Duplicate content is an issue for many webmasters. Although there is no penalty for having duplicate content on your website, Google’s ranking algorithms filter duplicate content so that it can look like a penalty.
What is duplicate content?
Google’s definition of duplicate content:
“Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin.”
Examples of non-malicious duplicate content could include:
- Discussion forums that can generate both regular and stripped-down pages targeted at mobile devices
- Store items shown or linked via multiple distinct URLs
- Printer-only versions of web pages
What’s the problem with duplicate content?
Google tries hard to index and show pages with distinct information. This filtering means, for instance, that if your site has a ‘regular’ and ‘printer’ version of each article, and neither of these is blocked with a noindex meta tag, Google will choose one of them to list.
If the content of a page can be found on multiple pages, Google only displays one of these pages in the search results. Unfortunately, this might not be the page that you want to see.
How to find duplicate content on your website
The Website Audit tool in SEOprofiler makes it easy to find duplicate content on your web pages. The Website Audit tool analyzes all pages of your site and it shows you the pages that contain the duplicate content:
Click the ‘Show pages’ button on the page to get the different pages that contain the duplicate content.
How to fix duplicate content problems
Removing duplicate content from your pages will have a positive influence on the rankings of your web pages. There are several things that you can do to avoid duplicate content problems:
- Use 301 redirects to redirect visitors to the correct pages on your website.
- Always use the same link to link to a page, i.e. do not link to /page, /page/index.htm and /page/.
- Use the rel=canonical attribute to inform Google about the preferred version of a page. Details about the attribute can be found here. For most duplicate content issues, this is the best solution.
- Use country-specific domains for country-specific content. Use domain.de instead of domain.com/de.
- Syndicate your content carefully. If the websites that show your content are more popular than your own websites, they will be shown in Google’s search results.
- Avoid long boilerplate texts on all pages. Better link to a page with the details.
- Avoid similar pages. If you have several pages with similar content, consider merging them into one page.
In addition to the Website Audit tool, SEOprofiler offers many more tools that help you to get better rankings on Google and other search engines. Create your SEOprofiler account now and check your website for duplicate content: