Duplicate content can seriously affect your SEO efforts because the issue occurs in search engine processes since duplicate content brings some technical changes to search results. So in this article, we will discuss why duplicate content is an issue for SEO. Plus, on-page SEO elements won’t be able to work. First, we need to provide a brief definition and analyze how it works.
- 1 What Is Duplicate Content?
- 2 Is Duplicate Content Harmful?
- 3 How to Fix Duplicate Content?
- 4 Why Should You Avoid Duplicate Content on Your Website?
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions on Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is extremely similar to the content on other places and websites on the internet. It can be a piece of content posted to another platform to reach a larger audience. It usually lives in a URL and on a different domain. It is mostly the result of a sub-par technical implementation. It can refer to content published across multiple domains. So you may accidentally duplicate pages on your site, or someone can take your content and publish it as their own. Google considers three things as duplicate content:
- The content might be copied from an identifiable source. The easiest one is in text format that can just be copied and pasted.
- The content might be changed slightly. This means it is slightly rewritten from the original.
- Content can be copied from a source that has changed. That page may contain dynamic content. (Wikipedia)
Google does not impose any kind of penalty for duplicate content. But it performs identical filter content. So it can be considered a penalty because it affects your on-page SEO elements and search engines. Your web pages won’t be on the front pages. It confuses search engine bots and forces them to choose one identical page to rank in the top results. That is why there is a possibility that original content and producer won’t be chosen for the top search results.
When duplicate content confuses search engines, it can frustrate users, raise bounce rates and hurt your traffic. It leads to inaccurate results. Also, crawl bots or spiders spend a certain amount of time on a website. So too much duplicate content wastes crawler time and keeps your best content or pages from indexing. As a result, all duplicate pages will get less visibility. It affects equity too. Inbound links will point to multiple pieces.
It also affects user experience since users can get confused if they repeatedly notice the same content on your website. They may never revisit the website or webpage.
How to Fix Duplicate Content?
You can find duplicate content by using specific tools. When you find it, you can fix duplicate content by following these steps:
- Build a 301 Redirect.
A 301 redirect indicates that a URL has been moved from the duplicate page to the original one. It is a good choice if you don’t want the duplicate page to be accessible. Because when you consolidate separate pages onto the original one, the page will tell search engines which page to rank or index. This will help search engines index ‘correct’ pages.
- Adding a Canonical Link Element
You can prevent SEO duplicate content by adding the canonical tag. It will tell search engines that the current page is duplicated. Add the “rel= canonical” attribute to the HTML. Enclosed is the URL with quotation marks.
- Using the Meta Data robots Noindex tag.
You can add the meta robots; no index tag is a snippet of code you add to the HTML head of the page to enable search engines to crawl links on a page. So they can exclude those links from their indicates. It is the best solution to duplicate issues relating to pagination.
- Demand content scrappers to remove content from their site.
You can ask them to take down the content or credit you as an owner and link it back to your website because it is illegal to scrap content without the permission of an author or a website owner unless you send backlinks to them.
You must avoid duplicate content because it affects your SEO and ranks your website lower. It doesn’t make it easy for both search engines and users. Search engines confuse which webpage to show and sometimes show duplicate ones. So the original content gets ranked low. Regarding users, duplicate content is very bad for the user experience. Because users get confused when they see the same content over and over. As a result, they may never visit that website again. So your content and website get ruined in user experience, SEO, and rankings. So you need to avoid duplicate content. These are the common ways:
- Duplicate URLs
- Canonical Tags
- Parameter Handling
- Meta Tagging
You can spot duplicate content using Google. Other search operations will help to find them.
This article explains duplicate content, why it is harmful to SEO, and how to avoid it. Duplicate content negatively impacts your website, user experience, and ranking. Because it affects SEO, preventing you from ranking higher. It also impacts on-page SEO elements. You must avoid it by following specific ways, such as redirecting and adding canonical tags. These tips will help you to fix the issues. When it comes to scrappers, you need to get the author’s permission or refer to them as a reference. Also, the author should ask scrappers to send backlinks.
Frequently Asked Questions on Duplicate Content
Is duplicate content still bad for SEO?
Yes, duplicate content is still damaging SEO and impacting search engines.
What does Google do to duplicate content?
Google does not penalize, but automatically it is forced to choose one of the webpages or sites and marks it as canonical. So they will be crawled most compared to duplicate ones.
Is it illegal to copy website content?
Yes, it is illegal unless you have the author’s permission or provide the author as a reference because all digital content enjoys copyright protection.