- What Is Content Duplication?
- Is Duplicate Content Bad for SEO?
- What Are the Reasons for Duplicate Content?
- How to Check for Content Duplication?
- How to Fix Duplicate Content Issues?
- Duplicate Content and SEO – The Takeaway
What Is Content Duplication?Long story short: duplicate content means that the same text appears on a few different websites or in a few different places on one website. It is usually associated with plagiarism or copying content from someone else, however, it can also occur in other situations. It’s possible to distinguish two types of duplicate content - external and internal. In the first case, the same pieces of content can be found outside of your website. In the latter, the problem occurs on your page (for example, there is the same article on a few subpages). Many e-commerce sites face the problem of internal duplicate content. Although owners of online stores boast unique descriptions, they seem to forget that they shouldn’t add the same description to a few product pages (e.g., different color versions). Both in the case of internal and external duplicate content, the problem is caused either intentionally or as a result of neglecting some technical issues. It’s important to mention that regardless of the reasons, duplicate content has a negative impact on SEO.
Is Duplicate Content Bad for SEO?As it’s been already mentioned, both internal and external duplicate content doesn’t support SEO and it decreases website visibility in the search results. The Panda algorithm introduced in February 2011 is used to detect duplicate content and reward websites with unique and valuable texts. Thanks to it, pages that are a quality source of information are ranked higher in the search results.
What Are the Reasons for Duplicate Content?According to Google, duplicate content typically results from oversights or a lack of knowledge of website owners. So, what are the reasons for external and internal duplicate content?
External Content Duplication
1. Copying Descriptions from a Different WebsiteIf other websites copy your content or if you copy content directly from them, we deal with external duplicate content. Imagine that you run a dropshipping store and you take some product information directly from other websites (e.g., manufacturers’ sites). As you may guess, many entrepreneurs who are supplied by the same manufacturers act the same way and use the same content which leads to external duplication.
2. Duplicating Content from Different WebsitesSellers and website owners who realize that content should be reliable, frequently decide to copy it from trustworthy platforms and websites like Wikipedia. However, instead of supporting SEO and improving your website positions, it can bring the opposite effect, as such websites usually have really high parameters and are therefore ranked higher than the pages with copied content. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Google wants to show users content that’s best suited for them and unique. Copying and pasting texts from other websites won’t do the job in this case.
3. Publishing the Same Content on Various ChannelsIf you publish the same product, service, or company descriptions on various platforms like Amazon or Facebook, you’ll also need to face the negative consequences of external duplicate content. Keep in mind that paid articles or guest blog posts shouldn’t include the same exact information as your website content. Otherwise, your external duplicate content will increase.
Internal Content Duplication
1. Identical Category and Product DescriptionsIdentical categories and product descriptions are a real problem in e-commerce. We realize that it’s beyond the bounds of possibility to come up with unique descriptions for each product if you offer tens or hundreds of similar versions that practically don’t differ. Fortunately, thanks to technical optimization it’s possible to deal with it. Keep in mind that internal duplicate content may also be caused by filters, parameters, and blocks of the same content published on subsequent subpages (terms and conditions, footers).
2. The Main Page is Available Under Several AddressesIf our home page is available under several different addresses, this may be one of the reasons for internal duplicate content. So, if your home page URLs look like these:
- http://www.website-address.com/index.html or