Over the past several years Google has been aggressively targeting website content that does not meet their criteria for “natural” web page content. The purpose of these tactics is to provide search users with the best possible search engine results as well as eliminate websites from the rankings that have used less than legitimate means to boost traffic to their site. One of the major offenders of their recent rounds of changes has been Duplicate Content.

What is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate Content is the same content appearing in more than one location on the internet. It comes in the form of similar blocks of text on two or more pages and can adversely affect the SEO ranking of your website and consequently reduce the number of visits to your site. Although there is no specific penalty just for duplicate content, it can cause search engines like Google to downgrade your website in their results page as their goal is to display only quality, unique pages.

The most common platform where the issue of duplicate content occurs is social media and local directory listings. If you’re promoting your business through sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Yelp, Manta, etc., copying and pasting your own website content for the descriptions of your business, products and services will inadvertently cause duplicate content. This means that your website will have to compete with these authoritative sites.

How it can affect your SEO ranking

Since the Panda update from Google, duplicate content is widely regarded as a major factor in lower SEO rankings. A website with spammy, duplicate text in most cases will quickly be downgraded in Google’s search results. For these reasons and more, unique content for your website is absolutely mandatory.

Types of Duplicate Content

There are two types of duplicate content- internal and external- both of which can drastically lower your web rankings. Internal duplicate content is when you use the same content on more than one web page of your site. For example, if you’re using WordPress, a blog’s category, tag, archive and author pages create internal duplicate content because the same text appears both in these sections and on the individual blog posts. External duplicate content, on the other hand, is when the content on your website is similar to that on another site.

Tips to avoid duplicate content

Here are our three recommended ways to fix duplication of your website’s content.

  1. Rewriting — The best thing you can do is to rewrite your content to make it 100 percent unique. This will fix your duplicate content and greatly help you up your SEO ranking.
  2. Redirecting — If a particular part of content on your website is repetitive, and you don’t need the page, you can choose to 301 redirect it to a better page so Google doesn’t “see” the duplicate content.
  3. Noindexing — If you know that the pages having duplicate content are not important, you can choose to just noindex This way, search engines will understand that the page shouldn’t be considered for ranking. In other words, if Google isn’t indexing the page, the duplicate content doesn’t hurt you.

Follow the above tips to ensure that you draw more customers to your business, rank your website higher and generate more leads.

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci is the CEO of Vinci Digital with over 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising. He partners with mid-size, established businesses as a growth and scalability consultant and strategic branding advisor as well as offering a full-suite of agency services. Gerald calls Carmel, CA home with his wife Safira and two children. He has co-authored two books, and is working on his own upcoming book titled, “Small Business Pricing Mastery – Creating effective pricing and defining value for today’s products and services.”