If you are struggling to attract readers to your blog through organic search, one potential issue that may be holding you back is duplicate content.
When content appears on more than one page of your blog, website, or other websites in addition to yours, it could be a big problem for you. But don’t fret; this article contains the solutions to nip this problem in the bud. But let’s start by explaining why duplicate content is such an issue in SEO.
Consequences of Duplicate Content
At this point, it is critical to clarify that despite much talk about a supposed duplicate content penalty imposed by Google, it ends up as a myth. Google does not penalize websites for duplicate content; however, that does not mean that there are no consequences for such.
The main challenge is that when search engines crawl your website and find identical content on multiple pages or websites, the algorithm determines which one is original. This often leads to mistakes, where Google ranks the wrong website.
The original content, which should get the ranking and all the traffic, ends up invisible, and your efforts are wasted. So, duplicate content still has serious negative effects even without official penalties.
Identifying Duplicate Content
Even if you don’t duplicate content yourself, it is still important to search occasionally. Why? Because SEO spammers might be replicating your content on your website and ripping off the rewards of your hard work. Here are some tools and methods to identify duplicate content:
Google Search Console can check for duplicate content issues on your site. The system will alert you to any pages with identical or very similar content.
Advanced plagiarism tools such as Copyscape and Grammarly are excellent at detecting if a piece of content has been replicated elsewhere.
Also, you could check manually through regular Google searches. Copy a section of the content (no more than a few sentences due to character limits), and enter it into the Google search box, enclosed in quotes, to signify that you want to search for that exact text. Google Search returns a list of web pages with the same content.
Fixing Duplicate Content
Having identified duplicate content, the next step is fixing it to maximize your SEO opportunities. Here are some tips to achieve that:
Rewrite content: this does not mean simply replacing words with synonyms. Rather, think about it as writing a new piece of content from scratch but communicating the same or a similar message. Use different illustrations in the rewritten copy if you have used any illustrations.
Consolidate pages: if your website has multiple pages with replicated content, consider consolidating them into a single ‘ultimate’ page. Besides removing your SEO issues, it also helps users have a better experience when finding what they are looking for.
Use canonical tags: sometimes, duplicate content may be permissible in the case of content syndication. But you also don’t want it to affect your ranking. Therefore, use a canonical tag to point to search engines which page is the primary source of information.
Repurpose content: instead of duplicating content on multiple platforms, repurpose the content for those different targets. Your written content can be converted into an infographic elsewhere or used as a script for a video, etc. These are creative ways to avoid duplicate content risks.
Set up redirects: if you don’t want to go any routes mentioned, you might have to delete the pages with duplicate content. In this case, you don’t want to leave the deleted pages with 404 errors that will frustrate users. Instead, set up 301 redirects to the main content page.
The Importance of Original Content
As you are fixing duplicate content on your blog, it is also critical to ensure that new issues do not arise going forward. When you use the Eye10 Industry Checker tool to research the leaders in your niche, you will find that they all focus on producing original content.
You should prioritize producing original content always and only duplicate content for syndication or repurposing purposes. Follow the tips below to ensure this:
Offer unique insights: even if you are discussing a topic that has become a cliche, set yourself apart by providing unique perspectives and insights. This could be through new data, recent research, or personal experience. It makes your content more valuable to your audience.
Use examples and anecdotes (especially the ones from your personal experience) to illustrate points when you write. It makes your content more engaging and memorable.
Redirect the keyword focus of your articles. When you want to write about a topic you have written on before, using a fresh set of different keywords that still relate to the message can help you write with a new perspective. Use the Eye10 Keyword Planner to generate fresh keyword ideas.
The next and final thing will be to audit your website for duplicate content issues and set the process of fixing them in motion. As you can see, duplicate content can impact the success of your blog if not treated squarely.
To fulfill the overall mission of always producing original content, use the Eye10 SEO tools to manage different aspects of your SEO strategy, including planning keywords, researching competitors, analyzing your industry, fixing on-page SEO issues, and so on. Start a $3 trial now and see the difference for yourself.
Can using excerpts of my own content on different pages result in duplicate content issues?
Excerpts of even your content can cause duplicate content issues. No one can tell how much duplication is okay in terms of percentages. However, it is advisable that while quoting yourself or others is impossible, you should keep excerpts reasonably short. If you absolutely should use an excerpt, consider rewriting the text in your own words for the new location. Alternatively, add a hyperlink to the original content.
Is it okay to use duplicate content on my website if I attribute the original source?
Attribution is insufficient for duplicate content issues as search engines do not factor that into their algorithms. You can’t copy large blocks of text from another web page and hope that a short text stating the source would be enough to trick the algorithm. If you duplicate content on your website, use proper canonical tags to tell the search engine the original source.
What about language translation?
If your blog serves a multinational and multilingual audience, it might bother you that translating your blogs might count as duplicate content. However, the good news is that it doesn’t, and you don’t have to worry about that. In any case, make sure you are translating properly to avoid issues such as low-quality text, spam suspicions, etc. Don’t copy and paste from Google Translate or other free automated translation tools.
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