In a marketing world where content is king, getting blog posts and other information on your site as fast as possible is often required. It’s important to offer customers unique and informative posts to keep them coming back to your site. Otherwise, it doesn’t take long to get lost in the shuffle of other company websites and posts.
Finding the time and personnel to keep websites and blog posts updated can be a challenge. You have a company to run, so your focus is on a million different things at one time. You may find that the easiest way is to copy and paste certain information for your site to another part of your site. After all, some information about your business can be shared in other places, so what’s the harm?
Outsourcing your information is also a possibility and having online marketing companies create content can be beneficial. There are ways to create content ideas that are valuableand increase website traffic. But this can be expensive, so if you don’t have a large budget or are not sure how to allocate it to see a return on investment, you might be hesitant about hiring outside help.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to keep content creation in-house. There is a risk, however, that trying to take shortcuts or to make content creation easier will create duplicate content on your blog.
What Is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content is information that appears in more than one place online. This content can be original pieces that you’ve written and published in more than one place or it can be information you copied from another person and copied onto your website. In addition, if another site takes any of your information and posts it on their site, it’s also considered duplicate content.
Duplicate content involves a variety of different aspects. Plagiarism is the first thing that often pops into people’s minds, and while this is a major problem, it’s not the only thing that will set off warning bells in Google’s search. Pulling quotes from other people, even if properly cited, will be viewed as duplicate content because it appears in more than one place on the web. There are questions about whether or not product descriptions will be flagged as duplicate content because it’s the same information on different parts of the web.
Confusion About Duplicate Content
It has been believed for a while that the problem with having content that is the same on different sites is that it will impact how Google ranks you in their search engine. Their goal is to find the most relevant information for searchers, and if the searcher has to wade through sites that are pretty much identical,
that can be frustrating. Therefore, Google tries to limit those sites that have identical content. That means your ranking on their list could be limited.
This, it turns out, isn’t exactly true. While Google does have a process in place to recognize duplicate content,sites aren’t penalizedfor it. They have a sophisticated system that allows their search bots to recognize duplicate information and then find the most relevant URL and display that on their list.
Of course, if you’re using duplicate content to try to manipulate the system and get more rankings on Google or to create spam, they will be able to see through this ploy. This will cause you to possibly not be ranked at all. Therefore, while duplicate content in certain forms won’t necessarily get you penalized, it could still pose a problem.
Taking Care of the Duplicate Content Problem
Just because Google won’t penalize your site for having duplicate content, that doesn’t give you permission to start copying and pasting information. You still need to offer something original. Why would a person come to your site for information if they can find it on another site on the web? Some ways to fix these issues include the following:
301 Redirect: This will take customers and search engines to the most relevant page on your site. It will also reduce the other pages competing with one another to be listed on search engine rankings.
Noindex Metatag: This is added to the HTML of a page and stops it from being indexed by a search engine. This can be beneficial to reduce the competition from various pages that contain a lot of the same information.
Canonical URL: This used on different pages will help the search engine find and identify the original page it should be indexing. The duplicate URLs won’t be registered, so all ranking factors, links, and content metrics are credited to the original page.
When it comes to the written content of a page, there are a variety of different ways to check for duplicate information. This can include using online plagiarism checkers, includingDuplichecker, Copyscape, Plagspotter ,orSiteliner.Some of these sites offer both free and paid services, so finding the right fit for you will depend on exactly how deep you want to go to discover duplicate content.
Sites like Grammarly offer both a grammar check for your content and to see if it appears anywhere else on the web. This premium service has a fee, but it may be worth the investment to ensure your content reads correctly and isn’t located anywhere else.
Your Content Can Be Duplicated Too
The internet is a big place, and a lot of people and businesses access it for a multitude of reasons. Even though you are going out of your way to stop duplicate content from appearing on your site, that doesn’t mean others will pay the same respects, and you may find that they take your hard work and try to pass it off as their own.
This can be incredibly frustrating. In addition, it might impact whether or not people can find your site. Thankfully, there are things you can do to find and fix the problem of someone plagiarizing your online content.
It’s not a secret in the online business world that content is king. To be found by customers, you have to offer them something original that’s worth reading. While it’s okay to have some duplicate content, it won’t benefit you in the long run. Take a good look at your site and use some of the available online tools to ensure that you’re offering customers unique, engaging, and entertaining information.
Eva Webster is the Managing Director at Article-Writing.co. After many years of making it and breaking it in the freelance world, she now mentors new writers who want to take their careers to the next level.