When it comes to SEO, we always run into all kinds of problems, and columnist Ryan Shelle believes that duplicate content is one of the easiest problems to solve. In this article we'll walk you through why duplicate content is the easiest to fix and what you should do.
The term "duplicate content" terrifies many webmasters and SEOs. But the truth is, not all duplicate content is created equal.
Since content is a core element of good SEO, many people try to manipulate results by using the old "copy and paste" method. Google penalizes this approach, so it should make your heart dread.
However, don't panic if you accidentally create some duplicate content on your site. Below, we'll take a look at how Google handles duplicate material, and I'll share some tips to ensure your site's content is fresh and unique.
To better understand how Google handles duplicate content, you need to read their overview here. If you fear punishment, let me help you cite this abstract from the article above more easily.
"Unless the intent of the duplicate content is deceptive and to manipulate search engine results, duplicate content on a site is not a reason to take action against that site." - Google
Okay, so now you know Google isn't here to crack down You, but if you have duplicate content, you should take some time to clean it up. Duplicate content is generally divided into three categories: exact duplicates, approximate duplicates, and cross-domain duplicates.
• Exact Duplicate: Two URLs have the same content.
• Near Duplicates: There are minor differences between two content segments.
• Cross-Domain Duplication: Exact or near duplicate content exists across multiple domains.
Duplicate content can come from a variety of different factors. In some cases, site-licensed content is available to users elsewhere; poor site architecture flaws can also play a role. Plagiarism leads to duplicate content, and in my opinion the most common cause is a problem with the CMS.
While all of these can create problems, we must address each in a concrete way. Before discussing prompts, let's talk about the consequences of duplicating content.
Duplicate Content Consequences
If duplicate content is posted inadvertently, most of the time, search engines will filter it out and display what they think is the best version in the SERPs.
Sometimes, they filter out all fragments before indexing them. Users want variety in search results. So crawlers and engines are doing their best to make it happen. Here are some common consequences associated with duplicate content.
• Wasteful crawls: Search bots come to your site with a crawl budget. If you have a lot of duplicate content, you're wasting your bot's crawler budget, and your unique, high-quality pages have little chance of being crawled and indexed.
• Wasted Link Authority: Duplicate pages can gain PageRank authority and link authority, but it won't help because Google doesn't rank duplicate content. This means you're wasting your link authority from these pages.
• List of errors in SERPs: No one knows exactly how search algorithms work. So, if you have multiple pages with exact or near-duplicate information, you can't decide which pages are filtered and which pages need to be ranked. This means that the version you want to rank may be suppressed.
How to Avoid Duplicate Content
Having duplicate content on your website is not useful to search engines or your end users. That said, you can prevent negative effects by caring about the problem.
Here are a few ways you can fix the duplicate content problem you're having.
• Use 301 redirects: This is a useful method telemarketing list if you plan to remove any duplicate content from your site. Since some of these pages may already receive links, it's a good idea to permanently redirect these pages to the correct URL. And in this case, this will tell the user, and more importantly the search bot, where to find the appropriate content.
• Block with robots.txt: Another option generally recommends using a robots.txt file to block crawling of duplicate pages. However, Google does not recommend this approach, saying: "If search engines cannot crawl pages with duplicate content, they cannot automatically detect that those URLs point to the same content and must therefore be treated as separate, unique pages".
• Use rel="canonical": Linking elements with rel="canonical" is a good option if you plan to keep duplicate content. This step tells the search bot which version of the content is the "real" version. Add this tag to the title of your duplicate content with the following link:
This code tells search bots where to find the real content.
While duplicate content is a problem that can hurt your position on the SERPs, it's not as scary as many people think. Google and other search engines generally won't punish you unless you're maliciously trying to manipulate the SERPs.