One of the largest SEO issues businesses face is duplicate content, also known as copied content. Many websites believe copying content is perfectly fine, however this can substantially hinder your website. With competition being harder than ever, one great way to get ahead of your competitors and rank highly on the SERP is to offer users unique content that is helpful and targets the correct keywords.
There are several different types of keywords. It is vital to understand which keywords are right for you to make sure you are using them correctly and answering a user’s search intent.
“Duplicate content” is the same content – a blog post or product description – that appears on more than one URL on the internet. This can be an issue as it can directly affect your website’s ranking potential as Google is unaware which URL to prioritise for the same content.
However, how much duplicate content is acceptable is often a grey area. Despite this, it is okay to have some duplication in the form of quotes or definitions for instance, but this should be linked to the original source in order for Google to understand that the content hasn’t been entirely copied.
Duplicate content is most commonly found on e-commerce websites where product or category descriptions are pulled from manufacturers’ websites, whereby a number of e-commerce websites with the same niche have the exact same copied content – this is best to be avoided as it can hinder your chances of ranking on the search results. This can be a major problem, especially for e-commerce websites whose main aim is to find potential customers through search engines.
A simple way to check for duplicate content is through taking a chunk of text and searching for it on Google – ensure the words are wrapped in quotation marks.
If the results show a number of different results with the same text emboldened in the meta description, your content is duplicate.
When you have identified that your website has duplicate content, there are a few ways you can fix the problem. If the duplication is on your own website, you can redirect a duplicated page to the original piece of content using a 301 redirect. It is worth taking a look at your canonicalization and pagination set up as technical SEO issues in this area can cause duplicate content to appear.
If your content has been copied by a completely different website, your content should be re-written – especially if your website is being outranked by competitors. This can be time-consuming and resource draining for companies to do, which is why it is worth hiring a team of content marketing experts, with an eye for SEO, to tackle duplication issues for you.
If you’re worried your content might be holding you back, please do not hesitate to contact us.