Duplicate content is the site’s worst enemy.
It can rank your website lower in search engines. Web developer & SEO experts must handle duplicate content efficiently.
This article by Best SEO company will discuss ways to handle duplicate content in a productive manner.
So let’s get started.
What is duplicate content?
Duplicate content is when a single piece of content appears to be available in multiple places on the web. Duplicate content can be harmful to search engine rankings and should be avoided.
Duplicate content can occur when there are multiple versions of a web page with the same or very similar content. For example, you have duplicate content if you have two versions of your home page, each with different headlines and subheads but the same body text.
As experts of leading web development company will tell you that duplicate content can also occur when multiple pages have identical or nearly identical content. This is especially problematic for search engines like Google because they use this information to determine how relevant they think a particular page is to a query. Suppose the same content appears on multiple pages that are supposed to rank for different queries (or different variations of the same query). In that case, it will confuse how Google ranks those pages against each other.
How does duplicate content affect SEO?
Duplicate content is when a website has multiple pages that contain the same information. Duplicate content is a common problem for SEO, as it can lead to Google penalties or even demotion in search results.
A leading SEO company in Mumbai will tell you that duplicate content issues can affect both on-site SEO and off-site SEO. On-site duplicate content issues include having multiple versions of the same page, using noindex tags on entire pages or portions of pages, and using canonical tags incorrectly. Off-site duplicate content issues include having the same piece of content appear on multiple sites across different domains (particularly if different companies own those domains).
Duplicate content on your site can impact your overall performance in search engines in several ways:
- Duplicate content can hurt your rankings because Google sees it as spammy. Suppose you’re duplicating large amounts of content on your site (for example, by republishing articles from other sites). In that case, Google will likely see this as spammy and rank you lower than sites with more original content.
- Duplicate content can confuse users. If you have multiple versions of the same page on your site, it will be unclear which one is the most accurate and up-to-date. This can cause confusion among visitors who may think they’re looking at the same thing they saw yesterday or last week — when in reality, it’s an older version of what they’re looking for.
- Duplicate content makes it difficult for search engines to determine what belongs in their index. When there are multiple versions of the same content across different pages on your website, it makes it tough for search engines to accurately determine which version should be included in their index and which ones should be ignored as duplicate pages.
- Duplicate content can dilute the value of links to your site. If you have links pointing to multiple URLs for the same piece of content on your site, Google may choose not to count those links toward your ranking. For example, suppose you have a link from an external source that points to www.example.com/page1 and another external source that also points to www.example.com/page1. It could be difficult for Google to determine which URL is more relevant and authoritative than the other — so they may decide not to use either one when calculating search results rankings for your site.
Type of Duplicate Content?
There are two types of duplicate content, and both can cause an issue:
- Inside the Domain
Duplicate pages on your website are among the most common types of duplicate content issues. This happens when multiple versions of the same page exist on your site — for example, if you have two pages about “Contact Information” or two pages about “Our Services” — or if you have the same blog post or article showing up on multiple pages of your site.
- Outside the Domain
Similar pages on different domains cause this type of duplicate content. For example, if you have two versions of a blog post on two different sites (or even subdomains), that’s outside-domain duplicate content. It would be best to make sure all of these copies are updated regularly so that they’re all accurate and up to date.
Inside the Domain
Duplicate content inside your domain is a common problem with websites. Duplicate content can be seen in the form of duplicate pages on your website, duplicate titles and descriptions, or even duplicate images.
The SEO company in Mumbai will tell you that problem with having duplicate content is that it makes it harder for search engines to index and rank your content properly. If you have two different pages on your site that are very similar in content and structure, then it can be difficult for search engines to know which one should be ranked higher in their results. This is because they don’t know which one is more important or relevant to what a user is searching for.
For example, let’s say that you had two different pages about “washing machines,” but only one of those pages was actually about washing machines (the other page was about dryers). When someone searches for something like “washing machines” on Google, one of these pages might show up first in their results because the page contains more relevant information. However, if both pages were shown within the same Google search result page (or SERP), then there would be no way for users to tell which page was more relevant to them without clicking through each individual result separately. This could lead to confusion or frustration among visitors searching for the product.
Outside the Domain
The most common type of duplicate content is when you have been plagiarised. This happens when someone else takes your work and republishes it on their site without giving credit. Many people don’t realize that this is actually illegal – copyright laws protect original works from being reproduced without permission from the author.
If you find that someone has copied your content without permission, there are several things you can do about it:
- Please contact them yourself to request that they remove it.
