Monday, May 26, 2014
Beware the Duplicate Content Filter and.... Just Sharing Some More Enameling
WATCH OUT FOR THE DUPLICATE CONTENT FILTER
So…. A good friend and fellow jewelry maker informed me last night about a thing called “duplicate content filter” on Google and possibly also on Etsy’s search engine. Thanks Debra!
What “duplicate content filter” does is to filter out (not show things) in a search if a large portion of the content matches (or duplicates) the content of another web page somewhere (there’s duplicating within a site and there’s duplicating from one site to another.
So all that cutting and pasting I was doing in my listings may have been detrimental.
I’m going through a process this month of re-doing my listings with better photos anyway, so while I was there I decided what the heck… I’ll try to fix any potential duplicate content as well.
So I started removing all the verbiage I have that is the same from one listing to another. It’s stock paragraphs about shipping and insurance and international orders and tax, etc. These are all in my shops’ policies sections anyway, so… biting the bullet and hoping people will read my shop policies should they have any questions.
There’s a URL where you can put in one of your pages and see if it finds any similar content on another website (see a few paragraphs down).
For the heck of it, I plugged in the URL for one of my website pages. Imagine my surprise when it came up with a 17% content match for a page on someone else’s site.
How did this happen? Simple. Part of my “stock verbiage” for each listing included a paragraph about the benefits for buying from self representing artists…
“A self-representing artist does not sell mass produced beads or jewelry. When you buy from an SRAJD, you are supporting the artist directly, not the middle man.”
This line is probably somewhere on my SRAJD website and I always encourage SRAJD members to use my words if they life.
I have two choices now… I can remove the paragraph and just have the info in one place on my policies or about me page…. Or I can create a jpg of the paragraphs I want that will be perceived as duplicate content (even if the filters consider jpg URLs in their search for duplicate content, a URL is a lot shorter than several paragraphs so would be a much smaller percentage of duplication).
Anyway, if you’re interested to see if there might be pages out there that duplicate some of your content, here’s the URL to check. Be forewarned, you’re only allowed about ten scans/searches per month. [ETA: I have been informed that the site considers any Etsy URL as an overall Etsy check so if others have already checked their Etsy shop that month, the program will say you've reached your limit; I probably only tested my own website so didn't notice that... thanks friends!]
But the real culprit, I believe, is me myself and I… reiterating 3-4 paragraphs in each listing…. And copy and pasting from one selling site to another.
Food for thought.
… is always an experiment for me, whether I’m actually experimenting or not. But the more I play, the (hopefully) better I get.
And I am a freak about one thing, which makes some of my experimenting a wary proposition for me… but I’m rather terrified of things that explode or pop. I hate balloons (and guns), but I remember hating some white colored lampwork I used to use… it was “shocky”. Such an innocuous term for such a scary thing. Ha ha ha!
So yesterday, one of my experiments was to put a coating of enamel onto a flat bronze metal clay piece I had in my “throwaway box” (components not worthy of selling or using in jewelry, which become perfect for experimenting on).
The enamel looked awesome when it came out of the kiln! So the piece was there, on the work table, as my friend and I continued enameling throughout the day. I jumped about a foot when suddenly and with no warning, glass flew at us in a multitude of pieces.
No one got hurt, but it scared me enough that all through the rest of the afternoon and on into today’s enameling session I was super jumpy. Every bit of enamel had popped off (in violent fashion) that bronze metal clay piece.
You'd never guess how rattled I was if you knew what I was experimenting with today. I was purposely mixing COE’s just to test the limits and see for myself. Of course, I still jumped every time I heard a little "tink" sound.
Also, I’ve decided there are two more stages to the look of firing enamel. They rest between “orange peel” and “glossy” and they are “old person’s skin” then “finger print”.
After my (mostly failed) experiments today…
… I went ahead and did a bit of sgraffito. I prefer to end the day with something usable. I’m happy with how these pieces turned out and will probably add small, lightweight disks between them and the earwires in preparation for listing them. They’ll be reversible earrings.