Avoid Duplicate Content to Improve Website Quality
Most website owners do not pay attention if their content is a duplicate because they are not aware of its consequences. However, if you always post duplicate content, it could be a huge problem for you. One of the problems that this causes is the drop in organic traffic your website has.
Even if Google does not have a penalty for duplicating content, the majority of websites see their traffic drop based on how search engines are.
If there are at least two URLs found on your website that directs people to the same page, the search engine gets confused. You end up forcing it to choose which result is more relevant between the pages that have duplicate content. Many times, Google only chooses the result.
However, not all duplicate content is unacceptable. Google accepts them if:
- The publishing of the content was done in different formats so it adapts to certain types of users. For example: mobile device, and desktop web users. Publishing this in every format will not go against Google’s analysis.
- It becomes acceptable if it is necessary to publish a content piece, but you must also put references and links in different locations. The goal of this is to give the piece more value and it is a legitimate duplicated content.
- Another one they allow is when separate URLs are detected by the search engine index belonging to one domain but refers to the same content
Problems that Duplicate Content Give
The problem is that the page you prefer might not be what Google chooses to show. There are a couple of issues that you may encounter if you have duplicated content like:
- Low authority – If your website has duplicate content, it may turn out as three pages with the same content that shares five links in every piece instead of 15 inbound links. This will only make a weaker version and it will not rank as high as the page’s single version.
- Visitors will get the wrong content – If you want to have an appeal to an international audience using SEO, your page’s version could show up for the wrong visitors. This is not good for business and it wastes time and effort.
Here are some causes of duplicate content:
- Scraped content or copied
- URL variations
- www vs. non-www or HTTPS vs HTTP version
if your page is not part of Google’s search results, that is because your page is not part of the indexes. In this case, your page will not have search traffic.
How to Detect Duplicate Content
The best way to do this is to copy and paste a line of your content into a search engine and check if there are other pages with the exact content. There are other ways to check, and they are:
One excellent tool is Copyscape that checks for any duplicate content your site might have.
Google Search Console
Duplicate content is not only content that is present on other web pages but it can also be found in search snippets. These include meta descriptions and meta titles. Content duplication can be easily detected using Google Search Console by using Optimization > HTML Improvements.
Use Site Search Operator
Search for your site by entering it into the site: search operator together with a piece of your content. Here is the format:
site:www.yoursite.com [piece of content from your site]
if there Google gives you a message about omitting results, it means that there is duplicate content on your site or other web pages.
Ways to Avoid Duplicate Content
Sometimes, the best solution to avoiding duplicate content is to perform a 301 redirect that comes from similar pages directed to pages that you want to have a good search engine ranking. Normally, this is necessary when there is a page that is not exactly duplicated but has similar content and will most likely have the same keyword rankings.
When you do a 301 redirect, the duplicate pages will no longer be available because their traffic will automatically be directed to the page you prefer. Hence, there is no need for you to worry about page authority and ranking that were gained by your redirected pages.
Approximately 90-99% of link equity that duplicate pages gained is moved to your preferred page.
If you have a huge website though, you may need to seek website maintenance services.
This is for content that has a series of pages, which you might have to add so that Google detects that there is a series of pages. That it must start at the beginning, which is page 1.
Google has said that there is no need to do anything for your paginated content because it will be sorted out.
For rel = “canonical”, if you are using a syndicated content, content management, or an eCommerce site, you can easily end up with several URLs or domains that point to one content. In order to combat this, tell the search engines where they will find the original by using the tag rel = “canonical”. If the search engine sees this annotation, they are going to see the current copied page and where they can find it.
Handle URL Parameters
Google parameters cause “infinite spaces” and duplicate content, and this dilutes signals and limit the crawl budget. These are variables that are added to the structure of your URL that carries server instructions that are used for several things. These are sorting items, storing information of user session, filtering items, customization of page appearance, returning in-site results, and tracking ad campaigns.
Examine all types of URL parameters. A URL that does not impact the content significantly like sorting, ad campaign tags, filtering, and personalizing must be dealt with a noindex directive.
Avoid Stuffing it With Keywords
Keywords are very important when it comes to search engine ranking. When a keyword appears several times in your content, there is a higher chance that it will show up in Google’s search results compared to not putting keywords.
However, when it comes to trying to rank high in search engines using keywords, content marketers might stuff keywords into their content.
Keyword stuffing is considered one of the black hat SEO tactics that might incur penalties, and your page will not be part of the search index.
One of the ways to avoid keyword stuffing is to think about how to produce content that is meaningful. You can plan how to give your audience meaningful content, and from here you can think about Google bots. At the same time, writing long posts is a way for you to include keywords without making the density too high.
You should also have fresh and original content on your site by adding a blog. It can help you update website information consistently. Aside from that, it is an excellent marketing tool. However, you must make sure that your blog content is original and it does not come from another blog or site. Make sure to write fresh content that readers will engage with and they would want to share it. You can add keywords to your blog as well.
If you need help in delivering evergreen content, you can always hire Singapore content writers to assist you.
These are four ways you can avoid duplicate content on your site so you can have a high ranking on Google search results.