What You Need to Know About Duplicate Content and SEO

Duplicate Content and SEO

If you see the same piece of content appearing in multiple places on the web, you’ve got duplicate content. For “location,” we use the term “URL,” which refers to the Web address of an individual page. The information can be identical or almost identical, and it doesn’t have to be on the same website.

Duplicate content may not result in a penalty from Google, but it can lower your search engine ranking. Since search engines have trouble determining which position of the content is the most relevant, this happens. There is no single page with maximum search visibility because of this result.

All URLs in a cluster of similar material should be grouped by Google, and the best result should be selected. However, this isn’t always the case, and you could end up with the incorrect URL. Owners of websites that use duplicate content may see a decline in their search engine ranks or a decline in their traffic. Fortunately, you can take steps to keep this from happening to your website.

Why Having a Lot of Duplicate Content a Bad Thing?

Search engines and website owners are negatively impacted by the presence of duplicate material in a variety of ways.

Search engines don’t know which URLs to include or exclude from their indexes. This is one of the most significant problems for search engines. If link parameters (authority, trust, etc.) should be sent entirely to one page or several pages, search engines don’t know what to do. In SERPs (search engine results pages), it’s not always clear which URL will come out on top, and the bad URL can even outrank the good one.

For other websites to include a backlink to the material, they must pick from the many URLs, which reduces the link equity (the credibility and significance that one page passes on to another). Rather than concentrating on one page, the link equity is dispersed between the repeated content.

It’s possible that even if you have URLs that all lead to your website if one includes link properties that make it look hostile to users and Google ranks that version of the URL rather than the original, people may not want to click it.

When compared to yoursite.com/besttrails/?utm content=buffer&utm medium=social, yoursite.com/besttrails/ looks far more appealing. When the second one is ranked by Google, many won’t click it because it appears to be threatening and untrustworthy-looking.

Additionally, duplicate content depletes your website’s crawl “budget.” Google crawls websites to uncover fresh content, and it re-crawls sites occasionally to check if there is anything new to learn about them. If your site has duplicate material, crawling will take longer and use more resources. Consequently, Google may have a more difficult time indexing and re-indexing pages and displaying them in search results.

Google’s Policy on Duplicate Content

Based on Google’s findings:

If it looks that the duplicate content of a site is being used to deceive or manipulate search engine results, then that site should be taken down. Despite this, Google says that it doesn’t punish website owners for most cases of duplicate material.

We’ll also make appropriate adjustments to the indexing and ranking of the sites concerned if we believe that the content is being used to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users. Google may penalize or even remove the site from its index as a result, which means it won’t display in search results.

What does Google regard to be an attempt to deceive and/or manipulate search engine results? Intentionally creating many websites with the same information. Publishing content that has been scraped is also a bad idea, especially if you don’t do anything to improve it.

However, keep in mind that even if Google doesn’t penalize you or consider your duplicate material harmful, it can harm your SEO efforts. If your site has been penalized by Google because of content duplication, you can file a reconsideration request.

What Causes Content Duplication?

It’s rare for a website owner to deliberately provide duplicate content. Google doesn’t penalize it too harshly because of this fact. In addition, there is a big distinction between copying and reusing content.

When you copy content from another website and publish it on your own, you’re doing something called plagiarism. Having multiple copies of the same piece of content online is known as duplicating content.

Duplicate content can appear in a variety of places on the internet. After that, we’ll discuss how to deal with the issue of reusing content.

Pages from the WWW, HTTP, and HTTPS

Websites with more than one version of the same content are considered to have “duplicate content,” and this is a problem because the content will appear on both versions of the site. The same holds for both HTTP and HTTPS URLs.


When an article or a blog post’s comments section takes up several pages, pagination may be necessary. Alternatively, a collection of photographs could be displayed as a gallery, each on its page. On a page with infinite scroll, where fresh material is added as the user scrolls down, this type of repetition can occur.

Variations in URLs

Inadvertently duplicating content can be caused by URL parameters, such as tracking codes. Yoursite.com/sneakers, for example, may appear like yoursite.com/newsletter?utm source=newsletter if you have a tracking code to identify where they clicked through from. Your analytics solutions might have to deal with several entries even if Google and other search engines don’t see this as a problem.

Session IDs can also have the same impact. ‘ A visitor’s actions on a website, such as when they add something to their shopping basket, are recorded in a session. Clicking through to different pages while still in the same session keeps the shopper’s cart intact. Occasionally, the session ID is stored in the URL as a unique identifier. This allows for the creation of numerous URLs with the same content on the same page.

