Don’t let the gleaming new material you worked so hard to create fade away. Here’s everything you need to know about duplicate content and how to avoid it. The dreaded “duplicate content penalty” is one of the biggest SEO misconceptions.
Do you want to learn an SEO secret?
The term “duplicate content penalty” is a misnomer. You will never receive a warning from Google Search Console informing you of a duplicate content penalty. However, just because your site has the same or similar material on several pages or even multiple sites doesn’t mean it’s not being penalised. When Google comes across the same content on a site – or numerous sites – its algorithm determines which content to rank.
Google appears to rank the erroneous content in the vast majority of cases. And if that happens, the gleaming, valuable information you toiled over might as well vanish as Wonder Woman’s jet.
Duplicate content is exactly what it says on the tin. When the same copy appears on two or more web pages, this is known as duplication. Duplicate content can arise on your own site or on a site that you don’t have control over. Items like footers and other text that makes sense to be on numerous pages are not considered duplicate content. Because of pagination – or how your website is designed – Google recognises this content isn’t the “core” of what you’re attempting to express.
You should look for duplicate content.
Even seasoned SEOs, I’ve discovered, rarely check for duplicate material unless at the start of the process – during Technical Discovery. This is a blunder. Someone scraping your site and posting your content as their own can result in duplicate content. It also happens on websites since unique content is difficult to come by, and it’s often faster to merely cut and paste content for comparable pages. Setting up a routine to check for duplicate material is a good idea. Some programmes check duplicate information on a regular basis and give an alert when it is discovered.
There are a variety of tools for checking for duplicate content. Three separate tools are used;
Semrush is our first choice – The site audit report in Semrush looks for duplicate material, but just on the domain. As a result, we employ a second programme to keep track of duplicate content and other portions of the Internet.
Copyscape has shown to be the most effective, but there are many more options.
We also use Grammarly, which has a fantastic Chrome extension for quick site scans.
The majority of the tools are intended for use by teachers etc and others who need to check for plagiarism. These tools aren’t specifically designed to discover “duplicate material,” yet they do a terrific job of it.
The major search engines, as far as I’m aware, have not defined what constitutes duplicate material. Many SEO professionals have sought to clarify the difference between similar and duplicate content. I still want the all material be at least 30% distinct from the rest of the copy.
For this, I use an ancient “keyword density” programme. Several technologies compare two bits of content and calculate the duplicate percentage
You should be able to locate one that works for you by searching for “duplicate content checker” or “keyword density tool” on Google.
It should be simple to fix duplicate content once you’ve discovered it. All you have to do now is make your content stand out. However, it is more complicated than it appears. We’re all aware that Google favours content that demonstrates knowledge, authority, and trust, or EAT. The rewrite can be stiff when a writer edits identical content they’ve written. It’s simple for duplicate text that has been corrected to resemble a 5th-grade book report in which the student simply rewrote what was in the Encyclopedia Britannica. To avoid duplicate content difficulties, it’s usually best to have a writer who isn’t the original author of the content.
One piece of advice: don’t show the content that needs to be rewritten to the new writer.
Allow the next writer to start from the beginning. This nearly ensures that the new duplicate will be one-of-a-kind.
Fixing duplicate content concerns on sites with a lot of it can be tough. In ecommerce environments where products are identical, we frequently find a lot of duplicate material. I recommend that you avoid using automatic solutions to fix duplicate material on huge websites. These automatic methods frequently produce illegible pages that do not convert, which is something no one wants. My recommendation is to identify each page and assign other authors to rework pages that they did not write. If that’s not possible, rewrite any duplicate content on category pages at the very least. If you don’t have the time or money to edit every page, having your category pages properly set up provides you the highest chance of making a sale. When this happens, we notice that category pages rank slightly higher and that conversions occur on category pages.
And even if they do rank, it’s possible that they won’t stay there if Google gets confused and doesn’t know which piece of material to rank. It may take a long time to fix thousands of pages with duplicate content. It’s tempting to utilise automated solutions to resolve duplicate content issues, but resist the urge. Take the time to go over the site with a professional writer and come up with original, authoritative material for each page.
However, keep in mind that not every product description needs to be written in Pulitzer-winning prose. In almost every scenario, being clear on product sites converts better than attempting to be witty or cute. The most important thing I’ve learned about removing duplicate content is to hire new authors.
It is always effective.
For more info on how to work with (or without!) duplicate content, feel free to drop me a line!