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Is It Possible to Get Penalized for Using the Same Template?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by proweb, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. proweb

    proweb Regular Member

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    Just a quick question.

    I'm designing sites from scratch (not wordpress), and am using the same dimensions, image names, and coding for each site. Each site is unrelated to the other site (as in completely different market). The only thing I'm changing is the graphics and text. Could this pose a threat if I'm hosting all these sites on the same server?

    Here are the things that are similar:

    • Image dimensions and sizes
    • Page width
    • Same number of tables (all same sizes)
    • Images have similar names (header, footer, body, download, etc.)
    • Hosted on same server
    • Hosted on same IP
    • Same CSS Script
    I'm not going to interlink these sites, but I may use the same blog network for backlinks every now and then for a handful of sites.


    Could this pose a threat? Again, everything is unique except the HTML and CSS coding.


    I know this may sound silly, but I've have had Google suspend my AdWords accounts in the past because my site's resemblance was similar to another site's.
     
  2. UrsuAke

    UrsuAke Power Member

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    This is a real possibility. However, you won't get sandboxed if you have quality and unique content on every single site, and the IP Class of the server hosting is different for each one. But I really urge you to add unique templates to each website (for sake of authority and CO.)
     
  3. RBseatown

    RBseatown Junior Member

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    If it were me, I'd probably switch over to something more flexible like Wordpress. You want a different theme for your sites, especially when they are all on the same IP.
     
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  4. proweb

    proweb Regular Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I guess I'll design a new layout next time, which I hate doing because the current one I'm using has already been tested and optimized for increased visitor stay time, site interaction, etc.

    I would use wordpress, but the way I'm monetizing these sites requires detailed layouts and high graphics relevant to the niche I'm targeting. So if I were to use wordpress, I would either have to pay a couple hundred dollars to hire someone to build custom themes or build them myself which would take about two days.

    So it's easier and faster for me to just design a blueprint in Photoshop and then overlay the images/colors i want to use, then cookie-cut everything into a working website.


    - On a side note, I just used the page-checker on webconfs*com/similar-page-checker.php and the highest similarity I've seen between my sites is 17%. Is that too high for sites of two different subjects in your opinion?
     
  5. proweb

    proweb Regular Member

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    Ok, I just tested a bunch of different wordpress themed site's for page similarity.


    • All sites were in the top 10 Google results
    • Tested about 6 different sites
    • All sites were hosted by wordpress
    • All sites were completely different subjects/niches
    Page Similarity Range: 7% to 17%
    Average Similarity: 12%


    So to me it looks like my sites are just at the peak of acceptable. I'm going to try to get their similarity down to 12% or less.
     
  6. akazzz

    akazzz Regular Member

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    OP, if you don't mind me asking me a question here.

    Why would Google penalized you for having the same theme across all your websites? (assuming all of them are under 1 IP)
     
  7. JFoulds

    JFoulds Power Member

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    From my pespective, if someone is going to develop a QUALITY website they will not be making 10x different websites which all look the same. I don't believe it dramatically disadvantages you but it makes the website look like less of an authority website compared to a totally unqiue one in Google's eyes (IMHO)!
     
  8. Yukinari84

    Yukinari84 Elite Member

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    Using the same template across all of your sites may or may not result in a penalty, but it is definitely a footprint.

    If you have the same template, the same or similar writing style(content formatting and "voice" i.e. style of writing), and have all or a lot of your sites hosted on the same account, you are leaving a really big footprint which may end up hurting you in the long run.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  9. resistancee

    resistancee Registered Member

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    It's defo a footprint but I've done exactly the same thing. My sites are all unique & real content, class IP, not in webmaster or adsense e.t.c. so there is nothing to really connect them.
     
  10. raven123

    raven123 Regular Member

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    Footprints are bad...mkay?

    Seriously, this is a huge footprint that you want nothing to do with. Don't be too stubborn and switch to wordpress. It will be well worth it in the long run.
     
  11. greggggg

    greggggg Regular Member

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    Where can I check site similarity?
     
  12. akazzz

    akazzz Regular Member

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    I dont understand this footprint stuff. If I'm not linking my sites together then leaving a footprint should be ok, right? Only if I'm interlinking my sites together then having the same theme can leave a footprint for G to penalized you.

    Correct me if I'm wrong here. Still not too sure.
     
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  13. white92

    white92 Regular Member

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    i agree with you ;)

    >> http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=4548a733824bf349

    or >> http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=7448943912780620
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  14. sefstar4uk

    sefstar4uk Registered Member

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    All i can say is that using the same template of your or other sites, may raise a red flag to Google that you are a linkfarm, which they frown on.