Duplicate content in SEO means that a text from a different web page was copied, re-purposed, and passed off as their own by another website.
Simply put, duplicate content is considered content that can be seen on the Internet in more than one location. By Google’s definition of duplicate content, it usually does not come with malicious intent.
Duplicate content is mostly due to technical issues from a mistake made when setting up the website or webpage. Unfortunately, these little mishaps can lower your ranking.
Aside from human errors, some parts of the content are originally from a particular website which is imitated and reused by another. This act might bring about penalties if proven to have a malicious end. Below are two categories (with some specific scenarios) that led to the occurrence of duplicate content.
To be clear, translated content where you localize your content to be available in different languages to accommodate different countries is not duplicate content. However, if the websites are incorrectly translated by a form of software or tool, Google or other search engines might think of the contents as spammy duplicates.
Another example of non-duplicate content is exhibiting the same content on your mobile as your web version. Google has a different set of search bots for mobile sites, so it will not affect your SEO ranking in this case.
If it so happens that you encountered having an unresponsive website and you want it to have a native app version, you can visit GoNative to create an app of your own.
To avoid any SEO curses associated with duplicate content, it is best to perform precautionary measures within your website and across all websites. There are many duplicate content checkers that can help you do the job:
Copyscape – a paid tool that can help you identify if there are parts of your content that are similar to blog articles already available on the internet. It is fast and efficient. It quickly points out any duplicate content by highlighting them and providing you an overview of how your content measures up to published content. It also provides a percentage of how original your article is.
Grammarly – is a free writing assistant that readily detects improper use of grammar, punctuation, spelling, or word choice. The premium account provides suggestions on how to improve writing style, and it also has a feature that detects plagiarism from billions of web pages.
Duplichecker – a tool that quickly investigates the article’s originality. There is a limit of 50 searches a day per registered user.
Siteliner – allows you to do monthly check-ups for duplicate content on your website. Added perks of Siteliner are it helps identify broken links and pages that are doing well in terms of ranking.
This is one tough case to crack because the algorithm of the leading search engine Google keeps on changing. According to Matt Cutts of Google, about 25 to 35 % of web content is considered duplicate content. And get this *cue in the drumroll, please* Google does not penalize websites with duplicate content.
However, if your whole site consists of republished content without any additional value, Google will not permit you to rise above other websites. There is no exact percentage that Google considers allowable for duplicate content, but as a general principle:
You should not expect your website to rank well in Google if it contains content that is available on more reputable and established websites. Furthermore, if you are only generating content automatically and putting zero effort on adding value to it, do not expect to earn a rank at all.
If you want to reach the top, then what you need to put out there is an original canonical version of text or content that offers significant value.
Duplicate content matter to search engines because they will not be able to identify which versions should be removed from their list. It also poses a problem regarding how SEO metrics will be associated only to a single page or to record everything across multiple versions.
Finally, it will be hard for search engines to pinpoint which version of your website is to be displayed on the search results.
In line with all of these, duplicate content can harm your website’s ranking and experience less traffic to your actual webpage. The traffic losses arise from two things.
First, search engines will not display all the versions that have the same content. Instead, it will choose the version that seems to have better content. In this sense, the traffic will decrease the visibility of all the duplicates. Next, link equity will also be affected.
Even other websites will have to select which is the best link to work with. Asa result, the links will be distributed among all the duplicates, instead of all of them directing it into a single webpage.
According to the list of duplicate content causes, the majority are due to inconsistent URLs or links. Standardize your link structure to prevent such problems from occurring. Also, make use of canonical tags. It is easy to program your preferred URL by checking your Google Webmasters account and adjusting your preference.
CMSes let you curate your blog content through categories and tags. When users do searches using tags and categories, the results that usually appear are the same. Because of this, bots might consider them duplicates. There are three methods to implement canonical tags:
Utilize noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from forming indices of your pages that have duplicate content.
Earlier it was mentioned that translated content is not considered duplicate content. However, there may be instances of it becoming so. To avoid that, add hreflang tag to facilitate engines in finding the correct content version.
The above-mentioned procedures to remedy duplicate content issues can also be done to prevent duplicate content occurrence. Furthermore, the below tips can be taken to add more preventive measures depending on the cause of duplicate content.
Dozens of SEO experts will tell you to never duplicate content on purpose. Other ways to avoid troubles with duplicate content is similar to some of the most basic SEO tips that you are probably already familiar with. These strategies will need you to go back to the basics.
How can you get original content? Simply by starting a blog and focusing on making unique, rich, and engaging content that your readers will gladly share with other people.
For websites with products, incorporate user reviews is so easy and effective. This user-generated content is guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind and can double as a marketing strategy that effectively attracts potential customers. For Amazon affiliates, you should customize product descriptions on your websites and refrain from copying what can already be found on the manufacturer’s website.
It does not need to be complicated, by following these tips, you will never have to be concerned about duplicate content issues again.
This post was last modified on January 21, 2022 6:41 pm