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what is duplicate content?

What is considered duplicate content?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Duplicate content is content that is found in more than just one location. That means, if the content can be found on more than one unique web address, then it’s considered duplicate content. Search engine penalties, bad user experiences, and other problems can all be caused by reporting duplicate content. It’s an issue that’s easily overseen, considering that around 20% – 30 % of the internet is duplicate content.

Is duplicate content bad?

According to Google, most duplicate content is not meant to be deceptive, but it’s something to consider when writing SEO friendly content. Publishing this kind of content can introduce issues when search engines rank your page. There may be multiple pages that show up with the same content, making it more difficult to decide page ranks. Multiple links to the same content can also prevent search engines from fully crawling all of your pages. It’s a lot of potential problems that you want to avoid at all costs if possible.

Penalties are a popular topic when it comes to SEO and major search engines like Google. Google has actually stated that there are no penalties for duplicate content, as long as the content wasn’t posted in a deceptive way. There are still potential penalties for those who just copy content without providing the appropriate links to their sources.

Is there a google penalty for duplicate content?

Most of the time, duplicate content is not posted with bad intent in mind and major search engines realize that. Unfortunately, there are errors that can cause a website to report duplicate content to search engines. If this happens, then search engine rankings can potentially be impacted negatively. Google has previously stated the following about content penalties:

In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.

Of course, it’s difficult to define the boundaries of what all is considered deceptive posting, but there are a few basic things to consider and keep in mind:

  • Adding large amounts of scraped (automatically copied) content
  • Releasing affiliate content from known sites like Amazon
  • Creating multiple sites with the same content

The best option for identifying these errors is to run a website audit report. A detailed report will help determine some of the most common issues. If you’re unsure of how to get started, then check out our article here.

How do I fix duplicate content?

You can also use 3rd party websites to review your website (or individual text) for duplicate content. The prices are very affordable and the investment is worth preventing future issues. We recommend that you check out Copyscape for automated checks, which usually only cost cents even for larger websites (checking this article cost us $0.07). You simply copy/paste the text that you want to check, and the tool will verify if there are other references on the internet that are similar.

Tools like Copyscape can also identify websites that are potentially stealing your content and traffic. If you identify a website like that, then you have a few options. First check to see if their content is receiving more organic traffic than you (there are 3rd party tools available for organic traffic estimates). If that’s the case, then you may want to contact the owner and request that they remove the content. There are other options like a DMCA, but most website owners will remove the content upon request. However, if you syndicate content, then you’re bound to have some kind of duplicate content out there. When you’re doing that, then it’s usually best to request a link back to the original post. Creating that connection will help both you and the website owner that is using your content.

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