If you have a website that you want to do good on searching engines, you have to pay attention to search engine optimization. Short for that is SEO which you have most likely already heard of. SEO is very important for plenty of things on your website. And one of the things that influence your SEO is the content on your website. If you have had a website for a long period of time and you have run out of new things to include on it, you might be thinking of duplicating some of your content. Duplicate content is not only within your own website but it includes all other websites as well. You could have the exact same things written on your website as another website does. But are duplicate content issues really a thing and just how are they hurting your SEO and in what amount if they are?
Well, this is exactly what you are able to read more about in this article. We are here to give you answers to some of the questions you might have regarding duplicate content issues and whether you should be worried about them at all. It is best to always be original but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures which is why Link Department has decided to write about this topic in more detail.
What is considered to be duplicate content?
Before we tell you about the impact of it, whether it be negative or positive, you have to know just what is considered to be duplicate content. It is content that is very similar or exactly the same as content that is located on another web page or website. This is no matter whether it is your website or somebody else’s. There are website owners that create duplicate content on purpose. This is a very common trick but not one we recommend doing. What we also don’t recommend doing is copying things from another website to yours when the content isn’t yours. Plagiarism has a bad influence on your SEO. These are just examples of external duplicate content.
Internal duplicate content exists as well. This is when your website has two exactly the same web pages. No matter whether this is intentional or an accident, it can have a bad influence on your search engine optimization. Online shops usually have this issue. As they have hundreds of web pages, it isn’t so easy to have different content on each and every one of them. Lots of times you can make some small changes to the text and avoid having the exact same copy of a text on every page. But eventually, you will run out of options and some duplicate content will have to be present.
Have in mind that duplicate content doesn’t only come in text form. It can be pictures, external and internal backlinks, videos, and other things. But it is mostly present in text form as there are certain things that just have to be repeated exactly the same across multiple websites. The violation of Google’s guidelines is what a lot of website owners fear. And they should. These guidelines have been set to avoid certain things from happening. But what isn’t one of those things is duplicate content.
Plenty of people seem to believe that duplicate content is a violation of Google’s guidelines but in reality, it isn’t. And in terms of SEO, the overuse of boilerplate text is not seen as a negative as sometimes it is the only way. One of the things to have in mind when talking about duplicate content issues is the timeline. What does this mean? Well, your SEO will remain intact if somebody copies your content after it has been published by you first. This is why we believe that it is always best to do as much as you can to have original content. It will always rank best on Google if all other parts of SEO are good.
Internal duplicate content and its issues
We have mentioned internal duplicate content issues so we have to explain this in more detail. If external duplicate content does not come with a penalty, neither does internal duplication. If you have an online store, you can easily include the same text on a couple of different web pages. But duplicate content affects your SEO, even if it is internal.
There is an issue within links when doing so. In short, it contributes to Google picking the wrong page to return to in search results when one of your pages is linked. URL structure that spans lots of categories, repetitive metadata tags, as well as the boilerplate text of multiple webpages are also contributors. So, if possible, avoid using any of the mentioned on your website.
So, what happens when you have duplicate content?
This isn’t an easy question to answer. This is sole because it really depends on what Google thinks you are doing with the content. If they notice that you have duplicate content and that there is a lot of it, you can get penalized. But a certain amount of it can go unnoticed or even if noticed, not penalized. A penalty carries significant consequences for you and your site. This is why you surely have to avoid copying other people’s content. But you will receive a penalty from Google only if your website seems as though it is malicious in any way.
If you do not get a penalty, have in mind that your Google ranking will not be the best. This is once again because there is another website with the exact same content that has been published before yours. You have to do your best to be creative when doing such things. Being original is also the best way to increase traffic on your website as you will have content that is not to be found anywhere else.