Surely it has happened to you that, when writing about a topic that you did not have as much knowledge about , you have had to investigate other websites that talked about it.
It is quite likely, too, that from time to time you have been tempted to copy, a little, that same content .
I know, I was there.
That is what is known as duplicate content . That is, an exact or similar copy of the content of another website or another page of your same site.
In other words: duplicate content is an exact, word-for-word repetition of another website's content.
However, duplicate content is also content that slightly changes the content . This is known as paraphrasing or spinnearing : saying in your own words what someone else has said .
But that is not all!
Duplicate content can also be the same as what you said before : copying something from one page of your website to another falls into the same category as the previous cases.
Also, duplicate content can be casual : maybe you weren't looking to copy yourself from any other site and still did.
As you probably suspected, abusing duplicate content on your website can negatively affect your Google search engine rankings .
We will see it next.
How duplicate content affects SEO
We all know that Google is very picky and selective . In fact, if it were a person, it is likely that many of us would dislike it.
Yes, what a surprise: one of the many things Google doesn't like is duplicate content . As if it were not something easy to imagine, Google expresses itself about it in its spotlight:
"Google makes sure that the pages it displays and indexes have different content."
Therefore, if your website has content without any differential , it is possible that the Google search engines are against you . And trust me, you don't want to have them against you.
The dispute between Google search engines and duplicate content
Specifically, there are three big issues you need to be concerned about when generating duplicate content, which I'll explain below.
1. Lower amount of organic traffic
Organic traffic is that of users who come “naturally” to your website after doing a search on Google engines.
Because Google doesn't rank web pages with duplicate content , users won't see your web page and won't click on it. As simple as that.
Let's understand it better with an example.
Let's imagine you have a website where there are three different pages with the same information .
Google cannot know for sure which of them is the "original" page. And, since he can't make up his mind, he does the fairest thing: he gives all three the same importance .
What happens then?
That the three pages of your site compete with each other for a position in Google search engines.
To optimize its searches, Google avoids showing very similar content , making it even more difficult for any of these pages to appear in the results .
If you want to know a tool to help you increase traffic to your site, do not miss this article about Ahrefs
2. Reducing the number of indexed pages
If you have a website with many pages inside , it is important that you pay attention to this point. This is often the case, for example, with virtual stores. That is, from e - commerce sites .
The problem here is that, sometimes, Google does not decide only not to prioritize the content in its search engines. Sometimes, in addition, you can choose to refuse to index it .
Therefore, if your website has pages that are not being indexed , it is likely that Google search engines are rejecting your duplicate content .
3. Google Penalty
In an extreme case, duplicating content can lead to a penalty from Google . It may even mean that the page on your website containing that content is de-indexed .
Calm down everyone.
If your site has only a few pages with duplicate content , you probably have nothing to worry about .
This is something extraordinary . It usually only happens when one site is intentionally copying content from another .
With this in mind, we can then move on to discussing why there is unintended duplicate content.
How and why is content duplicated?
There are several reasons why content duplication issues arise . Now we will see only the most common:
- similar urls
- Sites that have two versions . For example, if your site works by adding both http:// and https:// and both forms are equally visible to search engines, you will have two websites with identical content.
- Publish technical information about a product . This does not leave many options to change the words to express it in another way, so it often becomes duplicate content.
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