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At the end of every blog post in a series (50-100 posts), I want to write something akin to "Like always, email me for help..." (about 25-50 words). I also hear that duplicate content is an SEO sin. I figure that I can have an AJAX script load this at the end of every post, but that feels like overkill.

Is there a way to tag a section to not be considered as "part of the document", (i.e. to not cause problems if repeated on many pages)? Alternatively, is there a different solution to this?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You should label the blurb as a footer to the article for semantic purposes, but such a small amount of duplicate content shouldn't matter unless your articles are each only 200 words long.

When search engines talk about duplicate content, they're not talking about having the same image on more than one page, or using a word or sentence more than once, or even having a paragraph appearing on more than one page. They're talking about duplicate content that actually degrades search results and isn't useful to web users, e.g. sites that simply republish existing content from other websites, or sites that duplicate their own content a bunch of times for spamdexing purposes.

It wouldn't make sense for Google to penalize sites just for having standard article or page footers.

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+1 As to the secondary question, there's no real way to explicitly tell the engines "ignore this chunk of the page." You can hide stuff with tricks like your Ajax idea, but it's really just not worth it for the added complexity. As above, the duplicate content thing is really about large amounts of duplication. –  Su' Feb 18 '12 at 10:30
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