Google doesn’t like twins much.

That is to say, Google penalizes Web pages that it deems to be near-exact copies of existing Web pages. It won’t let them appear in search results.

You can understand why. If you have a page that ranks highly for a certain keyword, “South Florida real estate,” for example, Google doesn’t want you making nine more copies of it and dominating the entire first page of search results.

So Google rewards the first page it finds with all the search engine mojo it deserves, and slaps subsequent copies with a “Duplicate Content Penalty.”

So how do you avoid this penalty? Here it is, straight from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines:

• Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.

• Avoid… “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.

• If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.

[Ed. Note: Howie Jacobson is an expert in using Google AdWords to create monster sales for your online business. Get his complimentary AdWords ER Report “Why Most AdWords Campaigns Fail – and How to Make Yours Succeed” at www.AskHowie.com.]

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