- Contact their web host or ISP and ask them to remove the offending material (this may not be effective if they are using a free hosting service)
- File a DMCA takedown notice with Google – this requires some knowledge of how Google’s algorithm works but can be very effective in removing unauthorized copies of your work.
How to Find Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content is the worst nightmare of any web developer. It affects your SEO and makes your website look suspicious to Google. Duplicate content can result from having more than one copy of the same page on your website, or it can be caused by bad crawling.
Here are some tools that will help you find duplicate content on your website:
Google Search Console: This tool allows you to enter a URL into the search bar and see what Google sees when it crawls that page. You can also use this tool to see if there are any request issues with your website. If you have too many redirects or 404 pages, this could impact your rankings.
Copyscape is one of the best tools for finding duplicate content on the internet. You can use it free for up to 1,000 pages or get a paid subscription for more than that. This tool compares all the URLs on your website with those on other sites and then gives you a report showing which ones are duplicates and where they are located.
Searchmetrics: Searchmetrics is another great tool if you want to find duplicate content on your site. It checks all the links on your site and compares them with links from other websites. This tool works very fast and gives results within seconds of running it on your site!
Ahrefs Site Audit – This tool lets you analyze all the pages on your site, including how many backlinks each page has, how much traffic each page gets, and so forth. It also gives recommendations for improving SEO across all pages on your site (including fixing any duplicate content problems).
Duplichecker – Duplichecker is another useful tool for finding duplicate content on your website. It uses an algorithm that checks whether two pages have the same content or not, but it doesn’t report exact matches. Instead, it reports “high-level” matches using fuzzy matching algorithms. The tool is available as a free cloud version or a paid desktop app with more features (e.g., batch processing).
Sitebulb – Sitebulb is a web crawling tool with an inbuilt duplicate content checker, which you can use to scan your site’s URLs and find out if there are any duplicates!
Screaming Frog – This tool searches for duplicate content on a website and broken links and redirects. It also has an XML sitemap generator feature that allows you to create an XML sitemap for your site so Google can index it more efficiently.
Solutions for duplicate content issue
There are several ways to handle duplicate content issues on your website. Here are some solutions:
- Content audit
A content audit is the first step to tackling duplicate content issues. This involves analyzing all the existing contents on your site and identifying which ones are duplicates of each other. You can use Copyscape, Google Search Console, or any other given above to perform a content audit.
- Create unique titles and meta descriptions for each piece of content
You should create unique titles and meta descriptions for each piece of copy to stand out from each other when displayed on search engines’ results pages (SERPs). For example, instead of having one title tag that reads “Get The Best SEO Services In Town”, try using different variations like “Get The Best SEO Services For Your Website”.
- Use rel=”canonical” attribute
The rel= “canonical” attribute is a special HTTP header that tells search engines which page version should be indexed.
The canonical link element indicates which URL you want to include in your search engine index. It’s typically used on a page with duplicate content, and it helps Google know which version of the content should be indexed.
If you have more than one URL for the same piece of content, you can use canonical link elements to specify which URL should be indexed by search engines, which can help prevent duplicate content issues.
Here’s how it works:
The rel= “canonical” attribute tells search engines which page they should consider the original or authoritative version of the content. When multiple URLs are pointing at the same page, this attribute lets Google know which page to use in our indexing (and ranking).
To help prevent duplicate content issues and improve your site’s performance in search results, you should add rel= “canonical” attributes to all pages with similar or identical content.
- Use noindex meta tag
You can use a meta tag called “noindex” in your header file to prevent search engines from indexing certain pages. For instance, below is an example of this.
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>
An expert website developer would tell you that, however, this solution is not advised because it can cause other problems in the future, such as:
The page will still appear in search results but with no links, making it harder for users to find your site. If you want your page removed from Google’s index, you should use their URL removal tool instead.
- Linking back to the original content
Duplicate content is often created when search engines index different page versions due to broken internal links or external links that point back to a similar URL.
If you find that this is happening on your site, make sure that each page version links back to the original version and not just itself. This way, any time someone clicks on one link, they’ll be taken directly to the original piece of content — which is exactly what you want them doing!
Duplicate content can cause big issues, not only for search engines but also for users and webmasters. But by educating yourself on the problem, you can avoid bad outcomes. In this article, we’ve examined what duplicate content is, how it affects search engine optimization and how to find it on your own websites. Armed with this knowledge, you can avoid being penalized by Google or other search engines while improving the quality of your website. Another thing you can do is to optimise your URL which will also greatly improve your site ranking, if you want to know how then check out our blog url optimization: how to make seo friendly urls in 2022.