Avoiding Duplicate Content

Avoiding Duplicate Content

What Is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content is identical or similar-looking piece of content available across different or related domains throughout the internet. It might appear on one or more web pages in similar format and wordings. The parent website of the content is regarded as the only unique content bearer. The rest, even though making coincidence of wordings, are rendered carrier of plagiarized and duplicate material.
Neither Google nor Bing penalise a website for using duplicate or plagiarized content in their webpages, but they very much discourage the practice by unfavorably ranking the plagiarized content on their SERPs.

Effects Of Plagiarism

On Search Engines

Duplicate content poses many problems for search engines. Search engines primarily are unable to identify the parent source of the duplicate content in concern and sometimes fail to understand which one to rank first. Since all the search engines opt for relevancy, they choose the most relevant content based on the query and display it on the SERPs.

On Websites

We’ve already talked about how all the search engines give priority to relevancy and optimum search experience. Based on this, the websites with plagiarized content suffer from a total ranking cutdown resulting in heavy traffic losses.

What Causes Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content can also be posted on the website unintentionally as the website owner may not know that his content is already written. For this reason alone (as cited by reports) around 25-39% of the web consists of duplicate content.
Following are some reasons why duplicate content issues happen:
  1. Variations In URL

    The URL framework may endorse duplication or plagiarism of content through click tracking or analytic coding. This could be due to the faulty construction of these URL frameworks. Similarly, session IDs are also common perpetrators of duplicate content.
  2. HTTP, HTTPS and WWW, Non-WWW Pages

    If you have two independent websites of different versions such as “www.ctcdc.in” and “ctcdc.in” both with and without the www or https/http prefix, then you have successfully created two different sites with separate web pages. If these cloned pages are running live, then you have created duplicated content for any of your website.
  3. Plagiarized and Copy-Paste Content

    Content can be scraped or copy-pasted from different sites. Your site’s duplicate content might include blogs and informative pages that might be copy-pasted from a different site. Plagiarism can also take place when owners lazily reuse already existing data for different purposes.

How to Fix Duplicate Content

Duplicate content can be fixed through canonicalization or using Google Search Console but fixing duplicate content eventually comes down to analyzing which piece of information is original and which one is plagiarized.

  1. 301 redirect

    By setting 301 redirect on duplicate pages to the original page, one can tackle the problem of plagiarism. This not only prevents pages from competing with each other but also makes the job of search engine a lot easier, maximizing the user experience. This will also help the correct page to obtain a ranking.
  2. Rel="canonical"

    By using rel=canonical attribute, you can avoid having any impact of duplication on your web page. This attribute informs the search engines that the given page upon which this attribute is used should be treated as a copy of a specific URL and that all the links, content, and ranking ability should be credited to that specified URL. This attribute needs to be added to the HTML head of each duplicated page.
  3. Meta Robots Noindex

    Meta robots or noindex, follow (A.K.A Meta Robots Noindex) is a canonical tag that serves as a remedy for plagiarized content. This meta tag requires to be added to the HTML head of each duplicated page that needs to be excluded from being indexed by the search engine. It informs the search engine crawler not to index it and only makes the crawler crawl the web page and not include it in their indices.

Duplicate Content Handling in Google Search Console

Google Search Console is very helpful in making you select a domain for your site to specify the Google search crawlers where to crawl. Google Search console may address your duplicate content issues by setting up either your preferred domain or parameter handling. But this might change the way you work with Google or any other search engine. To be in track, you might need to resort to webmaster tools.

Other Ways Of Fixing Duplicate Content

First and foremost, do not pick any content that has already been published or belongs to someone else. Also, when you finish writing your content check their plagiarism from content copy checker websites. Some include, copyscape, duplichecker, smallseotools, and Grammarly.

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