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Dealing with Duplicate Content

Jul 25, 2018, 13:39 PM | Published under Search Engine Optimization by Michael Hodgdon

The Importance of Finding a Duplicate Content Checker and Resolution to a Duplicate Content Issue on Your Website

web page duplicate content

Did you know that almost 21 billion web pages see visitors every month? Or that their visitors consist of more than 409 million viewers?

Amazing, right?

With that amount of content online it’s no mystery why Google takes the position it does about duplicate content. In March, 2017 Google updated its Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines which outlines some great information on search placement. In that document they state; “Important: The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC (main content) on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated Lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source.”

For company’s and SEO’s that are having trouble ranking their pages and weren’t responsible for curating the content on the site, it’s a best practice to identify that all the content on the site is original and well written.

According to Google’s John Mueller, “if we can recognize that these pages have the same content on them or the same primary content on them then we’ll try to fold that into one and make sure that all of the signals we have focus on that one page”. Knowing this, it’s clear that being aware of duplicate content on your website is imperative.

That's why you need a powerful duplicate content checker. The longer it takes you to get rid of potential duplicates, the more they can hurt your SEO campaign.

We'll show you the ropes on this topic, so make sure you keep reading!

Getting to Bottom of Duplicate Content

First, let's talk about duplicate content, one of the most misunderstood aspects of web content.

 

Google defines it as "substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar."

In a more layman's term kind of way, it's content found on one page that has an exact copy (or almost the same) on another page or site.

So... How can that happen?

For instance, you run an ecommerce site. You use the manufacturer's product description word-per-word on the product's specific page on your site. There's nothing wrong with this.

The problem is, other suppliers of the same product may think the same way. As such, they also use the exact manufacturer-provided description on their own web pages/sites.

That's duplicate content right there.

Another example is using the same description for different pages. This is common with websites offering same products in different sizes, colors, or those that only have few varying features.

Content duplicates can also occur when a company owns and manages several - as in multiple - websites. For example, a company bought two URLs in the hopes of getting more traffic. If one site features what the other does, then that's duplicate content.

Why You Need to Get Rid of Duplicate Content

Whatever your reason for having potential content duplicates, it's time you address the matter. But why does it matter in the first place? Will Google or search engines penalize you?

First things first: There's no such thing as a Google penalty for duplicate content. If there was, then that would have eliminated as much as 25% to 30% of what the web contains today.

That's all thanks to the search engine's algorithms designed to keep webmasters away from the effects of duplicate content.

But there's more to the story. Yes, Google doesn't treat these as spam, but only to a certain point. The search engine giant can still penalize websites found duplicating content with malicious intent.

That means something along the lines of plagiarizing for one's own financial rewards. Or duplicating content to increase rankings.

 

All these said, you may be thinking that "I don't have any malicious intent, I don't have to worry about duplicates." The thing is, you still should. Because even if you don't receive a penalty, it can still mess with your SEO efforts.

For instance, when search engines encounter duplicate content on two of your web pages, it won't know which one to rank. It'll have issues determining which page has more relevance to the search queries of users. This can then lead to search engines ranking neither of the two pages.

In other words, both pages may not even appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). That can deal a huge damage on your SEO campaign since your primary goal is to rank after all.

The First Step to Getting Rid of Duplicates: Use a Duplicate Content Checker

Seeing as your duplicate content doesn't have any malicious intent, it's likely you haven't kept track of which pages or sites you have these copies on. Finding them can be a real time-consumer. But, you still need to locate all those exact copies, as it's the first step to addressing this issue.

A duplicate content checker, as the term suggests, lets you find out whether you have duplicate content. It's one of the fastest ways to get those duplicates down and avoid ranking problems.

Best Duplicate Content Software's

Free Duplicate Content Software

  • Duplichecker- Plagiarism checker for free plagiarism detection with immediate results
  • Google alerts – For small blocks of content, quotes, or titles this is a good solution.
  • Grammarly- World's Most Accurate Online Grammar Checker. Easily improve any text. Eliminate grammar errors. Detect plagiarism.
  • Plagspotter- Enter Web Page URL to Find Its Copies on the Web
  • Siteliner – Enter your website address and find duplicate content, broken links, and more...

Paid Duplicate Content Software

  • Copyscape – Offers both a free and premium service.
  • Plagiarismcheck.org- A reputable plagiarism-checking tool based on advanced technology

With such a tool at your disposal, you'll have an easier time locating both internal and external duplicate content. Internal duplicates are those found within the same website. External are those that you'll find on other websites.

The best checkers can detect same texts found on several pages within the same URL, as well as those on other domains. Use this, and it'll make hunting all those duplicates (even the ones you forgot you have) a cinch.

Best of all, you'll find any websites that may have copied your original content without your knowledge!

More Anti-Duplicate Content Tips

orginal quality content

It's impossible to not repeat any words or phrases when curating your content. But it's a big no-no to use the same blocks of text on other pages.

So, once you find instances of duplicate content through the checker, go through each one of them. Note down those that you should work on (like exact product descriptions).

If you have the technical know-how, you should also consider canonical links. These will direct search spiders to the page you want to rank while still retaining UX (user experience) on your website. This works well on ecommerce sites, and forums that may have different versions of the same page.

Last, but not the least, make sure you create fresh, original, and relevant content. Your duplicate checker will also come in handy during these times, since you can use it to confirm your content (or parts of it) doesn't appear on any other page or URL.

Remove Duplicates Now to Keep Your Site Search-Engine Friendly

Removing duplicates can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially since you did so without any malicious intent. However, Google's and other search engines' priority is to make it easier for users to go about their searching activities. So, for them, duplicate content is duplicate content.

Don't wait until you experience the rank-ruining effects of these exact copies. Use a duplicate content checker now to start stripping your website of these same texts!

Also, for more useful SEO tips and tricks to help boost your ranks, head to our blogsite now.

About the Author

Mike is the Marketing & SEO Director at Infront Webworks. An online entrepreneur since 1997, he has owned or run website design / SEO, online marketing and internet advertising companies for over 15 years. Featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Colorado Springs Business Journal and with projects featured in N.Y. Times, L.A. Times, he has a solid track record of successful online undertakings. He is a certified Yext Partner, Google Certified in Analytics, Tag Manager, AdWords, Online Display Advertising, Shopping and Video Advertising.

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