You may have duplicate content on your site, and this is easy to do with many content management systems. There may also be copies of your content online from web scrapers, auto generated blogs, high authority news sites and content mills that mass produce text written by people who may not be experts in their field.
There is no greater frustration for an SEO than fighting duplicate content issues the client may not know about.
There are multiple kinds of duplicate content that you may inadvertently have on your website. Find out how to remedy this problem and fix your search engine optimization problems.
- Article Syndication Republishing articles of online authors is not recommended, and you should have the original content on your website. If you do syndicate content, make sure you get a backlink from the article. You don’t want your original article to be construed by search engines as an attempt to pass off the content as your own, while the other website gets the ranking boost. Always insist websites link to your original document when republishing any content.
- Content Scraping Blogs may scrape your feed and republish multiple posts without your knowledge. There is often nothing that we can do to stop this, but there is a way to make this work to your benefit. By including multiple links in each blog post, the scrapers will be copying links back to your website. Make sure all blog post links have the full root URL, so any copied content will link back to you.
- Website Mirroring Make sure you do not have accidental canonical versions of your website, such as www, www1, ., login etc. If an entire website is an exact duplicate of another you will have problems. use the rel=canonical tag and use permanent 301 redirects to remove any duplicate versions. Translating your website is into different languages is an acceptable practice and can help with localized search engine optimization.
- Quoting Quoting portions of other articles or content is ok, as long as at least 50% of the content is original. It is ok to copy several paragraphs, and using any content beyond this requires an attribution link to the source webpage.
- E-Commerce Product Pages Shopping carts can create repetitive content for various content types in a shopping catalog. For example a chair vendor may have a large listing of the same office chairs with the exact same title and description. This may be fixed by removing the repetitive descriptions and replacing them with a single product description in the header followed by a listing of the available products. A better solution is to rewrite the description of each product.
- Multiple Versions Many content management systems and blog publishing systems create multiple versions of content that are available for search engines to index. WordPress creates duplicates in the posts, pages, archives, tags, and categories sections. All but one copy of the should be blocked from search engines using your site’s robots.txt file.
These are common duplicate content problems that cause endless frustration for SEO’s.
If you find duplicate pages on your site, use your analytics to see which one receives the most traffic and redirect all other pages to this page as it is the strongest.
If you have any mysterious ranking problems you have faced it is possible you have a duplicate content or mis-attributed content problem that should be examined.