Duplicate content

The content which is available on multiple URLs on the search engine is duplicate content. Duplicate from the name itself is repeating of two or more exact similar pieces of content from different websites. And since more than one URL displays the same content, search engines might not accept both the webpages and lower their ranks.


There are two major aspects of duplicate content
  1. Internal content 
  2. External content 


Internal Duplicate  Content 

  • Duplication of On-page content, that includes not having a unique meta description and title tags in the HTML page code. 
  • Duplicate product description, if you have an eCommerce website make sure you don’t duplicate product description from another website’s product of the same category. Try to keep the description as original as possible. 
  • Try to avoid using URL parameters to create variation in the page URL, which could lead to indexing different versions of your URLs including the parameters by the search engines. 
  • WWW, HTTP, and Slash are areas that are often overlooked but play a very important role for duplicate content. You will find that your websites might have www or no www, slash (/) or no slash, then you might have to set up a 301 redirect. 


External Duplicate Content 

  • Scraped content, is when a website content writer steals the content of another website to increase its organic visibility of the website. In that case, the webmasters can even penalize your website for scraped content.
  • Another external content duplication aspect is syndicate content, which occurs when some other website republishes your content, this mostly happens with blogs. 


What are the impacts of Content Duplication on SEO 
  1. It leads to less organic traffic. Since the content is copied from another website, Google doesn’t want to rank your website higher. It might not even consider your website. 
  2. Content Duplication might lead to a penalty that often points out to deindexing your website completely from search engines. 
  3. Fewer indexed pages because Google refuses to index too much duplicate content and the reason why some of your pages are not shown in the search results is that your crawl budget might have been wasted on duplicate content. 


How to Check Duplicate Content 

You can check if your content has been duplicated through exact match search, or Copyscape which is a free tool to check if your webpage content duplicates content from other websites. Small SEO tools like plagiarism checkers show the uniqueness and duplication of your content. 


Best practices to avoid duplicate content 
  • Check for the same content on various other URLs
  • Watch out for indexed pages 
  • Ensure if your websites redirect accurately 
  • Indulge in 301 redirects 
  • If you find out your content is duplicating another website then delete the content, redirect it or add the canonical tag