Today we often read and hear about duplicate content or the plagiarized content posted on different platforms or locations on the web. But do you know that the duplicated content is suitable for your SEO or a bad thing? Have you ever considered a group or queries revolving around duplicate content? I am sure that you must have not even thought anything about it.
There’s a lot more to consider and work on the duplicate content. Let us start with a common myth related to the identical content, and then we will get into the depth of the topic.
We often hear about a myth that Google will penalty the users that post duplicate content. However, it is no more than a myth, but the reality is different. Instead of the penalties only, it costs a lot more than that directly affecting your website traffic and overall rankings.
When there is more than a copy of similar content posted on different platforms, it gets hard for the Google search engine to retrieve the content’s most relevant document. That is how your ranking and website traffic is affected. So if you are not familiar with the issues or consequences the duplicate content posting may generate, then you have come to the right place.
Here we have compiled everything you need to know about it. Giving it a more straightforward start, let us first get familiar with the duplication content’s definition. What does the duplicate content exactly mean and everything associated with it? Let us delve into the topic nicely to have a clear vision of it.
What is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content is the one that entirely matches or is identical to some other piece of content. Duplicate content usually appears on the internet in more than one place where one place is considered the unique web URL. So if the same content appears on more than one location, it seems to be duplicate content.
Let us take an example of the identical versions of content across the web and what happens to it.
Suppose we have three identical versions of content across the web so that the search engine will index each of them. These versions could be some product descriptions that are found through some distinct URLs. So now, if the search engine doesn’t want to list the same content that has appeared multiple times for s single query, it will filter the best version of the content URL to rank in the top results with good user intent. Google usually does a great job at this.
It turns out the duplicate contents confuse the search engines, and if they cannot tell which content copy is original, then all the versions of the content will struggle to rank. Or if the search engine is forced to choose one copy over another, it will result in a diminishing of the other versions.
So, don’t you think that it affects your page’s SEO? Well, isn’t it more sensible to eradicate the supplicate content or minimize its harmful impact on your website’s SO or rankings? The answer is yes, indeed. But to your surprise, now it is diagnosable to check on the duplicate content issues. But before that, let us see why does it matter!
Why Does Duplicate Content Matter?
The duplicity of content matters as it not only affects the overall performance and ranking but also gives rise to some primary issues for the search engines. This includes:
- They don’t know which versions to exclude and have from their indices.
- They don’t know which version to rank for the query results.
- They don’t know whether to direct the link metrics to one page or separate them between multiple links.
Talking about duplicate content, when some duplicity is present on the website, the site owners can suffer traffic loss and rankings. These ranking and traffic loss can
How Does Duplicate Content Affect SEO?
Similar or identical content can affect your search engine performance in several ways. Duplicate content is not only bad for SEO but is terrible in every manner. When we consider the case generally, using someone else’s content without even citing the person can affect the overall image.
Talking specifically about the duplicate content concerning the SEO, the identical content can be proven as a bad aspect for the company. Google has enormous data, but still, it can quickly figure out the duplicate data placed on different platforms. Although Google does not support penalty users for publishing identical content online, it can affect ranking online.
The users utilizing black hat tactics can face the worst effects as using the copied may lead to the removal of the web pages from Google’s search results for the reason to manipulate the search engine index. So, what is the fun of using duplicate content when you have to pay this much? So, let us dig into the reasons that the same content affects.
1. Loss of traffic:
People prefer SEO to attract traffic towards their online source. But what if your small mistake will lead to the loss of traffic? Isn’t it wrong to cope with? Indeed it is.
Well, duplicate content can lead to the loss of traffic. People strive to drive more traffic towards their business website to rank higher on the search engine result pages popularly known as SERPs. Well, to understand it better, let us check out the following scenarios.
When you have multiple redirecting URLs leading to the same page the Google may serve your client or searcher an unappealing version that may distract them from clicking on your link.
For instance, consider the following:
While checking on the links mentioned above, the third URL is considered as unappealing as it includes the strings that do not provide any value to the target audience. However, the first link delivers everything the searcher needs to know about the page.
