What Is It + 4 Ways to Address It

What Is It + 4 Ways to Address It


What Is Duplicate Content material?

Duplicate content material is equivalent or extremely related content material that seems in multiple place on-line. 

So even when a bit of content material isn’t a precise copy of one other web page, it could possibly nonetheless be thought of a replica if it’s related sufficient to that different web page.

Right here’s what equivalent and related content material appear like:

A content copied word-for-word and slightly rewritten

There might be duplicate content material throughout totally different webpages in your website. Or throughout separate web sites.

To be thought of a replica, a bit of content material must have the next:

  • Noticeable overlap in wording, construction, and format with one other piece
  • Little to no unique data
  • No added worth for the reader in comparison with the same web page

On this article, we’ll clarify how duplicate content material impacts web optimization and 5 widespread causes of duplicate content material. And present you the best way to keep away from and clear up duplicate content material points.

Let’s begin with the web optimization impression.

How Does Duplicate Content material Impression web optimization?

There’s no Google penalty for duplicate content material until it intends to “be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.” 

So, why is having duplicate content material a problem for web optimization? Let’s have a look:

How does duplicate content impact SEO

It Can Harm Your Rankings

Google’s purpose is to current searchers with pages that comprise unique, useful data. Not pages that merely rehash content material already discovered elsewhere (together with content material inside your personal web site).

Which is why they’ve search ranking systems designed to prioritize unique content material when rating outcomes.

So, when you’ve got a number of pages that look alike, Google will do its greatest to determine which web page is the unique.

But when it could possibly’t determine the unique, your rankings might undergo. And the web page may not rank in any respect.

And in case your content material does rank, the model that Google chooses may not be the model that you just wish to seem in search engine outcomes pages (SERPs).

Backlinks are hyperlinks on different web sites that time to your website.

Every backlink is sort of a vote of confidence from that different web site. Which tells Google that your content material might be correct and useful.

What is a backlink

Having two or extra variations of a single piece of content material can dilute hyperlink fairness—the repute and authority that will get handed from one web page to a different via a backlink.

Right here’s why.

Let’s say you could have two equivalent pages with the next URLs:

  • https://www.gardeningwebsite.com/gardening/planting-flowers
  • https://www.gardeningwebsite.com/flowers/planting-flowers

So when you’ve got 50 backlinks between these two pages, 30 of these would possibly go to the primary URL whereas the remaining 20 hyperlink to the second.

As an alternative of getting one web page strengthened with 50 backlinks, you get two pages with fewer backlinks every.

How duplicate content can dilute ranking signals

This distribution can doubtlessly result in decrease search engine rankings since neither web page beneficial properties as a lot authority as a single web page would.

It Can Harm Your Web site’s Crawlability

Serps like Google have to crawl and index (i.e., discover and retailer) your content material for it to indicate up in search outcomes.

Duplicate pages waste your crawl budget (the period of time and sources search engine crawlers dedicate to crawling your website earlier than transferring on). As a result of crawlers can find yourself reviewing a number of variations of the identical content material. 

This reduces the variety of pages that may get crawled. Which may impression your website’s visibility in search outcomes.

Additional studying: Crawlability & Indexability: What They Are & How They Affect SEO

5 Frequent Causes Behind Unintentional Duplicate Content material 

There are lots of explanation why content material can get unintentionally duplicated, primarily involving web site structural points like URL variations and copied content material. 

Listed below are 5 widespread causes:

1. Improperly Managing WWW and Non-WWW Variations

Customers can usually entry web sites via each a URL together with “www” at first and a URL with out it.

In case your website is accessible each methods and also you don’t handle these variations correctly, it could possibly result in duplicate content material points.

Think about your web site is a home with a number of entrances. Some individuals would possibly enter your own home via the entrance door utilizing “www.instance.com.” And others could enter via the again door utilizing “instance.com.” 

Though it’s the identical home, the URL variations could make it appear like two separate ones to serps.

2. Granting Entry with Each HTTP and HTTPS

Having your web site be accessible via each HTTP and HTTPS protocols may result in duplicate content material.

