Is Duplicate Content Really a Problem?

Is Duplicate Content Really a Problem?
Jude Cooley
Business and online marketing
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

When it comes to duplicate content, some people claim that the issue is overblown, while others insist that it’s the biggest issue facing the search engine optimization world today. How can there be such stark disagreement? Learn more about the ins and outs of duplicate content by reading this article and learning what it’s all about.

What is duplicate content?

Duplicate content is defined as substantive blocks of content within or across domains that completely match other content or are appreciably similar. In other words, it’s when two pieces of content are the same or very similar. It can also happen when someone copies your work and posts it on their site or blog. When you have duplicate content on your site, search engines might penalize you for not having original content – which means you won’t show up in Google’s rankings and may never get found by searchers. If you copy and paste something from another website without giving credit to the original author (or even worse, if you copy an entire post from another site), you’re creating duplicate content!

Myths about duplicate content

You may have heard that duplicate content is a major problem for SEO. While it’s true that search engines don’t like it when two websites have the same content, it’s not the end of the world if it happens. A little bit of duplicate content can be helpful! Here are some common myths about duplicate content and why they’re false: 

  • If you copy and paste content from your website to another site, Google will penalize you for copyright infringement 
  • All pages with duplicate content will be penalized equally 
  • You’ll never rank well in Google because your site has too much duplicated content 
  • Search engines know when you’re creating multiple versions of your own pages and penalize you for spamming them with too many links to the original page

Double check before publishing

If you’re about to publish a blog post, double check to make sure that the content isn’t duplicated elsewhere on the internet. While it’s not technically plagiarism, it can still result in search engine penalties and make your site look unoriginal.

Here are a few ways to check for duplicate content:

  • Do a Google search for a few key phrases from your post. See if they come up more than once with similar wording or formatting. 
  • Search through your website using Ctrl+F. You may find some hidden gems of text without realizing they’ve been published before. 
  • Check other websites that have used similar headlines to yours.

Know your inbound links

To start, find out what sites link to you. These are the links that are coming to your website from other websites. You can use a tool like Google Search Console to see which websites are linking to you. Once you know your inbound links, you can start to analyze them. First, check how many pages they link to on your site. If they’re linking to more than one page on your site, then it’s likely that they have duplicate content on their site, and those duplicates might be hurting your rankings. It’s also possible that some of these links were good but now bad because they have changed or removed the content. A local SEO company will advise you about the best way to proceed.

Eliminate internal duplication

If you have multiple pages on your website with very similar content, you may be inadvertently hurting your SEO. That’s because search engines view duplicate content as indicating that your site is not as relevant or authoritative as it could be. So, to ensure your site is ranking as high as possible, you’ll need to eliminate any internal duplication. To do this, you’ll need to determine which of the two duplicates is more important and then rewrite the less important one so that it is different enough from the more important one. You can also implement redirects to take traffic away from any duplicate content. For example, if you had both a home page and an about page with very similar content, you might create separate URLs for each page or redirect visitors who come to the home page straight to the about page without viewing anything else on your site.

If you have a problem with duplicate content, visit and get some useful tips on how to deal with it!

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