Digital WoM

Is It Safe to Use Duplicate Content on Websites?

Duplicate Content


Regardless of whether duplicate content on a site is accidental or the result of someone stealing blocks of text from your sites, it must be addressed and handled correctly. It doesn’t matter if you manage a website for a little business or an outsized corporation; every site is prone to the threat that duplicate content poses to SEO rankings. During this article, I will be able to explain the way to find duplicate content, a way to determine whether it’s affecting you internally or across other domains, and the way to manage the duplicate content issues properly.

Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is often not deceptive in origin. samples of non-malicious duplicate content could include:

  • Discussion forums which will generate both regular and stripped-down pages targeted at mobile devices
  • Items in a web store that are shown or linked to by multiple distinct URLs
  • Printer-only versions of sites

If your site contains multiple pages with largely identical content, there are a variety of ways you’ll be able to indicate your preferred URL to Google. (This is termed “canonicalization”.)

However, in some cases, content is deliberately duplicated across domains in a trial to control computer programme rankings or win more traffic. Deceptive practices like this may end in a poor user experience, when a visitor sees substantially the identical content repeated within a collection of search results.

What Is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content is content that’s similar or exact copies of content on other websites or on different pages on the identical website. Having large amounts of duplicate content on an internet site can negatively impact Google rankings.

In other words:

Duplicate content is content that’s word-for-word the same as content that appears on another page.

Duplicate content refers to very similar, or the precise same, content being on multiple pages. Keep this in mind:

  • Duplicate content adds little to no value for your visitors and confuses search engines.
  • Avoid having duplicate content, because it may harm your SEO performance.
  • Duplicate content may be caused by technical mishaps and manually copied content.
  • There are effective ways to stop both cases of duplicate content from becoming a difficulty, which we’ll discuss during this article.

Why does duplicate content matter?

For search engines

Duplicate content can present three main issues for search engines:

  • They don’t know which version(s) to include/exclude from their indices.
  • They don’t know whether to direct the link metrics (trust, authority, anchor text, link equity, etc.) to at least one page, or keep it separated between multiple versions.
  • They don’t know which version(s) to rank for query results.

For site owners

When duplicate content is present, site owners can suffer rankings and traffic losses. These losses often stem from two main problems:

  • To provide the most effective search experience, search engines will rarely show multiple versions of the identical content, and thus are forced to settle on which version is possibly to be the simplest result. This dilutes the visibility of every of the duplicates.
  • Link equity will be further diluted because other sites need to choose from the duplicates moreover. rather than all inbound links pointing to at least one piece of content, they link to multiple pieces, spreading the link equity among the duplicates. Because inbound links are a ranking factor, this may then impact the search visibility of a bit of content.

The net result? a bit of content doesn’t achieve the search visibility it otherwise would.

 Is Duplicate Content Bad For SEO? 

Officially, Google doesn’t impose a penalty for duplicate content. However, it does filter identical content, which has the identical impact as a penalty: a loss of rankings for your websites. Duplicate content confuses Google and forces the programme to settle on which of the identical pages it should rank within the top results. no matter who produced the content, there’s a high possibility that the initial page won’t be the one chosen for the highest search results. This is often only 1 of the numerous reasons duplicate content is bad for SEO. Here are other obvious reasons why duplicate content sucks.

Internal Duplicate Content Issues

On-Page Elements

To avoid duplicate content issues, ensure that every page on your site has:

a unique page title and meta description within the HTML code of the page

headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) that differ from other pages on your website

The page title, meta description, and headings frame a minimal amount of the content on a page. However, it’s safer to stay your website out of the grey area of duplicate content the maximum amount as possible. It’s also a wonderful thanks to have search engines see value in your meta descriptions. If you can’t write a novel meta description for every page as you have got too many pages, then exclude it. Most of the time, Google takes snippets from your content and presents it because of the meta description anyway. However, it’s still better to jot down a custom meta description if you’ll, because it may be a critical element in driving click-throughs.

Product descriptions

Understandably, creating unique product descriptions is challenging for several eCommerce companies, because it can take lots of your time to put in writing original descriptions for every product on an internet site. However, if you would like to rank for “Rickenbacker 4003 Electric bass,” you have got to differentiate your product page for Rickenbacker 4003 from all the opposite websites offering that product. First example of a replica product description Second example of a reproduction product description If you sell your products through third-party retailer websites or produce other retailers offering your product, then provide each source with a singular description. If you wish your product description page to outperform the others, take a look at our article on the way to write an excellent product description page. Product variations, like size or color, should ideally not air separate pages. Utilize web design elements so all the variations of a product are kept on one page.

URL Parameters

Another common issue with duplicate content found on eCommerce sites (though, not exclusive to eCommerce) comes from URL parameters. Some websites use URL parameters to make page URL variations (for example, ?sku=5136840, primary-color=blue, &sort=popular), which could result in search engines indexing different versions of the URLs, including the parameters. If your website uses URL parameters, try Portent CEO, Ian Lurie’s article on URL parameters duplication entitled The Duplication bowl of Death.

WWW, HTTP, and therefore the Trailing Slash

An often overlooked area of internal duplicate content is around URLs with:

www ( and without www (

http ( and https (

a trailing slash at the top of a URL ( and without a trailing slash (

A quick way to check for these issues is to require a piece of unique text from your most useful landing pages, put the text in quotes, and look for it on Google. Google will then rummage around for that exact string of text. If over one page shows up within the search results, then you may look closely to work out why that’s happening by first looking into the likelihood of the three options listed above. If you discover that your website either incorporates a conflicting www vs. non-www or trailing slashes vs. non-trailing slashes, then you should find a 301 redirect from the non-preferred version to the popular one.

Note: there’s no SEO benefit to using or not using www or the trailing slash in your URLs. It’s a matter of private preference.

External Duplicate Content Issues

If you have got a big amount of valuable content, there’s an honest chance that it’ll find yourself being republished on another website. As flattering as this could be, you may have to do without it. Here are the various ways duplicate content occurs externally:

Scraped Content

Scraped content is when a website owner steals content from another website in a trial to extend the organic visibility of their site. Webmasters who scrape content may also try to have machines “rewrite” the scraped content they stole. Scraped content can occasionally be easy to spot because the scrapers sometimes don’t bother to interchange branded terms throughout the content. How the manual action penalty works: a person’s reviewer at Google will review the web site to see if a page is compliant with Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines. If you’re flagged for trying to control Google’s search index, you may either find your website has been ranked significantly lower or faraway from the search results entirely. If you’re the victim of scraped content, you ought to inform Google by reporting the webspam under the “Copyright and other legal issues’ ‘ option.

Syndicated Content

Content syndication is when another website republishes your content that, presumably, originally appeared in your blog. It’s not the same as getting your content scraped because it’s something you volunteered to own and share on another site. As crazy as this could sound, there’s a benefit to syndicating your content. It makes your content more visible, which may cause more traffic to your website. In other words, you’re trading content and possibly program rankings for links back to your site.

You vs. Duplicate Content

Let’s face it; you didn’t work so hard to provide original content to possess someone to steal your work and outrank you within the search results.

The growing threat of duplicate content can seem overwhelming and can likely require much time to combat, but the work involved in managing it’ll be definitely worth the ROI. If you follow the recommendation given and find serious about managing duplicate content, you’ll improve your rankings and keep off scrapers, thieves, and clueless newbies.

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