That is like having a daily door with the URL “http://instance.com” for some guests. And a super-secure, locked door with the URL “https://instance.com” for others. 

Search bots see these as doorways to totally different homes in the event you don’t inform them which door is the primary entrance. 

3. Utilizing Each Trailing Slashes and Non-Trailing Slashes

Google sees variants of a URL with and with out a trailing slash (“/”) as duplicate content material.

For instance, the next two URLs can be thought of distinctive to serps:

  • www.instance.com/web page/
  • www.instance.com/web page 

To keep away from this duplication, choose an strategy to trailing slashes in your web page URLs and stick with it. (Extra on how to use 301 redirects to repair this situation quickly.)

We’ve finished this on our personal weblog.

So, in the event you enter “https://www.semrush.com/weblog” into your browser, you’ll instantly be redirected to “https://www.semrush.com/weblog/”

A redirect to “https://www.semrush.com/blog/” page

4. Together with Scraped or Copied Content material

Content material scraping occurs when somebody copies content material from an internet site and publishes it on one other website with out permission or giving correct attribution.

However Google is usually fairly good at distinguishing between the unique supply and the copied content material. They’ve beforehand written about how they treat scraped content, saying:

You shouldn’t be very involved about seeing unfavourable results of your website’s presence on Google in the event you discover somebody scraping your content material.

5. Having Separate Cell and Desktop Variations

A method you’ll be able to construction your website to make it mobile-friendly is to make use of separate URLs for desktop and cell variations.

For instance, you would possibly use “instance.com” for desktop customers. And “m.instance.com” for cell customers.

This strategy allows you to tailor the content material and design particularly for cell units, to make sure a extra user-friendly expertise.

But when not applied accurately, utilizing separate URLs for cell and desktop variations can result in duplicate content material points.

The right way to Discover Duplicate Content material 

Step one to addressing duplicate content material in web optimization is to search out out the place it’s occurring in your website (if in any respect). 

Listed below are two methods to try this:

Audit Your Web site to Establish Duplicate Content material

Checking your website for duplicate content material frequently helps you repair issues early on.

You possibly can comb via your pages manually in case your website is sufficiently small. However that’s inefficient. And also you would possibly miss some pages

So, we propose operating your website via Semrush’s Site Audit software.

To get began, open the software, enter your URL within the search bar, and click on “Begin Audit.”

Site Audit tool search bar

Subsequent, you’ll be requested to configure the fundamental settings of the crawl. This contains setting a restrict for checked pages and an auditing frequency. You possibly can comply with this step-by-step guide to configuring your audit to get via the settings.

Once you’re prepared, click on on “Begin Web site Audit.”

"Site Audit Settings" window

When your outcomes are prepared, you’ll see a dashboard much like this one: 

Site Audit overview dashboard

Click on on the “Points” tab to see an entire listing of technical points and the variety of pages they have an effect on.

"Issues" report in Site Audit tool

Then, enter “duplicate” within the search bar above the listing of technical points.

Searching for issues containing "duplicate" word in Site Audit tool

Web site Audit flags pages as duplicate content material if their content material is not less than 85% equivalent. It additionally flags duplicate titles and meta descriptions.

Duplicate content, title tags, and meta description issues found in Site Audit

In case your area has any duplicate pages, you’ll see a “Why and the best way to repair it” hyperlink in the identical line. 

Click on on it to see a pop-up with extra data on the given situation and how one can repair it.

Why and how to fix duplicate content issue pop-up window

Monitor Listed Pages in Google Search Console

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free software you need to use to see whether or not all of your pages are listed. And which of them aren’t.

The software additionally tells you why pages aren’t listed. And a kind of causes is duplicate content material.

"Why pages aren’t indexed" section in GSC

To get began, arrange GSC. If you happen to’re undecided how, try Semrush’s guide to Google Search Console for a step-by-step walkthrough.

Then, click on on the “Pages” tab below the “Indexing” part within the left-hand menu.

Navigating to “Indexing” section in GSC

You’ll see a chart that tells you what number of pages are listed. And what number of pages aren’t.

