Every business with a website presence is vulnerable to duplicate content. Google has indicated 25-30% of the web content is duplicated, from blog posts to web pages and social media, and it’s okay! This can derive from taking a quotation and linking back to the original content, like a blog, or having two similar documents.
Whether duplicate content has been accidental or a result of posting your content elsewhere, it’s essential to know the same content and its effects on SEO.
What Is Duplicate Content?
According to Google’s definition, “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin.”
Here are a few examples of duplicate content that is not deceptive:
- Discussion forums that provide regular and modified pages designed for mobile devices
- Repeat content on the same domain
- Items on an e-commerce webpage that are linked to by multiple URLs
- Printer-only versions of web pages
There are instances when having repetitive content is unavoidable, such as e-commerce store items linked via multiple URLs.
With this in mind, it is essential for you as a webmaster or blogger to create unique content that brings value to customers and readers.
Does Duplicate Content Hurt My SEO?
The short answer is yes; duplicate content can hurt your SEO. Since it is the same content available on multiple URLs on the web, search engines do not know which URL is the original to list higher in the search results. Therefore search engines might rank all URLs lower and prefer a more organic result linked to other webpages.
While there are no penalties for duplicate content, unfortunately, this can hurt your SEO and your web page ranking.
How to Avoid Duplicate Content
When creating content for your blog or webpage, look for stories and topics relevant to your customers and readers. Make sure your content is original to you to avoid plagiarism and decreased SEO.
There isn’t a formula that search engines use to know how much duplicate content is too much. Your posts are going to share some of the same keywords and links as other posts. When writing, take your slant, voice, and style on the topic and avoid copying large portions of text; you should be okay.
If you have a popular blog post and you’d like to share it again, make sure to refresh the post by editing a new version instead of reposting the same blog post from the archives. As long as you provide some unique insight, a fresh perspective, or explain things in your style, search engines will not view this content duplication as malicious.
Copying content from a site is frowned upon, and search engines consider it as such. If you offer nothing but duplicate content, your site will be at risk for low SEO. Your posts, blog, or webpage may not show it in the search results at all. Results for your webpage may be off the first few pages of the results, which means little to no traffic. Whenever possible, strive for content that is in your own words and value.