SEO and Duplicate Content, The Ultimate Guide

The wonderful world of search engine optimisation is constantly keeping us on our toes, luckily for many businesses; search experts exist and make it their mission to stay on top of the ever-changing world of Google.com.

This ultimate guide will run you through the current dos and don’ts of SEO best practice and how duplicate content comes into play. Despite many things in life, this is one area where one is always better than two.

What is Duplicate Content?

According to Google:

“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.”

A Duplicate Content Breakdown, To Avoid You Having A Breakdown

So, we know that, despite what some SEO gurus may say, duplicate content will not land you with a Google penalty. This is a common mistake made by search experts and it seems to stem from Google’s treatment of duplicate content. If you don’t already know, Google loves unique and relevant content, both of these factors are associated with added value and in turn a better user experience.  However, do NOT expect to rank high in Google with content found on other, more trusted sites, and don’t expect to rank at all if your site is spammed with duplicate copy across the board.

Consider this, you’re working your way through a ton of old documents ( it’s that well over due spring clean time again) and you keep coming across the same letter over and over again, annoying right. This process will slow down your de-junk and most likely frustrate you in the process. It’s no different for Google, filters are used to return the most relevant content to the users original search query, an internet full of duplicates will only slow Google down. Nobody wants that because despite what you think, a world without Google would be scarily disconnected.

The moral of this story, a little organisation never goes a miss.

For SEO, it is not necessarily the abundance of duplicate content on a website that is the real issue. It’s the lack of positive signals that no unique content or added value provides that will fail to help you rank faster and better within Google search.

How to Identify Duplicate Content

Despite Google confirming there will be no penalty issued for duplicating the information on your website, in the case of Google, discovering these issues quickly is always advised.

Here at Apex Ecommerce we have a range of useful tools at our fingertips, when it comes to finding duplicate content in the form of parameters or title issues, Screaming Frog is our first port of call.

Once the offending pages have been established, it’s a case of refining the copy and implementing, new user friendly content. For a deeper more technical approach on the issue, SEMrush, will highlight all duplicate pages found onsite.

Once you know about all of the offending dupplicate content issues, it’s time to put out the smoke before the fire, in turn bettering your overall Digital marketing approach. Here’s how you or your SEO agency will deal with and avoid duplicate content:

Key SEO Considerations To Avoid Duplicate Content

  • Use 301 Redirects

Recently built a new site, or planning to in the near future? I cannot stress enough the importance of 301 redirects (“RedirectPermanent”).  Apply these in you .htaccess file and Search bots will know that you have a new website, and better yet, will pass all of your previously built SEO authority.

  • Utilise Search Console

You can tell Google your preferred domain within their Google search console (for example, http://www.example.com or http://example.com). Doing this will prevent Google indexing all variations.

  • Be Consistent With Internal Linking

Try to keep your internal linking activity consistent. A common issue, particularly after a new site migration, is adding new internal link that link the old domain, for example; http://www.example.com/page/ and https://www.example.com/page.

  • Avoid similar content

An area where this is often tricky to avoid is if you have multiple location landing pages with similar or the same content across all. For example, if you are a UK wide training course provider and service multiple locations across the UK it’s important ,if you are going to have unique landing pages for each location, to ensure the copy and content is unique on all. Think about local amenities and travel options for each induvial course location. This is unique user targeted content that will serve your customers with expert and useful information. No doubt aiding conversion and abiding by Googles guidelines, win.

If you’d like us to give you a helping hand with your content strategy to bring you better results – get in touch today.