Believe it or not, there are still companies and some marketers who wonder why duplicate content is bad for SEO. This is especially true if the content duplicating itself is on one of their website properties. The fact is there are too many people who steal content from other websites to use as their own. Marketers on the up-and-up spend a lot of time and effort creating effective, original content. It makes them understandably mad knowing that someone has stolen their hard work.
Does duplicate content affect SEO? Yes, and it can ruin your website ranking. When you have duplicate content on different pages, search engines still find it difficult to know which page to rank. Which page should Google serve to searchers? Which page is the most relevant? From Google’s point of view, any site with duplicate content is thin.
Some will say that Google does not issue a duplicate content penalty. However, the reasonable assumption is that it does issue them because it considers duplicate content as a ranking factor.
If your site has duplicate content, it can therefore lead to lower search rankings and results. This leads directly to fewer site visits and reduced income.
The last thing you want to do is disappoint users. Google has always placed a primary focus on user experience. If a customer cannot find the products or information they want, they will quickly migrate elsewhere. Customers remember a bad experience and generally will not return.
How to Find Duplicate Content – Essential Tools
1. CopyScape is an excellent tool for making sure your content is not duplicated on the web. It is easy to unintentionally write copy that is similar to something already written. Always try to write unique content. Give the reader some information they did not know. In doing so, they will value your content as relevant and will likely use your site as a product or information source.
2. SmallSeoTools offers a variety of easy-to-use tools that can identify identical content fragments. There are also additional, affordable tools for those marketers who want even more features.
3. Register with some of the best duplicate content checkers. Users can conduct up to 50 searches a day with DupliChecker.
4. Marketers can also use Siteliner to check their website once a month for duplicate content. This tool can also scan for broken site links while identifying the most relevant pages for search engines.
Why Duplicate Content Is a Big Deal for Search Engines
Search engines face three main challenges when encountering duplicate website content. The first challenge is that it makes it difficult to know which version of the content to include or exclude from their indices. A second challenge is that search engines are not sure where to direct link to support authority and trust. The third challenge is that it makes it difficult for search engines to know which version of the copy should rank for search query results.
What Site Owners Need to Know Concerning Duplicate Content
Site owners should be aware that their site can suffer ranking when duplicate content exists. This is for several reasons:
Google and other search providers design their search engines to provide the best search results. Therefore, the search engines will rarely show multiple versions of the same content. Multiple content versions force search engines to make a choice. The choice ends up diluting the visibility and rank for each duplicated web page.
If this happens, other sites have to make a choice between the duplicated content as well. Duplicate content may force links to point at multiple pieces of content as opposed to a single one. This hurts link equity, as inbound links to a website are a definite ranking factor.
The end result is content that does not have the visibility that it should. There are estimates that up to 30% of the Web consists of duplicate content.
Causes for Duplicate Content
In most cases, site owners do not intentionally create duplicate content. There are times when analytics code and certain URL parameters can cause duplicate content issues. Session IDs can also create duplicate content problems. It can happen when websites assign a different session ID that stores itself in the URL.
When you’re looking for web developers, consider the services of Advanced Digital Media Services. We provide a wide range of content creation services. This includes imparting the knowledge your company needs to check duplicate content.