Duplicate Content


What is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content refers to content that is similar or identical to content elsewhere on your domain or other domains.

In simple terms, it is content that appears on the Internet in more than a place. If the same content appears at more than one web address, it means the content has been duplicated.

Types of Duplicate Content?

There are lots of different types of duplicate content, however they can be divided into two kinds.

Internal Duplicate Content

  • Internal duplicate content covers elements like meta data, including headers, meta titles, meta descriptions, alt text.
  • E-commerce sites may duplicate product descriptions or be targeting competing keywords for the same products on their site through filtering systems. 
  • URL parameters can also lead to variations of the same URL being indexed by Google crawlers.

External Duplicate Content

  • External duplicate content refers to duplicates created by scraping, which is when a website takes another website’s content and presents it as its own, in order to rank more highly in organic searches.
  • Syndicated content is also a form of duplication, and refers to content that is republished.

How does Duplicate Content Affect SEO?

While Google doesn’t directly punish duplicate content with a Google penalty, it does hurt your SEO.

This is because Google perceives duplicate content as a signal to determine the quality of a website.

If a website is loaded with content that is repeated and reused, Google will assume that the website has little to offer the user.

Duplicate content is usually an indicator of thin and poorly researched content, and Google will not prioritise this on SERPs, causing you to fall in the rankings.

Moreover, when there are multiple versions of the same content over different pages or domains Google crawlers struggle to identify which version to prioritise and index.

How to Avoid and Combat Duplicate Content?

There are a few different ways you can avoid duplicate content encroaching on your site’s success.

1. Adhere to EAT

The best way to avoid duplicate content is to create fresh and unique content that has a high level of expertise, authority and trustworthiness. This will provide more value to the end user, and see your website climb the rankings 

2. Attach a Canonical Tag

If you have multiple pages containing similar content that still benefits UX, then you can attach a canonical tag. This allows you to tell the crawlers which page they should prioritise in SERPs.

3. Attach a NoIndex Tag 

Similarly, if you want your pages to be visible to users, but not the bots, attach a noindex tag to ensure that the crawlers don’t index your page to appear in SERPs.

4. Report It

If you become aware of another website using your content and claiming it as their own, report it using a DMC Takedown Notice.

5. 301 Redirect

Use a 301 redirect to redirect traffic to your most recent content. This will prevent old versions of your URL appearing in SERPs.

How Can We Help?

Struggling with managing any duplicate content on your site? Get in touch and we’ll organise a free strategy session where you’ll create a personalised plan with us to move forward.

If you’re in need of a team to implement your plan then don’t hesitate to ask us!

We could be the perfect fit for your team or, if not, we’ll match you with another highly recommended marketing team through our matching service.