What Causes Duplicate Content And How To Avoid It
If there’s one thing that search engines detest it has to be websites with duplicate content. It’s probably because when two URLs have the same content, the search engine gets confused and doesn’t know which URL to show in SERPs. That’s why sites with duplicate content can be banned from ever appearing on SERPs. Even though some people will intentionally copy content from your website and publish it on their own web pages, your site can also have duplicate content because of technical reasons.
Copying Title Tags And Descriptions
If you have different pages on your website with similar title and description tags, search engines will consider this as duplicate content that hurts your SEO. These tags may not interfere with user experience but can really affect the site’s visibility. You may not be doing it intentionally but it could be as a result of tags that create themselves automatically on your website.
A Page With Multiple Urls
One page can have two different URLS. Google will look at it as two different pages but with the same content. This can significantly harm your search rankings. These pages can be created accidentally and you need to eliminate one to maintain your search rankings.
Duplicate Product Descriptions
This is quite common in E-commerce websites that sell products which are also offered in other webpages. They duplicate the product description that also appears on other websites. This can be very harmful to your search visibility since crawlers view it as duplicated pieces of text. Take time to create your own original descriptions of products you sell.
Copied Blogs Or Other Content
Whether it’s the content on your main pages or on the blog, make sure it doesn’t contain pieces of information that have been copied from other websites online. Many bloggers like to copy content from popular sites in hopes that their content will rank high on search engines. This can never happen because Google considered the content as duplication with no value to its users.
Products/Blogs That Appear In Multiple Categories
When you have an E-commerce site that lists products which belong to different categories, sometimes the products can be given unique URLS in each of the categories they belong to. Google will read this as two different URLs with the same content. This also happens when you have blog posts that belong to two categories and they generate unique URLs. When crawlers consider these as two unique pages and the content is identical, it affects your site’s rankings.
Printable Versions Of Content
When your page is being indexed by search engines, it will go through all the pages including the printable versions. If you have these, make sure the content is not duplicated.
When your website is available in http and https or .com and .com/index.html, the pages are considered different. They are indexed and if found to contain the same content, it is considered duplication. Set a preferred domain for search engines to follow, use nonindex or nofollow meta tag to tell search engines not to index content in duplicate pages.