"Page Indexing" section shows how many pages are indexed, and how many are not

Scroll all the way down to see the explanation why your pages weren’t listed.

To get an inventory of your duplicate pages, click on on the “Duplicate, Google selected totally different canonical than consumer” error when you’ve got it.

“Duplicate, Google chose different canonical than user” error highlighted

Doing it will open a report that exhibits you a chart of what number of affected pages you’ve had over time. And an inventory of pages with duplicates. 

Affected pages with examples section in GSC

You possibly can repair the difficulty utilizing one of many strategies we state beneath. And click on “Validate Repair” to immediate Google to verify your website.

“Validate Fix” button highlighted

The right way to Repair Duplicate Content material Points

Now, it’s time to go over what you are able to do to keep away from issues associated to duplicate content material. Or treatment present points.

Listed below are two strategies you need to use:

Implement Canonical Tags

Canonical tags (additionally referred to as rel=”canonical” tags) are snippets of HTML code that specify the popular URL for duplicate or extremely related content material.

A canonical tag tells serps which model of your web page you need them to index and show in search outcomes.

You could find the tag within the <head> part of an internet site’s HTML code. Right here’s an instance of what it appears like:

Canonical tag section of a website’s HTML code

Self-referential canonical tags (that means tags on a web page that time to itself) may shield your content material from scrapers. That’s as a result of it tells serps that the web page they’re on is the unique, authoritative supply. 

If scrapers copy your content material and don’t embrace this tag accurately, serps usually tend to acknowledge your web page as the unique.

Including a canonical tag to your web page will differ primarily based on what content material administration system you’re utilizing—WordPress, Webflow, and so on.

The best strategy to do it in WordPress is with the Yoast web optimization plugin.

First, signal into your WordPress account.

Then, add Yoast web optimization to your WordPress website by clicking on “Plugins” > “Add New” within the left-hand menu.

Add new plugin to a WordPress site

Sort “Yoast web optimization” within the search bar. Then, discover the plugin and click on “Set up Now.”

“Yoast SEO” selected under plugins dashboard

After putting in the plugin and setting it up, click on on “Pages” within the sidebar and navigate to one in all your duplicate pages.

Navigating to "Pages" in WordPress sidebar menu

Then, open the Yoast web optimization sidebar by clicking on the Yoast web optimization brand discovered on the prime proper nook of your display.

Yoast SEO logo highlgited at the top right corner of the "Duplicate Page"

Scroll via the sidebar till you see “Superior.” Click on it to unfurl and enter the canonical hyperlink within the area below “Canonical URL.”

“Advanced" section of Yoast SEO sidebar

If the web page is a replica, then add the URL of the web page that you really want Google to index into the area. If you happen to’re on the web page that you really want listed, then enter that web page’s URL to create a self-referencing canonical tag.

When you’ve inserted the canonical tag, Semrush’s Site Audit to check your implementation. And see if the variety of duplicate pages has decreased.

Additional studying: 

Implement 301 Redirects When Wanted

A 301 redirect completely redirects customers and serps from one URL to a different. This methodology is greatest for duplicates you don’t have to hold (like after you’ve switched from HTTP to HTTPS or whenever you’ve moved a web page to a brand new URL). 

URL A and URL B pages redirected to a third page with URL C

Let’s say you’ve modified your about web page’s URL from “www.url.com/about-the-company” to “https://url.com/about.”

You’ll wish to redirect the outdated URL to your new URL. To make sure customers and serps find yourself on the right web page.

Some internet hosting firms will routinely implement a 301 redirect whenever you change a web page’s URL. However the actual steps to implementing a 301 redirect rely in your server and the content material administration system (CMS) you utilize. 

For detailed directions, try our guide to 301 redirects.

Monitor and Audit Your Content material with Semrush 

Duplicate content material can have a unfavourable impression on web optimization. It may well decrease your rating potential and harm your web site’s crawlability.

However there are methods to keep away from duplicate content material points. And clear up issues earlier than they begin to impression your web site’s efficiency.

Use Semrush’s Site Audit software to often monitor your website’s well being. And shortly see when you’ve got any points with duplicate content material throughout your web site.


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