How Duplicate Content Affects SEO & Why It's Important to Fix

Monday, March 6, 2023
Posted By
Blog by Lucy
Lucy Benson
How Duplicate Content Affects SEO & Why It's Important to Fix

Duplicate content can be a huge impediment to your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) efforts. It can hurt visibility, organic search rankings, and cost you potential customers or conversions. In this blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the effects of duplicate content for SEO and what you need to do to identify it and fix it so that your website is optimised for maximum performance. By learning more about SEO duplicate content and properly addressing it, you'll be able to maximise the power of SEO for your business.

What is Duplicate Content?  

Duplicate content is any material that appears in more than one place on the internet and occurs when two separate websites or pieces of content contain the same information. This can include articles, web pages, product descriptions, images, videos, and other digital media. Duplicate content can be accidental or intentional, but either way, it can have a detrimental effect on SEO, which is why it’s important to address.

Why is Duplicate Content Bad for SEO?

If you’re wondering “does duplicate content affect SEO,” or “does duplicate content hurt SEO,” the answer is absolutely. Duplicate content is bad for SEO because it can lead to search engine penalties, confusion in the search engines, decreased crawl rates, and ultimately lower rankings. Search engine algorithms are designed to recognise and penalise duplicate content due to its lack of originality and potential for manipulation, so it can be a real blow to your website.  

Identifying Duplicate Content on Your Website

Identifying duplicate content on your website can be a difficult task, but it is an important part of ensuring your SEO efforts are successful. It is essential that you address any content that is not unique and is repeated on another page on the site. You can do this by using a duplicate content checker to scan for plagiarism or duplication of text throughout your entire website.

You should also look out for large chunks of identical content across different webpages, even if they have slightly different titles and meta descriptions. A duplicate content checker can also be used to compare the content of two pages and display any matches.

How to Fix Duplicate Content Issues  

Aside from deleting the duplicate content, there are a number of things you can do fix duplicate content issues, including:

Ensure you don’t have multiple URLs directing to the same page  

This can create the appearance of duplicate content. If you decide to keep the duplicate content available, then you should use a rel="canonical" link tag to indicate which version of the content should be used for SEO purposes.

Use 301 directs when moving or deleting pages

By using 301 redirects instead of 302 redirects, search engine bots will recognise that the original page has been moved or deleted and instead direct users and bots towards your intended destination URL. This will help preserve the page rank and trustworthiness associated with those links.  

Double check your title tags and meta descriptions are unique  

Check your website’s HTML code to make sure there aren’t any duplicate page titles or meta descriptions. These should be unique so that they clearly differentiate between similar pages on your website by indicating what makes each page distinct from each other.  

These steps can not only help you to address any current duplicate content on your website but avoid duplicate content in the long run for sustained optimisation and maximum reach.  

What are the Causes of Duplicate Content?

The most common cause of duplicate content is that it was copied or ‘scraped’ from another website without permission or attribution, though this isn't always the case. Other possible causes of duplicate content include:

Automatically generated content:

Automatically generated content is content generated by a script or computer program, such as product descriptions or news feeds, which can lead to unintentional duplicate content if not properly managed.

URL parameters:

When websites generate different URLs that lead to the same page, Google won't know which one to rank higher in the SERPs, resulting in duplicate content issues.

Canonicalisation errors:  

If you forget to set proper canonical tags on your website pages, you could be unintentionally creating duplicate versions of existing URLs and risking a penalty from search engines.

Printer friendly pages:  

Pages made specifically for printing may contain the same content as their corresponding webpage but are formatted differently. This can cause confusion for search engine crawlers and lead to problems with SEO rankings if they're not addressed.

To Wrap Up...

Duplicate content can be a major roadblock for websites hoping to achieve high visibility in search engine rankings. However, by identifying any duplicate content on your website, taking measures to repair them, and understanding what causes them in the first place, you’ll be able to assert yourself in a stronger position in SEO rankings. To get the most out of search engine optimisation efforts, monitoring your website regularly is key.  

If you’re looking for ways to resolve any potential issues around duplicate content or want more advice on how to boost success on your website through SEO, let’s talk today!  

Lucy Benson

SEO Executive @ Creative Ideaz