Digital Marketing Technology

The impact of duplicate content on SEO

October 13, 2016 SEO 0
The impact of duplicate content on SEO

Content duplication also known as plagiarism is the act of copying the content of another website outrightly. This creates a situation where a search engine finds exactly same content in more than one place on the internet. Most often the copying of such duplicate content is usually without permission from the content author. Content duplication is a serious issue and often very rampant in this part of the world.

The essence of owning a website will be defeated if web content is just copied from one site to another. There will be no unique content and this will definitely harm your website’s online reputation which is obviously not a good thing for your brand either.

One bad thing about content duplication is that it diminishes your rank on search engines like google. Google gives preference to the first content that was published, whenever it finds a duplicate content while crawling the web, and ignores the other one totally. This impacts negatively on the reputation of the content duplicator in the long run as they lose their search engine ranking or may not be indexed atall.

Sometimes, you might have created duplicate content on your website without knowing it. This arises when you have different links pointing to same content on your website. This maybe be caused by a number of factors. Read on as we will find out why soon.

However, there are better ways to deal with duplicate content without impacting negatively on your site. Let’s find out how:

The impact of duplicate content on SEO


  1. The best thing to do is never to copy and paste out-rightly from one website to your website. It is very bad for the reputation of your site. The Smart thing to do when you come across a content you think will be good for your site, is to read and understand what the article is about then rewrite it in your own language using your own words. In the end, basically, the two copies pass the same message across but in different ways and won’t be considered as duplicate content by search engines. And it’s always good to give credit to the source of your information as you will naturally want same to be done for you too.
  2. Make sure google is indexing the preferred version of your site URL. Every domain name has a variation with www and that without the www. Make sure you have only one version being indexed and the other variations pointing to the preferred one. You can do this using the google search console. And also if own the .org and .net versions of your website, make sure they all point to the .com version as the case maybe. It is very important that you do this because otherwise, your site visibility made be impacted negatively.
  3. Having a responsive website as opposed to a separate mobile version of your website is a point to be noted. Because when not done properly, search engines may see the two websites as duplicate content thereby harming the visibility of the other one.
  4. Double checking content from guest writers. This is very important for especially bloggers receiving content from guest writers. This is to ensure the content has not been published somewhere else in the web.

These are a few ways of dealing with duplicate content. However there are ways you can publish duplicate content on your website without being penalized by search engines and with appropriate permission from the content author. This is known as Content Syndication.

The impact of duplicate content on SEO

Content Syndication

This refers to the process of republishing content from another website to your website with the author’s permission and without being penalized by search engines. The reason why this is crucial is that in our previous post on 5 PILLARS OF DIGITAL MARKETING we pointed out the one of that search engine optimizing is one of these pillars. There we explained how crucial SEO is in successfully marketing online. But content duplication counters that goal. Therefore with content syndication we can apply online marketing optimally for ensured success.

Content syndication is very useful for smaller publishers who need to reach a larger audience. This enables them to publish on well established platform but still earn the credit and traffic from search engines.

3 Methods for implementing content syndication

Meta non-index tag:

This implements a meta no-index tag on the page, telling the search engine to remove the page from its index.

rel canonical tag:

This is the safest way to deal with content duplication, by telling search engines that the linked article is the original and therefore that one should be indexed.

Clean link to original article:

This is the adequate method if you have limited access to the code of the website and can’t implement the rel canonical tag.

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About mrakumadavid

Akuma David is a digital experience expert with passion for web technology, fashion and business. I help businesses build their online customer base and help them market their products online.

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