What’s Wrong with Duplicate Content on My Website?

You’ve got all the makings of a successful business. A professional site with intriguing website content, a visually appealing logo, and in-demand products for online shoppers. You’ve even started a blog by using content you found on other sites. While this may initially sound like a good idea, you are actually losing business.

Duplicate content, as the name suggests, is Internet content appearing on the web in more than one place. These places are defined as locations with unique website addresses. This means if the same content appears on more than one website, then you have duplicate content. So what’s the big deal? Many small business owners with no content writing experience make the mistake of simply just copying and pasting information onto their websites. Many do this in an effort to save time and expense. Unfortunately, they don’t realize the negative consequences duplicate content can bring. Whether you use a digital agency or are your own content writer, it is important to understand why duplicate content is harmful. Read on to find out how to avoid these mistakes and keep your website content original.

Google Problems

Duplicate content is treated differently than copied content on Google. The main difference between the two boils down to the intent and the nature of the text. Duplicate content is not considered manipulative and is commonly used on many websites. These are mostly considered to be free from malicious intent. Copied content, on the other hand, is often penalized both algorithmically and manually. Although duplicate content is not penalized, it is not an ideal set-up for pages. If you do your own content writing, exercise extreme caution when spinning copied text to make sure it’s unique.

Google recommends the practice of making your text more unique by using techniques such as adding synonyms and related words. Although this search engine giant explicitly states no penalty exists, they do admit to using duplicate content filters. In fact, these filters slow Google down in finding new, original content.

Search Engine and Site Owner Issues

Google is not the only search engine impacted by duplicate content. Duplicate content can present three main issues for search engines. First, they don’t know which version to include or exclude from their database. Secondly, the search engine doesn’t know whether to take the direct link metrics to one page or to keep it separated between other versions. Finally, they don’t know which content version gets ranked for query results.

In the presence of duplicate content, site owners may suffer a loss in both rankings and traffic. In order to provide the best search engine experience possible, search engines rarely show different versions of the same content. In other words, they choose which version is the most likely to generate the best result. This, in turn, diminishes the chances of the duplicates being seen. To add more fuel to the fire, link equity can also be diminished because other sites have to choose between the duplicates. So when all of the inbound links point to one piece of content, they are linked to multiple pieces. This causes a spread in the link equity among each duplicate. Inbound links are also a ranking factor and can, therefore, impact a website’s content in search visibility.

Consider Using a 301 Redirect

Now that you have a clear understanding of the pitfalls associated with duplicate content, there are some ways to overcome them. The key is to have search engines associate your article as the original one. One way of doing this is to create a 301 redirect which links the duplicate content page back to the original website content. In other words, a redirect occurs by forwarding one URL to another. This is crucial to driving massive amounts of traffic to your website. It works by combining multiple pages (with the potential to rank well) into a single page. Not only does this stop competition, but it also creates better relevancy and popularity overall. This has a  positive impact on the original page’s ability to rank well.

Tips for Success

Let’s face it. Duplicate content is not beneficial to your marketing campaign. Copied and pasted content is not a long-term strategy if you want to outshine your competitors. Here are a few tips to eliminate duplicate content:

  • Hire a copywriter. Copywriters are experts in the field of writing unique, persuasive website content that will lead to a substantial increase in your daily traffic.
  • Use only original content. Even if you rewrite a copied article, Google still has ways of filtering it. They have ways of algorithmically tracking manipulated results. This is because republishing content from other websites is commonly practiced by most spam sites.
  • Use a digital agency. Doing your own content writing can be difficult and time-consuming. Hiring a digital agency will ensure your content is original and SEO optimized to bring you the best results possible.
  • Choose a preferred domain. Use Webmaster Tools to let Google know how you prefer your site indexed.
  • Take advantage of Google Authorship. This handy feature connects you, and only you, as the content author no matter how often it gets pasted.

Are you looking for original, compelling content writing? Start by hiring a digital agency to take care of all of your website content needs. Whether it’s a content writer or a copywriter you need, we’ve got you covered. Contact the experts at iwebcontent today!

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