Web content creators are in a rush to get their content out there. According to Statista, Google currently has 86.86% of the search engine market. It’s no surprise that as a content creator, you would want the most popular search engine to pick you. However, creating content is not easy. It requires time and resources sometimes, which is not available. As a result, some content creators try shortcutting their way to victory and take content off other pages. But here’s how duplicate content affects the SEO:
What Is Duplicate Content?
It is content that has an exact copy of someone else’s content or similar content. Sometimes having similar information is not plagiarism as it is inevitable. Suppose you and twenty other people are writing an article about education in the pandemic. The chances of you using the same research and stats are very high. They ultimately may end in articles that look similar to each other. However, that is fine. Therefore, on the internet, duplicate content has categories.
What Are The Types Of Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content falls under two headings which are:
It is when content belonging to one domain uses multiple internal URLs to create duplicate content.
These are also called cross-domain duplicates. It occurred when two or more different domains have similar pages.
What Does Duplicate Content Do For Your SEO?
The search engine doesn’t favor duplicates, especially if the content is identical. It may end up reducing your ranking. As a result, your webpage may have trouble landing a top position in the search engine’s results. Duplicate content also confuses the search engine and forces it to pick between identical copies. Therefore, many web content creators employ canonical tags. If you’re new to this, you can easily use the Beginner’s Guide to Canonical Tags to understand how this is fundamental in helping the search engine rank your page.
What Causes Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content can be intentional or unintentional. Unless you’re actively copying off someone else’s content, you shouldn’t feel guilty about having duplicate content. Here’s how you may end up having similar content on your web page:
You can accidentally have identical URL addresses and how your URL address appears for the search engine. Sometimes printer-friendly versions may end up shuffling the webpages and cause duplicate content to form.
It also happens when visitors are visiting your web page. You must assign them a session. A session entails what activity a visitor did while visiting your website. Such as filling their shopping cart. The session ID needs to be stored so that their data is safe when a visitor comes back. As every session ID is unique, each time a visitor visits, it creates a new URL, causing duplicate content.
HTTP vs. HTTPS
You can access a website either as ‘www’ or simply the website.com. The search engine may read both URLs separately and so will rank them differently. You may have a case of duplicate content on your hands.
Content has a broad definition. It includes blogs, infographics, and videos. Bloggers who post content from other websites confuse not only the search engine but also complicate the users. Suppose your customers are looking for a product. Maybe they end up on the duplicate page and end up purchasing a fraudulent version of your product.
How Can You Solve the Issue of Duplicate Content?
To Fix duplicate content, you need to know which content pertains to the right one. If you have content that spreads over multiple URLs, you may need to canonicalize it for the search engines. Here’s how you can do this:
It is one of the best ways to deal with duplicate content. With a 301 redirect, you lead the search engine away from the duplicate page to the original page. It informs the search engine to view all duplicate content as one entity and keep them from competing. It also boosts the site’s relevancy and raises the ranking.
It is another way to deal with duplicate content. You inform the search engine that all duplicate content is a copy of the original URL. The search engine should give the ranking power to the original URL alone. Make sure you add rel=canonical to the HTML head of the same version of every page.
Meta tags are a handy resource. One such meta tag is the meta robots. If you use the Noindex value, you are essentially informing the search engine not to follow your content’s links. It is essential because you may have good links for your blog but not your ranking power. In search of good content, the last situation you want is your ranking power to drop. Using a Noindex is essential when it comes to duplicate content.
Keep Track Of Your Links
Your links should follow the same URL structure. Consistency is the key. If you have chosen to keep your URL with a ‘www,’ make sure all the links that end up on your website follow the same rule. Don’t fill the website with random links without confirming the URL structure.
Make Sure Link Goes To The Original Content
When you’re taking a link from another page, make sure the link leads to the original content and not a different version of the URL. It helps give more validity to your content and prevents the search engine from confusion.
It is an excellent time to introduce another concept called the URL factory. It is good to have a script hand to avoid duplicate content. It ensures all URL parameters are in the same order. You also provide the search engine with the signals you want to pick up instead of letting the search engine find your duplicate content and rank it.
Duplicate content may be the reason why your ranking may be suffering. It reduces your SEO ranking as it confuses the search engine. It ends up picking what it deems suitable. Causes of duplicate content can be because of an incorrect URL, copied content, or simply not having a URL script at hand to set parameters. Ensure that you have a set URL parameter and apply the same rule for your links and 301 redirects where possible, along with canonical tags.