One question our clients often ask is, “Why is having duplicate content an issue for SEO?”
As you may know, the role of content marketing in SEO is a big one – it affects your ranking, user experience, credibility, and more. Read on for more information about how duplicate content impacts SEO and how you can proactively address this common problem.
What Is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content is relatively self-explanatory. It refers to identical or highly similar content that exists in more than one place (a location with a unique URL). It can also exist on one website. Even slightly reworded or paraphrased content falls under this definition.
Here are the technical terms:
- Internal: Content that is similar or identical on one single domain, such as when a website makes page copies of a product description or blog post. In some cases, URL parameters can cause duplicate content.
- External: This occurs when content is similar or identical across multiple websites. Many times, it’s due to plagiarism or from a new website that resues old content on a new domain without any redirects.
Why Is Duplicate Content Bad for SEO?
So, why is having duplicate content an issue for SEO (search engine optimization)? While there’s no penalty for duplicate content under Google’s algorithm, it does use it as a factor when determining search rankings. And, if you have poor search rankings, you’ll have trouble driving organic search traffic to your website.
Google uses the presence of duplicate content on a website as a signal. Essentially, it says that your website only has so much to offer users, providing similar information instead of new, unique, or fresh content with relevant, helpful information.
What Can Happen if Your Website Has Duplicate Content?
If your website has duplicate content, you can expect the following outcomes:
- Lower placement in the search rankings
- Decreased organic traffic
- Poor conversions, leads, and sales
- Dissatisfied user experience
- Fewer indexed pages
How to Proactively Address Duplicate Content
Here are some tips to help you take an active approach toward preventing duplicate content on your site:
- Use 301 Redirects: You can add a 301 redirect to send users to a page with similar or duplicate content, which sends a signal to Google and helps its bots crawl your site more effectively.
- Examine Content: Naturally, you’ll repeat certain texts and phrases, but entire identical text blocks aren’t okay. Evaluate your content regularly to avoid this, or use tools like Google Analytics to check for issues.
- Rel-Canonical Tag: This tag will show Google which duplicated pages on your site are the original, so the bot knows which to avoid indexing.
Get SEO Help from the Experts at Results Digital
So, we’ve now answered the common question, “Why is having duplicate content an issue for SEO?” At Results Digital, we know that building an effective SEO strategy is no small feat. Fortunately, we’re here to help you with all your SEO and digital marketing needs.
Call our Results Digital team at (281) 975-2086 to schedule your consultation with our team of experts.