Death to Duplicate Content
Duplicate content, according to Google, is when there are a number of blocks of content "within or across domains that either completely matches other content" or are remarkably similar. This is considered bad practice in content marketing from an SEO point of view.
Advice for managing Duplicate Content
Having duplicate content on a website is a trap a lot of businesses fall into for a number of reasons. This might be due to the need for multiple domains with similar content, or a requirement for a number of pages about the same, or a closely related, thing. Duplicate content is very much considered bad practice in the world of Content Marketing and SEO. There are a number of consequences that come as a result of repeated content throughout your website.
It creates a poor user experience
Google won’t know which page is more relevant for search results
It diminishes Domain Authority
Search Engines will not crawl your website as often, reducing your ranking position
What happens when you have duplicate content on your site?
When somebody is using Google to search for the service or product you offer, it uses its database to match the most relevant web pages to the query. If your website has multiple pages with same content, Google essentially gets confused and doesn't know which page is the correct one for the person searching. This ultimately gives the Google bots a bad impression of your site and lessens the opportunity.
A lot of businesses with older websites may find them in a position where their content has been repeated over the years; if this is you, it's time for a cleanup! If you're in the process of developing a new digital platform, we recommend that you consider the content very carefully at the beginning of the project to ensure that you do not risk damaging your reputation with Google.
What can be done to prevent Duplicate content?
The obvious answer to this question is to ensure that you have unique content on every single page of your website. This can be planned at the very early stages of the process when you are developing a sitemap for a new website, for an existing one, an exercise can be carried out to assess whether or not the content on a page is present elsewhere on the website. You can use a tool like Screaming Frog to run this type of assessment; once you have determined if there is duplicate content, you can begin editing duplications or removing them all together.
As an extra step, it's recommended that you ensure that each title and description on every page is unique; again Screaming Frog is a great tool for checking this.
What if you need multiple pages with the same content?
If, for any reason, you need more than one page with same content, for example, if you have multiple versions of one marketing landing page to target people in different parts of the country, there is something you can do to keep Google on your side. Using a canonical link in the HTML script of a web page. Read this article on Yoast's blog to learn more about how to use canonicals in the most appropriate way.
Ultimately, the best thing to do is to plan your content thoroughly and maintain regular content SEO checks so that you do not end up with content duplications. It can be a drawn-out process depending on the age and size of your site, but it is worth it when you consider the benefits of a positive Google ranking and a beneficial user experience. If you are concerned about the risks of content duplication, why not get in touch with us? We consider the risks of content duplication in the SEO elements of our Growth Marketing Strategies. Contact us via this form today.