If your material is available in a print-friendly or mobile-friendly format, the same thing can happen. In the eyes of search engines, it appears as if there are numerous pages with the same information. Because.

In e-commerce websites, this is also prevalent, especially when customers restrict search results. The URL remains almost the same, except for additional detail, such as color or size. Navigation that is faceted or filtered is referred to as this. URLs are different, but the content is practically identical.

Even a URL with a single trailing slash will stand out from the crowd. A few good examples are yoursite.com/page and your site, com, page/ To see if there is a problem with duplicate content, simply visit both of the affected pages. You don’t have to worry about it if one doesn’t load. The alternative is redirection.

Some Additional Methods through Which Duplicate Information Is Produced

Product Information for Online Sales:

When a product’s manufacturer’s description is used, it’s not uncommon for different e-commerce sites to have redundant material.

Pages with Image Attachments:

Duplicate material can be created if each picture attachment has its page.

Result Pages from a Search

For example, yoursite.com?q=search-term is added to the search URL.

The Staging Environment consists of: This is a clone of your website for testing purposes.

Pages with Tags and Categories: WordPress creates separate tag and category pages for you when you use a tag or category. When a single page has many categories or tags, this can result in a lot of redundant content.

Ways to Remove Duplicate Content

A setting in your SEO plugin may help with some of the issues stated above. Duplicate content can be avoided by following these guidelines.

Get rid of the Duplicates

The first step is to identify instances of content duplication. Duplicate content alerts can be found using tools like Ahrefs Site Audit and Google Search Console. Type this into Google to identify your website’s duplicate content.

site:yoursite.com in the title: keyphrase

Your whole web site’s pages that include that term will be displayed to you. The easiest way to sort through the results is to use a specific term in your search. Grammarly or Copyscape can be used to uncover other instances of exact-match sentences if you suspect that a certain article has been copied elsewhere online. To discover if it appears elsewhere, try typing a sentence or two into Google’s search bar.

Change the URL of the Content using canonicalization

It’s time to figure out which page is the most important one to maintain after discovering that there is a lot of duplicate content online. That core page is made search engine friendly by canonicalizing it. Canonicalization tells search engines that a URL is a master version of a page and that this page should appear in search results instead of any duplicates the engine may run into. Content can be canonicalized in one of two ways:

301 Moved Permanently

Generate a 301 redirect from the cloned pages to the primary page. In the long run, the main page will become more popular and relevant, which implies that it will rise in the search rankings. You also profit from whatever link juice or page authority that the redirected URL has transferred to the new target.

Rel=” canonical” Attribute

If a page is a copy of another URL, this attribute tells search engines that the primary URL is the one to which all links, metrics, and ranking power should be applied. Each duplicate page should have the attribute, along with a link to the original page, in the HTML head section.

Make sure that your web pages have the rel=”canonical” tag so that bots can’t replicate, download and republish your material. A self-referential property will point to the URL that it’s on at the time of writing. You will still be regarded as the original even if the content is scraped, as long as the bots port the whole HTML code.

Your Domain URLs Can Be Modified Using Google Search Console

If you prefer yoursite.com instead of www.yoursite.com on the Google Search Console, you may specify that as your preferred domain in the Google Search Console. Let Googlebot know how to deal with URL parameters as well if you want to. Some or all of your content duplication may be solved by this. However, just with Google. Other search engines don’t work like that. Webmaster tools are available for platforms like Bing and Yandex.

Additional Suggestions for Avoiding or Correcting Content Duplication

Include both the www and non-www versions of your domain when creating internal links. The same page should always be used with and without the following slash, no matter what. Regardless of the structure you adopt, you must maintain a high level of coherence.

Your material syndicated content should include a link back to the originating source. The URL is not a variant. However, the primary, authoritative URL. Don’t put up placeholder pages. The search engine will index all of your empty pages, making it appear as if you have a lot of duplicate content.

Reduce the amount of stuff that is too similar. Think of a legal website that caters to multiple countries in the region. For example, if you’re talking about personal injury law, each country-specific website may have comparable information. You can keep the pages separate or combine them into a larger one that covers both countries.


It’s not unusual to see a modest percentage of duplicate content. Then there are technical faults that affect hundreds or thousands of pages. It’s also a good idea to eliminate any instances of duplicate content. That’s just a normal aspect of maintaining a clean, fast website. Because, after all, you don’t want to compete with yourself and damage your search engine rankings with content you control.

When you use content marketing services, it is possible to more precisely and effectively determine the duplicate content which helps you to enhance your SERP results. Duplicate material is a rising problem that will take time and effort to address, but the payoff will be well worth the effort put forward.