Offering quality content is one of the imperatives to ensure optimal visibility and increase the user experience. Indeed, before reaching their future visitors, the pages of sites and blogs are regularly inspected by search engine crawlers. If duplicate content is detected, the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) impact will be immediate: risk of de-indexing pages, degradation of referencing. This is why it is better to guard against it and adopt the right reflexes as soon as possible. After reading this article, you will have the answer to the thorny question: how to avoid duplicate content?
What is duplicate content?
Let’s start by distinguishing the two types of duplicate content:
- internal duplicate content: duplication of content on several pages of a site or blog;
- External duplicate content: similar content is present on the pages of different sites.
As soon as an article, a “title”, a product sheet or any other writing is repeated on several distinct URLs, search engines will interpret it as duplicate content. More precisely, it can be intentional, such as the reproduction of part of a document or its entirety, copied on the web. However, it is frequently a source of human error, imprudence or misunderstanding. Indeed, transcribing original content from your site on your different pages will also be interpreted as duplicate content! This will be the case in particular when managing product sheets. Or when several of your URLs redirect to the same page.
Remember: duplicate content can be generated unintentionally via the settings of the CMS (Content Management System) or SGC (Content Management System). As a reminder, CMS include the software used to create and manage sites (WordPress, Joomla! Shopify, etc.).
However, the inattention of the webmaster, for example when manipulating texts or “title”, represents a similar risk.
Good articles, enrichment of product sheets and optimization for SEO are the keys to success for a site. This requires knowledge and techniques that make web writing a profession in its own right.
Why avoid duplicate content?
Enriching your site and blog with quality and unique content is essential. Admittedly, this requires know-how and time, a lot of time! This is why it can sometimes be tempting to resort to easy solutions. Yes, all you have to do is, in a few clicks, to help yourself from the neighbor or to duplicate your own writings and you’re done! It’s simple, fast and free. So why deprive yourself of it? Certainly, seen like that… Nevertheless, here are 4 reasons to convince you of the opposite:
- Plagiarism is theft, no need to procrastinate. It brings no added value, damages your reputation and is, to say the least, not rewarding.
- Indexing pages represents a cost for search engines. Therefore, Google will only consider one version, the original, otherwise known as “canonical “. The copies will be ranked in the secondary index or more precisely downgraded in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
- Inserting duplicate content will have a damaging impact in terms of image and notoriety among Internet users.
- Generating duplicate content unintentionally is very common. To err is human! This involves regular monitoring and represents a significant hourly rate. You might as well not make the task more complicated than it already is on a daily basis.
Do not doubt it, the practice of duplicate content will not go unnoticed. Algorithms, such as Google Panda, take care of the grain.
How to avoid duplicate content?
Going to the simplest is rarely the right solution. Admittedly, the time saved is appreciable and the savings substantial. However, the consequences on SEO will be harmful. Also, here are 6 tips to follow to best optimize your site:
1) Produce original content
The crux of the problem is indeed the regular availability of original and quality articles. They offer visitors unique, new and attractive texts. In addition, they will prevent search engines from making a choice following their control procedures. Indeed, in this situation, you will not win against a larger and older structure than yours. Keep in mind this pattern: one content = one URL.
In addition, the duplicate content of product sheets is very frequent and requires a real effort of diversity. For example, 1 sweater available in six colors will generate 6 pages and therefore, as much duplicate content.
2) Work on tags and Meta descriptions
Just like the article, the “title” must be unique on each of your pages. But this is not enough. To determine the positioning of a web page, search engine algorithms must index it. The role of HTML markup is to guide them by offering them structured content. Thus, thanks to its various beacons, it offers a clear and logical common thread. Otherwise, the crawlers will go their way!
In the same vein, be rigorous in writing your Meta Descriptions. Their function is to attract the attention of Internet users in the SERP. The more eye-catching they are, the more they will entice them to click on your link rather than your competitor’s.
3) Submit your project and your needs to professionals
Ensuring the referencing of your site requires good knowledge of SEO. Avoiding duplicate content requires regular monitoring and enrichment through the publication of effective articles. Drawing on her experience, Lucie Rondelet helps you build your project and build your team of professional ghostwriters according to your expectations.
Being well referenced and appearing in the best places of the SERP is the objective to achieve to obtain quality traffic. Duplicate content is extremely effective in putting a spoke in your wheels and slowing down the growth of your activities on the net. Especially since it is very easy to duplicate your content accidentally. So don’t doubt it, surrounding yourself with experts to support and advise you is the solution. This will allow you to focus your attention on the main thing: your core business.
4) Use verification tools to avoid duplicate content
Most duplicate content happens without your knowledge. In order to verify your site and help you fix it; it is necessary to carry out frequent audits. For example, using free duplicate content tools like Site Liner will allow you to scan your pages for free. Do not hesitate to read, on a regular basis, the error report available on Google’s Search Console. You also have the option of checking your texts before putting them online by submitting them to plagiarism checkers.
5) Manage your duplicate pages
The idea is to direct search engines to a determined URL, while maintaining the visibility of pages with duplicate content. Thus, installing 301 redirects makes it possible to return the URLs of the duplicate pages to the original. In this way, duplicate content will be avoided and the ranking of the original page improved. A very useful method in the case of a redesign of the site.
Another possibility is to use the reel=canonical tag. When placed in the “head” area of your HTML file, it will notify crawlers that they are at the canonical URL. As a result, Google will only consider this single page.
6) Select the pages to index
It is important to configure the CMS effectively using SEO tools, such as Yoast SEO at WordPress for example. Similarly, inserting the Meta No index tag in the HTML code of your pages will block their indexing. Attention, the implementation of this tag requires certain knowledge. Also make sure you have mastered it well and do not hesitate to refer to Google’s Search Console help.
On the other hand, the greater the number of pages on your site, the more it will be affected by the crawl budget. Indeed, the indexing robots will not explore the entirety of a site containing hundreds of pages in one pass. According to different criteria (server capacity, quality of content, frequency of updates), you will be allocated an exploration budget. The higher it is, the faster you will be indexed. This is why it can be profitable not to index pages that are not very interesting for SEO.