In today’s episode we’re talking about your website, and specifically how duplicate web content on your site affects you in search. Google algorithms will sometimes ignore duplicated content altogether or may show only one version in search results. For pages that are similar, but not exactly duplicates, search results could be divided among the pages, diluting each page’s strength in the ranking. Listen up and find out how to locate and fix those dups!
Links in this episode: What Is Duplicate Content and Why Does It Matter?
Welcome to the Get Digital Marketing Results podcast where we give you information and actionable tips to grow your organization.
Bob: Hi, I’m Bob Clark.
Donna: And I’m Donna Botti. We’re with Delos Inc and we make the web work for you. In today’s Tech News Tuesday episode we’re talking about duplicate web content and how that affects you in search.
Bob: That’s right Donna. Any two pages on the internet that are identical or have a lot of the same common content could be considered duplicates by a search engine.
Donna: Yes, the Google algorithms will sometimes ignore duplicated content altogether or may show only one version in search results. For pages that are similar but not exactly duplicates, search results could be divided among the pages diluting each page’s strength in the ranking.
Bob: You generally don’t need to worry about duplication if all your content is original, but that’s not necessarily the case. Some people subscribe to services that write industry content for them, but that same content often ends up on many different websites.
You might also innocently create duplicate content. A few examples of this would be repeating blocks of content word-for-word across multiple pages, using product descriptions supplied by manufacturers that other resellers might also use, or even creating separate product pages for the same item that comes in different colors.
Donna: There are some free tools available such as Copyscape, Siteliner, and Grammarly that let you test for duplicate content on your site. If you discover that you have a duplicate content problem – either internally or externally across the web – there are ways to fix the situation.
If you find that someone else is publishing your original content as their own, you need to take action and file a request with Google and ask them to delist the plagiarizer.
Bob: If you’re republishing content from someone else, like a press release, a manufacturer product description, or calendar event information from other sites, the best way to avoid a duplicate content penalty in these situations is to just rewrite the content.
If your own website pages are very similar, it might make sense to combine the articles into a single page for that topic. It’s often better to update an existing article with new information rather than create another similar one on the same topic. This can happen if you’ve had a blog for a few years and end up doing multiple takes on the same topic.
Donna: Well that’s so true Bob, I recently had a great idea for a blog post on our site and outlined it and everything, only to discover I actually wrote that same thing three years ago. Of course that was in the “before times,” so that’s my excuse for forgetting.
There’s also a couple of technical issues that can cause duplicate content problems for your site as well. If you’re not redirecting properly between www and your main domain, or between secure https and non-secure http versions of your site, they can look like different duplicate sites to search engines.
The best way to prevent duplicates and not hurt yourself in search is to create original content, and do so strategically – understand what your customers and prospects are looking for and focus on building strong content in those areas.
Bob: That’s it for today’s episode. You can find a link to the Constant Contact blog article on this topic and a transcript of today’s podcast, at DelosInc.com/188.
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