There is no such case like Google will put a penalty on you for using duplicate content as you have three different web pages, including the same information. But as the uninterrupted user experience is an imperative ranking factor, the Google search engine favors the web pages with specific details.
It may be complicated to identify the original copy, but sometimes the chosen version is not the one you prefer to rank or drive visitors to it.
2. Ruined SEO Rankings:
Suppose you have a web page that is accessible through distinct URLs. Each of them may get external backlinks. It divides the link equity among them and effectively diminishes the chances of ranking an appropriate version on SERPs. In short, it results in the ruined SEO rankings that you earned after a lot of hard work.
How to Identify Duplicate Content?
Identifying duplicate content is a crucial task as it is intricate to understand the same content and issues concerned with it. Most of the time, people intend to create duplicate content, but we can say that almost thirty percent of the content is picked from the web.
What are The Causes of Duplicate Content?
1. HTTP vs HTTPS and www vs. Non-www web pages
A website with an installed SSL certificate will automatically be the two new and separate website versions. The one content with HTTP:// and the other with secure version HTTPS://. Most websites will have www prefix variations that are visible to the search engines and live too.
It indicates that there will be four separate versions of each page competing for the same ranking and search visibility. This includes:
So, if all these are live, separate, and endowing the users with the same content, the website will run into some issues due to the duplicate content. And in the same way, it can be said for the trailing slash. So if the web pages are using the trailing slash, then the duplicate pages without a trailing slash will automatically be created and vice versa.
2. URL Variations
The URL parameters, like analytics code or tracking, can generate URL variations that may duplicate content issues. These URL parameters are added to the Url’s parts and often visible after the ampersand, a question mark (?), or an equals (+) sign.
Talking about some e-commerce websites, these URL parameters can serve the content based on the product groups or some specific searches. They help the users narrow down the result window; they can generate multiple duplicate pages and give rise to identical or same content issues.
3. Session IDs
The e-commerce websites allow their visitors or users to store the items in their wish list or cart while browsing the other pages. This whole data is then stored in a session ID, which is unique to each user. The session ID is usually added to the URL to generate a new URL that customers can utilize to access the website. Unfortunately, web crawlers identify these separate URLs as duplicate content.
4. AMP, printer-friendly, and mobile versions
While the format changes online, the content remains the same, and therefore the content available on diverse versions can be considered duplicate content. For instance, consider the following:
- URL: 123.com
- Mobile URL: m.123.com/page
- AMP URL: 123.com/amp/page
- Printer-friendly URL: 123.com/print/page
5. Comment Pagination
Based on the content management system, the pagination technique can spread the comments across multiple pages. Although, this results in more duplicate content as the article adds one comments page after another.
The businesses located at multiple locations sometimes find it complicated to generate the unique content and choose an alternative to use templates for the local audience they serve. It leads to the instances of exact match copies or the near-duplicates on their sites.
Everything we have discussed so far includes the internal supplicate content, while the scrapped content is an external issue. It pertains to the duplicates and the third-party people stealing the content from your website and republishing it.
Now that you are well familiar with the duplicate content and the essentials, you need to know how to avoid it so that it doesn’t affect the website ranking and overall online reputation.
How to Avoid Duplicate Content?
Undoubtedly, it won’t be easy to reverse the damage caused due to the duplicate content devoid of a solid grasp of technical SEO. So, it is always the best way to avoid the same content. Knowing how much duplicate content is acceptable will not change the fact that it leaves some harmful impacts on your website’s traffic and rankings.
And, undoubtedly searching for duplicate issues and then fixing them can be a time-consuming process. The best way is to get an experienced writer who can write unique content, which will help you improve SEO performance by attracting the targeted audience and boosting web traffic.
Also, you can check your hands on some high-quality tools used by SEO to resolve the matter. But the optimum solution to duplicate content is to write the content uniquely and improve your web rankings.
The content plays a crucial role in the overall SEO strategy and website rank improvement. So, the website holders must attract traffic with original and unique content with an eye-catching outlook offering the products or services in the best manner.
It is always best to avoid duplicate content to get better website rankings and genuine traffic to your website. Applying the SEO techniques alone will not be enough as the content also adheres to the essential value. So it will be best if you use some best SEO practices with unique content.
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