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How to Stop Sabotaging Your SEO with Duplicate Content

How to Stop Sabotaging Your SEO with Duplicate Content


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Imagine sitting at your desk, staring at your website’s analytics dashboard, wondering why your traffic has suddenly stalled. You’ve been diligently churning out brilliant blog posts and optimizing your pages for SEO, but still, your ranking has stalled. What could be the issue? There is the possibility that your website contains duplicate content.

You may have several queries in your mind. You might be thinking:

“What if I post my content on two websites? What if the content appears at more than one location or URL online? Would it be considered duplicate content? What if the same information is available at multiple URLs? Would that also qualify as duplicate content?”

Well, the answer is yes. So, let’s explore what duplicate content is and why Google doesn’t like it.

What Is duplicate content?

Google’s definition of duplicate content is a nightmare for any website owner. It’s walking on thin ice without knowing when you will fall through. Google considers content duplicate when it appears at multiple locations or URLs online. It means that even if you have the same information on different website pages, it could still be flagged as duplicate content. Keep in mind that that duplicate content could live anywhere–on your website or someone else’s

But it’s gotten harder because Google’s gotten so much smarter. Google’s algorithms are so advanced that they can detect variations of the same content, such as pages with only minor differences in text or identical pages except for a few words. And if Google detects duplicate content, it can negatively impact your website’s ranking in search results, making it much harder for people to find it. But why does Google do it? Let’s see the next section.

Why is having duplicate content an issue for SEO?

Suppose you want to purchase a branded cellphone and review its features on Google. But when you searched, you found the same product review on two different search results. Or you found the same blog with the link, taking you to the same page you have visited before. Annoying, right?

Now you’re getting it. That’s what happens with Google. When you copy and paste the same content, you create confusion for Google and its famous algorithms that jump link by link to provide the best result. As a result, it showed similar results with different URLs, which affect the user experience. And since user experience and fulfilling the user intent are most important for Google, it takes action against duplicate content. Now, what does Google do with it?

What does Google do with websites publishing duplicate content?

If Google catches you publishing duplicate content, you’re in for a world of hurt. It’s like being caught with your hand in the cookie jar, except the consequences are much worse. Google takes duplicate content very seriously and will not hesitate to take action against websites that engage in this practice.

First, Google’s algorithms will identify and mark duplicate content as such. It means that Google will push down any pages with duplicate content in search results. Hence,  it will be harder for people to find that website. And if the duplication is extensive, your entire website could be flagged as low-quality and pushed down in search results.

Secondly, Google may even penalize your website for engaging in this practice. This penalty can range from a warning to completely removing your website from search results, which could be catastrophic for your online presence and business.

Hence, website owners should understand that Google knows what duplicate content is. So they can’t fool the search algorithm. Then what should you do?

AI generated content

Now that we’re all using AI content writers, there’s a misperception that whatever content these apps produce is going to be plagiarism-free. Wrong. I’m using WriteSonic, and the 5.0 version of this writer is based on a topic and the article that you supply for reference. This is a really bad end product that full of plagiarism. Much better is the 4.0 version that is based on a topic and keywords. Even then, best practices calls for running your blog through a plagiarism checker before adding it to your website or submitting for a guest post.

How to identify duplicate content?

Now that we understand the impact of duplicate content on SEO, it’s time to learn how to identify it. Regular audits are essential for identifying and removing duplicate content. Fortunately, there are tools and techniques available that can help us do just that.

One of the most popular tools for identifying duplicate content is Grammarly. It’s a writing app that not only checks for grammar and spelling errors and plagiarism. Simply copy and paste your content into the app, which will compare it against millions of web pages to check for duplicates.

A tool that’s even more widely used and may be the industry standard right now is Copyscape. It’s a plagiarism checker that can quickly scan your website for duplicate content. Enter the page URL you want to check, and Copyscape will analyze it for plagiarism.

How to solve duplicate content issues?

If you’re dealing with duplicate content issues, there are several ways to solve the problem and get your website back on track. Here are some tips to help you resolve the issue:

  • Rewrite content: If you have similar content on multiple pages, rewrite the content to make it unique and relevant to the specific page. Just differentiate between relevant information and fluff to create user-friendly content.
  • Consolidate content: If you have multiple pages with similar content, consolidate them into one page.
  • Remove scraped content: If someone has scraped your content and outranked you, use Google’s “Remove Outdated Content” tool to remove the scraped content from Google’s search results.

Duplicate content: Use Grammarly plagiarism checker

Using duplicate content can harm your website’s ranking and overall online presence. Duplicate content confuses Google. Instead of sending out little bots to index your site, those little bots stall. That’s the simplest outcome of duplicate content. You’re working hard to create great content that will help you show up in search engines, so when these bots stall, there’s no indexing going on, no building of your Google authority, and you’ve just wasted your time writing that article. It’s very possible that sentences or phrases end up being duplicated. Frankly, with the emergence and wide acceptance of AI apps pulling data from all over the web, this is likely to become a more common occurrence.

Creating unique and relevant content is crucial to ensuring your website stands out and delivers value to your audience. With the help of AI tools like Grammarly and Copyscape, you can easily detect and resolve duplicate content issues.

Avoid sabotaging your website’s reputation by publishing duplicate content. Unleash your creativity and develop unique content that drives traffic to your website and engages and delights your readers.

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