Should You Worry about Duplicate Content on Your Website

One of the most debated areas of SEO is the role duplicate content plays on search engine results rankings. Whether an identical content penalty exists or not is another big question of debate among many SEO’s. However, what is duplicate content? From time immemorial, duplicate content on the web is content that closely resembles content elsewhere.

In most cases, duplicate content comes on the site or offsite. When this is detected, depending on how Google sees what you have on your website, they may choose to give your website low visibility in their search results. If you run a business, this is something you would like to avoid.

Some of the scenarios that would warrant a website as duplicate include the following:

  • Copying other website owners content
  • Having other people copy content on your site to theirs, a practice known as content scrapping
  • Copying product descriptions from manufacturers on ecommerce websites
  • Creating printer versions of your website, yet let them get crawled by the search engine crawlers for indexing
  • Displaying the same content through separate url parameters
  • Having proxy servers with various versions of the site

As to whether search engines have a duplicate content penalty for the website if it carries an amount of duplicate content is a different matter altogether. According to the Google webmasters blog, the developers and engineers at Google have refuted the claim for the existence of an active duplicate content penalty.

However, for websites, which clearly perpetrate duplicate content issues on their search engine for manipulation or malicious purposes, Google reserves the right to mete whatever punishment they want at their discretion. Therefore, if you continually use other people’s content for malicious reasons and Google finds out, then your website will be nicked.

According to their briefing, their intention is to give searchers new information, which is not only relevant, but also unique. To do this, they want to do so with as few domains and url’s as possible. Therefore if your site is seen to be in violation of any of these guidelines, chances are, they risk action being taken against them.

Dealing with duplicate content:-

Considering that your websites search engine performance can be affected by duplicate content, the following are some of the ways you can use to deal with duplicate content.

  • Always have the habit of rewriting the content on your website on a regular basis. More so, if you run an ecommerce website with different manufacturer content, consider rewriting these each time for maximum benefits. Moreover, using duplicate content checker Plagspotter on your site will ensure no duplicate content passes.
  • Learn and use the best redirection techniques to ensure that your pages are accessible through definite, single URLs. Implementing rel=canonical tags and using permanent 301 redirects is the best way to do it.
  • When you are doing your link building, be consistent. Google will give prominence to the site link you promote more. This will help you avoid the masking, which comes from duplicate content technically.

Hope this guide aid you a lot.

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