Why is Duplicate Content a Problem?

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Duplicate content is a problem. If your site has duplicate content, this means that you have content on your website that is similar to content that appears at other URLs. The search engines don’t know which URL to show in the search results, so your rankings are likely to suffer. Plus, people might start linking to different versions of the same content.

Fortunately, duplicate content is something that you can control to some degree. It all starts by understanding the causes of duplicate content and how they can be fixed.

I Write Original Content. Why Do I Have Duplicate Content on My Site?

There are many reasons for duplicate content. Usually, the reasons are technical and have nothing to do with you copying content from another website. Here are a few examples of how duplicate content is unintentionally created.

  • URL variations. URL parameters can cause duplicate content issues. Avoid adding URL parameters or alternate versions of URLs when possible.
  • HTTP vs HTTPS. If your site has several versions with the same content, you can run into duplicate content issues.
  • Scraped content. If your company carries the same products as other companies, you may use the same product descriptions. Unfortunately, this can flag your site as having duplicate content.

How Can I Fix Duplicate Content Issues?

To fix duplicate content, you must identify what content is the “right” one. Here are the steps to doing so.

  • 301 redirects. Set up 301 redirects from the “duplicate” page to the original page. This will prevent the pages from competing with each other and allow your original page to create a stronger relevancy and popularity signal.
  • Rel=canonical. When you use the rel=canonical attribute, you tell the search engines to treat the page as a copy of a specified URL. This means that all links, content metrics and ranking power will be credited to the specified URL.
  • Meta robots noindex. Add the meta robots noindex tag to the HTML head of each individual page that you want excluded from the search engine’s index. This prevents the search engines from following and ranking the page.
  • Preferred domain. Google Search Console lets you set the preferred domain of your site and specify whether Google should crawl various URL parameters differently. You may want to set up your preferred domain or parameter handling.

If you’re still having trouble with duplicate content, there are some other steps you can take, such as maintaining consistency when linking internally and proper syndication. To learn more about how to fix duplicate content issues, contact Magna Technology today.