In August of 2012, Google, notoriously silent on the subject of their algorithms, announced that takedown requests based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, also known as DMCA and DCMA, will negatively affect a site’s search engine rankings.
This information should be of special concern to sites that use “borrowed” content or sites that re-write a competitor’s content just enough to squeak by Copyscape. The powers that be at Google have made it abundantly clear that they don’t want to see the same content with different words; they want to see something that offers something unique to its viewers.
How Will This Affect Insurance Websites?
If you browse different insurance websites, you’re likely to find yourself reading the same information over and over. Sometimes the words are changed slightly, but sometimes not. The companies that run these websites are making themselves vulnerable to DCMA, or DMCA, reports. The greater the number of reports, the lower the company will appear in the search rankings.
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Protect Your Website with Unique Content
To maximize your search engine optimization, or SEO, don’t look to your competitors for inspiration. Instead, meet with your marketing team and choose keywords and phrases that are most descriptive of your agency. Rather than just “car insurance,” for instance, perhaps you sell “discount car insurance,” or “accident forgiveness car insurance.”
Once you have come up with five to 10 keywords that describe the products and services you provide, sit down and write fresh copy for your company’s website. Writing fresh SEO content isn’t always easy. You may be tempted to take a peek at your competitor’s sites to see what they are doing. Avoid the temptation. Keep reminding yourself that the most-used search engine does not look kindly upon duplicate articles.
If your staff gets stumped trying to develop unique content, consider hiring an experienced copywriter to write or re-write your website.
Protect Your Material
Be vigilant about protecting the copyrighted material on your website. Every month or so, paste a few sentences from your content into your favorite search engine. Ideally, no other results will come up. If other sites are using your material without permission, contact them and ask them to remove your material immediately. If that fails, file a DMCA takedown request. If nothing else, the record of that request should knock them lower in the search engines.
Figuring out algorithms isn’t easy, but Google has given you an important part of the puzzle. The more effort you put into ensuring that your insurance website content is original, the more likely you are to place higher in search engine rankings.