Published: Friday, August 13, 2010
You may not realize, but duplicate content is actually one of the major issues many websites unknowingly face. Not only can it prove to be detrimental to your site, it also wastes a search engines' resources and reduces the quality of search results for users.
Duplicate content can be best described as having either identical or similar blocks of content on different sites or even the same one. Duplicate content is ultimately the result of content either being copy and pasted to another site or page of a site or not taking the time to truly paraphrase it to create something new and 100% unique. This means that changing only a few words here or there won't fly.
A site's rankings can drop dramatically. Search engines were designed to basically crawl, analyze and index each page of a web site so duplicate content can confuse and create more work for it. A search engine will end up having to spend more time deciphering which site or page to rank if identical content is found on other sites or pages. In the end, a search engine will look at which site or page has the most domain authority or the most links coming to the page. Essentially, the search engine will make an executive decision based on the terms being targeted, page relativity and the history of the site or page. So it is likely that a site's ranking will be affected.
For starters, make sure that only 100% unique new content gets put on your page or website. It is important that you take the time to either sit down and write it yourself or spend time thoroughly paraphrasing and reworking pre-existing content.
Secondly, make sure that all content relates specifically to each singular page. For example, if you have a real estate site with one page devoted to real estate in general and another devoted to selling real estate, it is important that the content on the real estate page stay general and broad, while the selling real estate page specifically talks about promoting and selling real estate properties. This ensures that each page is crawled, analyzed and indexed correctly.
Lastly, if you discover that another site has content that was 100% unique to you alone you have two options. One, you can attempt to get in touch with the webmaster of that site and simply request that they remove the content from their site considering it doesn't benefit either party. However, it is important to not accuse them of stealing it as it could turn out to be someone that thought they were helping to drive traffic to your site without realizing that there could be issues. If requesting removal through the webmaster fails, you can then report them to a search engine like Google.
For more information, visit the following link where you can find out how Google defines duplicate content. You can also visit or call our SEO management department at 1-866-734-9946 for more information on how we can help you improve your SEO rankings.