Tackling the biggest SEO problem – Duplicate content

For most webmasters and search engine optimizers, the word ‘duplicate content’ simply sends down a shiver through their spines. However, the ultimate truth is that all sorts of duplicate content aren’t created in an equal manner. Just because the content is still the king of SEO, there are many who have tried their best to manipulate the search engine results by adopting the ancient approach which is ‘copy and paste’ from already existing content. Google will severely penalize this method and this sends fear to the heart of the search engine optimizers.

Duplicate content falls among any of the 3 categories among which some are:

  • Exact duplicate: When 2 different URLs have the same content
  • Near duplicates: 2 different pieces content have very little differentiators
  • Cross-domain duplicates: Near duplicate content which is there in multiple domains

Consequences and upshots of duplicate content

In case you posted a piece of duplicate content, the search engines will filter it and display something which according to them is the best version in SERPs. Listed below are few of the upshots of using duplicate content in your website.

  • Crawls get wasted: When you have a website, a search bot will come to your site with a definite crawl budget. In case there is too much duplicate content, the budget of the bot’s crawler gets wasted and fewer of your good pages will be indexed and crawled.
  • Link equity gets wasted: When there are duplicate pages, they can gain link authority and PageRank but that won’t be useful in any way. Google will not rank the copied content and this will clearly mean the link authority of those pages will be wasted.
  • Inappropriate listing in SERP: No one is aware of how the search engine algorithms work and hence if you have several pages which have close to duplicate information, you fail to decide which page gets filtered and which the pages that rank are.

If you’re now concerned about fixing issues like duplicate content, you have to use 301 redirects as this is a vital way of removing copied content from your site. One more option is by using your robots.txt file to block those pages which have duplicate content. But Google will not recommend this approach.

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