Duplicate content refers to large blocks of content within or across websites that either completely matches other content or is extremely similar.
Duplicate content is an issue for many webmasters & website owners.
Having duplicate content can lead to search engine ranking problems for your website on Google and the other search engines.
Although there are currently no duplicate content penalty in search engines, your website might not rank as well as it could if your content can also be found on other pages on your site and other websites. Google’s ranking algorithms also filter duplicate content so that it can look like a penalty.
In the bulk of instances, website owners do not intentionally create duplicate content. However, that does not mean it is not prevalent. According to some sources, up to 29% of the web is duplicate content.
What is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content is web content that appears on the internet in more than one place. If you post items of content from different websites on your own website, this is near duplicate content for Google. It is also near duplicate content if you use all the content from another website with different template content (headers, footers, navigational elements, etc.).
According to Gary Illyes, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, near duplicate content is a piece of content that was slightly changed.
While not technically a penalty by search engines, duplicate content can still sometimes impact your search engine rankings. When there are multiple pieces of that are as Google calls it, “appreciably similar” content in more than one location on the internet. It can be challenging for search engines to decide which version is more relevant to your search query.
Why is duplicate content an issue?
Google attempts to index and show pages with unique content. If the content of a page is found on multiple pages. Google only displays one of these pages in the search results. Unfortunately, this might not be the page that you want your visitors to land on.
How to fix duplicate content issues
Removing duplicate content from your pages will have a positive influence on the rankings of your web pages and provide a positive web experience for your users. There are various things that you can do to fix any duplicate content issues you may find on your site. Here are some suggestions you or your website developer can do:
- Use the rel=canonical attribute to notify Google about your preferred version of a page. For most duplicate content problems, this is the best solution
- Always use the same link to a page when interlinking on your site, for example, do not link to /page, /page/index.htm and /page/
- Avoid long boilerplate or template text on all pages. It is best to link to a page with this content instead
- Redirect the duplicate web pages with a 301 redirect (301 Moved Permanently) to the original page. In this case, the alternate pages will not be displayed in the search results
- Use 301 redirects to redirect your visitors to the correct pages on your website
- Syndicate your content thoughtfully. If the websites that show your content are more popular than your own websites, they will be shown in Google’s search results
- Use country-specific domains for country-specific content. Use domain.de instead of domain.com/de
- Avoid similar pages. If you have several pages with similar content, you might consider merging them into one page
- It is not necessary to block duplicate pages in your robots.txt file and it is also not necessary to use a no-index attribute on these pages.
Still not feeling sure what to do? Adworx Digital can work together with you to fix your duplicate content issues and help bring new visitors from search engines.
In addition to a website audit or providing unique SEO copywriting, Adworx Digital offers many more services that can help you to get better rankings