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How Duplicate Content Affects SEO

Updated January 25, 2023
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How Duplicate Content Affects SEO

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What is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content is spam that occurs when the same webpage is placed on more than one web server. Duplicate content can be seen in the form of blog posts, articles, product descriptions, and even entire websites. It’s not just about spamming for traffic or revenue – it also means that users are getting less relevant information and are being distracted from the website they’re trying to visit. In order to avoid duplicate content, there are a few steps that you can take. You can make sure that your website has unique URLs; you can use 301 redirects to point old URLs to new ones; and you should use canonical tags to tell search engines which page is the original source of the content. Sites flagged for duplicate content can be penalized, which can hurt your SEO efforts.

What is the Impact of Duplicate Content on Search Engines?

For years, penalties for publishing duplicated content have been referred to as “duplicate content penalties”. Duplicate Content Penalties occur when a website or service is penalized by search engines for publishing duplicates of content on their site. Google has penalized websites for duplicated content as part of its search algorithms. The penalties are usually in the form of lower rankings and loss of visibility on Google’s search engine results pages. The reason search engines penalize sites with duplicate content is to try and avoid duplicate content in the long run. Duplicate content penalties are most often seen as a result of plagiarism, due to the fact that duplicates can be created when an author copies and pastes content without crediting the original source. 

This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the most common instances where duplicate content penalties occur: 

Duplicate URLs

Duplicate Page Titles

Duplicate Headlines

Duplicate Articles

The 3 Most Common Ways to Avoid Google’s Penalty for Duplicate Content

Most webmasters are already aware of the importance of alt tags. They are used in HTML as an alternative text description for images. Alt tags are also used with title tags to avoid duplicate content penalties that might be incurred by using the same title tag twice on a webpage. Alt tags are much more than just descriptions for images. They are also used to convey a message about the image itself. This is important, as it can affect how visitors view your website and what they do on your site when they arrive. Include clear alt tags with descriptive text to help avoid confusion and improve usability for your website visitors.

How to Protect Your Web Site From a Penalty for Duplicate Content

Websites often get penalized for duplicate content. This can be a huge problem for small businesses, who don’t have the means to spend on expensive content creation software or pay a dedicated writer. There are those who say that text-to-speech is the way forward, but this is not without its own pitfalls. Text-to-speech software has a reputation for being unreliable. It is often not human quality, and it’s possible for users to be misinformed or misled by the software. But in order to remove this problem, companies must train the content creator on how best to use this software. This takes time and money to implement and is not always feasible for businesses on a budget. 

To avoid duplicate content penalties you should remember to: 

  1. Use your unique business name in the URL for your blog 
  2. Include the blog’s category in the title of your blog 
  3. Include a unique keyword in the title of your blog

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