Duplicate content refers to the content on the internet when it appears in more than one place.
This means that when two different websites have the exact same content, Google will recognize it as a duplicate.
This shouldn’t be such a big deal, right? Well, it is if it isn’t dealt with smartly.
Let’s learn why duplicate content matters so much and what we can do about it:
Why Do Search Engines Do Not Like Duplicate Content?
When two students have the exact same answers on their tests, there are penalties. Similarly, if there is duplicate content, there will be consequences.
While most of us immediately think of a penalty, that’s not really the case. Google wouldn’t penalize the page; instead, it drops the ranking of that page, albeit unintentionally.
The problem is that Google is just an algorithm-based intelligence. Content that is clearly not a duplicate in our eyes can be flagged as one by Google. And we can end in deep water because of it. Here’s why search engines are not big fans of duplicate content:
- The duplicate content could end up confusing the search engine, and it wouldn’t know which version to include in the SERP and which one to exclude.
- There’s no chance that both the pages would rank at the same time since search engines lack the ability to rank in cluster and only choose one page as canonical
- The search engine couldn’t figure out whether to direct all the link metrics to one of the pages, to both, or to divide it between the two.
What Kind of Problems Can You Face with Duplicate Content?
As a result of the aforementioned characteristics of search engines, your website can suffer deeply from duplicate content. You will end up losing ranking, site traffic, and site authority.
In fact, your website could disappear from the search engine results.
Here’s what can happen with duplicate content:
- Search engines want to provide only the best to its consumers. For this purpose, they rarely show multiple versions of the same content. They’d rather choose the best one, and unless you are going to wait with your fingers crossed, there’s something that needs to be done about it.
- One of the major search engine ranking factors is link buildings. With duplicate content, the links are spread out between the two websites. With the link equity spread so thin, the search engine visibility of both websites can be greatly impacted.
- Rewrite your content to fix it. Do not just rearrange it, but rephrase it. Start working on the content using a bottom up approach.
- Try the redirecting technique. In this technique, every selected and hyperlinked word would lead to the page you want the readers to access. However, the hyperlinked words would be different.
There you have it; now you know about duplicate content and how to tackle it!