of a site is not only played on the heart of the contents, but also on its general structure, in particular “the wording” which are real footprints as much to modify, especially as this precaution does not doesn’t seem expensive to me.

In terms of navigation, it is normal for two online sales sites (even belonging to different companies) to have similar navigation. Again, I will evaluate the possibility of incorporating slight modifications so that the two navigations are not perfect clones.

Victor Lerat

Ideally, there should be unique elements. To overcome this duplicate content, you must have the means to create unique content in body of content. The “main” tag in HTML5 can help in this type of case. We can thus show the part of a page where the content is UNIQUE of its website. For a product sheet, we can imagine the description for example.

Navigation is not the most critical element, but the more unique a site is, the more likely a site will appear in Google’s SERPs. A site must differentiate itself from its competitors even in the hierarchy of elements.

Mathieu Chartier

It is necessarily “dangerous” since there is duplicate content. Let’s say that this is an additional risk on an already perilous system. In the case of such duplication, it is better to avoid giving the stick to be beaten, especially if you keep the same hosting (similar IP), the same structure, etc.

When Google checks duplicate content, the patent describes it well, it is not only “text”, but also structure, etc. Google is able to know if it is the same site in some way (technologically, headers, content…), so the more it would be possible to modify content (and if possible structural elements), the better… The dose of danger depends on these factors! ^^

If it is only the main menu which is duplicated, I think that it can still pass without being too disturbing, but if it is this menu, the more the sub-menus, the more the locations of the blocks, of the contents (…) , it will copy / paste too much not to end up being spotted by the robots.

Maybe it would take 6 months before the robot tilts, but it seems risky to me, knowing that sites that only have a duplicated page (template, content, etc.) are already having …

Conclusion on this question

Unanimity on this issue. Either way, duplicating a particular wording or a portion of a menu is not penalizing. But it is the fact that it is done in a way that is too strong that makes the global system too detectable, and that will certainly not be able to last in the long term. It is therefore better to modify the maximum number of elements.

Title, meta description: what needs to change?

The more we differentiate, the more chance we have of finding positions on separate requests.

Sylvain Richard

Guillaume Peyronnet

Everything must change. Titles, store name, url, product page titles, meta descriptions, etc.

This is imperative: we duplicate to obtain a piece of audience that we do not already have. If we do the same thing, or possible filtering for duplicate content, we risk not being able to achieve the desired goal.

Alexandre Santoni

All basic tags must be changed. It seems to me meaningless to put exactly the same data on these points of importance. Title, h1, h2, meta are very easy to automate on a large scale with a little work and imagination. The time spent generating a good big automation different from the initial site can only be profitable.

Walid Gabteni

I am much more demanding on this point. What needs to change depends on how you fill in these two tags. In my case I try on the title for example to create a symbiosis between the key expression targeted and wording dedicated to the incentive to click. I will modify the “click-to-click” part and leave the keywords part to the same

Sylvain Richard

The more we differentiate, the more chance we have of finding positions on separate requests.

Victor Lerat

In my opinion, no importance on the duplication of a title and a meta description between two sites. These elements must be unique on the same site, but this will not be penalized between two sites. Moreover, on most competitive requests, the sites use the same single title tag. Google adds to its goodwill, the name or the brand of the site to differentiate its results in a page.

Mathieu Chartier

In my opinion the total. These are two different (although duplicated) sites that must have reworked content and therefore