For website owners and marketers who want to make their brand big online, it is very important for them to have informative and unique content without duplication to get into top results of search engine pages. After all, content is the ruler. So, let’s explore what is content duplication and why does it matter a lot.

What is Duplicate Content?

Simply put, content duplication is a term used in search engine optimization (SEO) field and it refers to the same content that appears on more than one place on the Internet.

Let’s take an example – you write an article and like to share it on other websites to develop your brand. If you end up sharing the article as it is without changes, then it may consider as duplicate content. When search engine such as Google detect duplicate content, they have to make a decision which content is more authoritative and after that, display the most authoritative content in the search results.

Why does Content Duplication Matter?

The next question that hits the mind after what is content duplication is does it hurt SEO? Well, it does a lot!! And the proof is a duplicate content penalty by Google. Thus, if you want to get rid of duplicate content penalty, then you have to first get rid of content replication on the website.

Sadly, duplicate content poses major risks to search engines and website owners. Let’s get into more detail about all these issues.

For Search Engines

Duplicate content can present three main threats when it comes to search engines, and these main threats are: Search engines don’t know the following –

  • Which version or versions to exclude/ include from their indices.
  • Whether they direct link metrics, such as link equity, authority, trust, anchor text, to one page or should they separate it between several versions.
  • Don’t know which version or versions to rank when it comes to query

Thus, wondering what will be the overall result for duplicate content? Then, it will be content that will not have any search visibility.

Read Also : Three Golden Tips To Write Web Content

For Website Owners

Duplicate content on more than one website will make marketers and website owners suffer their rankings and huge traffic loss. Now, when it comes to website owners, duplicate content present two main threats:

  • Search engines rarely display multiple versions of the identical content in order to provide the ultimate search experience. That’s why they are forced to select which version is most probably to be an ideal result. In this way, this enormously dilutes each duplicate overall visibility.
  • Secondly, link equity will additionally be diluted as numerous other websites should also select between all duplicate content. So, all inbound links instead of pointing out to a single content, they link back to multiple content and further, spread the link equity among all duplicates.

Inbound links are one of the most vital ranking factors as it will probably affect the search visibility of the content.

How does Content Duplication Issue Arise?

Generally, website owners and marketers don’t make duplicate content purposely. However, it probably doesn’t mean that content duplication is not appearing out there.

In fact, some estimates depict that nearby to 29% of the internet actually contains duplicate content. Nevertheless, we understand that no one creates duplicate content on purpose. So, here are common ways in which duplicate content is created:

URL Variations:

Some parameters of URL, such as tracking and particular analytics codes are frequently known to make duplicate content problems. This issue cannot only be caused by parameters but also parameters order appears in the URL.

Let’s take an example:

com/ technology-gadgets? cat=4 & color = green is the duplicate of www. technology.com/ technology-gadgets? cat=4 & color= green.

com/ technology-gadgets? color=blue is the duplicate of www.technology.com/ technology-gadgets

Apart from this, another key factor that leads to content duplication is Session ID. It primarily occurs when each and every user visits a specific site will be assigned a session ID i.e. unique, which after that get saved in the URL.

Thus, whenever possible, it is good to avoid adding parameters of URL or URL alternate versions and it is because the information those include can generally be passed via scripts.

WWW Vs Non-WWW or HTTPS Vs HTTP Pages:

If your website has different versions at “website.com” and “www.website.com” and the identical content presents at both versions, you have successfully created duplicates of all those pages. This same applies to the websites that keep versions at both https:// and http://. If the page both versions are live and also, have visibility to search engines, then you may end up with the duplicate content problem.

Scrapped or Copied Content:

Content compromises of not only editorial content and blog posts, but also contain pages of product information. Scrapers republish your content on their sites may be the familiar duplicate content source. However, there is also an issue faced by many e-commerce sites i.e. same product information. If many websites sell a specific product or identical products, then all these sites will surely end up utilizing the same manufacturer’s information for those products.

Thus, identical content will appear in multiple locations across the internet or the web.

How Can You Fix Content Duplication Issues?

Fixing content replicative problems all points down to the same central concept i.e. to specify which of these duplicates is the correct one. Whenever content on a website found at different URLs, it must be canonicalized for search engines. So, let’s explore how you can do this:

  • 301 Redirect

The ultimate way to combat content duplication is to set up a 310 redirect from the duplicate page that to a page which is original.

When various pages having the possibility to rank fine are combined into a single page, they stop competing with each another and also, build a stronger recognition and relevancy all over.

  • Rel=”Canonical”

Another way to deal with duplicate content is by using an attribute called rel=canonical. It direct search engines that a specific page should be regarded as though it is specified URL copy.

  • Noindex, NoFollow

This tag is helpful for pages that should not be appeared in the index of search engines. Internet Bots can creep the page, but it will not index it.

That’s all on content duplication and what role it plays in the search engine results. Search engines do a great job of identifying unintentional duplications, but this guide can help you to give some idea on how to get users and search engines to understand your website.