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What is Duplicate Content?What is Duplicate Content and why is it bad for SEO?

Duplicate Content is one the many SEO factors which people are afraid of. But just how bad is it for your website? Being noticed online is getting harder and harder in this day and age, and content management is one of the key main factors to help boost your site ranking on search engines. To understand and make sense of duplicate content and the issue presented by it we need to view the sites from a search engines point of view instead of a user’s perspective. There has been plenty of fuss on the subject over the past few years, with hundreds of people addressing it with their own views and opinions. But the question is who is right?


The Understanding of Duplicate Content and how it’s created

Simply, Duplicate Content is content which appears in more than one place on the internet. Usually this can happen when content is sold as a duplicate to a client by conspicuous content sellers. If the blog post author sells their already existing content to someone else, and they post the exact same content on their website then things can start to spiral downhill. Another type of duplicate content can be created from URL parameters; web pages tend to have a certain URL for a certain page, however sometimes one page can have two or three different URLs, therefore creating duplicate pages and problems for the site owner. Here are some more examples of how Duplicate content can be created.

– Session ID’s can be a problem, a session ID or a token, is a piece of data that is used to identify a session over a network. When the user visits a website they are assigned with a session ID number, the session ID number is usually used for shopping sites, and therefore need to be stored in a place where the user can find there’s out, if this number is stored in the URL parameters then it will create a duplicate page and cause problems with search engines finding the page. However Session ID’s can be stored in cookies which are automatically downloaded to the user’s device when they visit the website, which means that duplicate pages are not created. Find out more about Session ID’s here –

– Sometimes print page URL’s use a different format to normal, and can create a duplicate page when they are indexed.

– You have the same text on more than one page of your website

– Your website content has been plagiarized by a competitor

– Someone in your company has copied and pasted your content and uploaded to business directories, company profiles or Press Release, article directory sites.


What Problems does Duplicate Content Cause?

duplicate content diagramOn the internet, when there is identical content, it is very difficult for search engines to pick the most appropriate site, given the search settings of the user. Search engines will very rarely show duplicate content, so therefore it will civ through the results and find the version which is most likely to be the original.

Search engines often struggle to choose what versions to include or exclude from their results, so therefore if you have duplicate content from another website the most likely scenario is that your site will not be included on the search results, or even worse, not ranked at all.

Also search engines don’t know whether to direct the links (anchor text etc.) to one page, or keep it separated between multiple versions of the same content. Even users who are looking for the content will miss out due to the search engine not knowing what to look for.


How do you Combat Duplicate Content?

Now you know the basics of Duplicate content, the next thing to think about is how to prevent it. First of all making sure that your content is original and not used anywhere else, if you are going to buy some content from other sites, make sure it differs from the original. In many cases if you are adding the same content to more than one page on your website then the best way to prevent duplicate pages is to set up a 301 redirect from the duplicate page to the original one or a canonical tag to tell the search engines it’s an intended duplicate page, this will clear up the problem of a duplicate page by linking them all into a single page, which will positively impact their ability to rank higher within search engines. If you have bought content and think it is a duplicate of content elsewhere, the best thing you can do is use a plagiarism checker. Like the one here –

If you are still stumped with duplicated content, or think/know you have some of your own, then make sure to contact SEO Co-Pilot, we can locate and fix Duplicate Content. Giving an extra push in the world of Search Engine rankings, want to find out more? Call or contact the experts here at SEO Co-Pilot! 01246 540 869

Guy Tomlinson

Guy Tomlinson is the owner and founder of SEO CoPilot Ltd. As an organic SEO specialist and SEO trainer with over 15 years of experience, he has the knowledge when it comes to helping small businesses succeed online – and shares his expertise through SEO CoPilot’s blog (mentioned in Top SEO Blogs to Follow). Follow Guy’s profile on LinkedIn for more SEO Tips!
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