Duplicate Content SEO ‘Penalty’ in Google: How Can You Fix?

In narrower terms, duplicate content is extremely similar or even exactly identical content on many pages within your site or on any other website.In the broader sense, duplicate content refers to content adding little or no value for your site visitors. Thus, pages that have little to no content in the body are also supposed to be duplicate content.

 Also Read: Dislocate old blog with 9 effective SEO tips  

You must avoid publishing duplicate content because it confuses the search engines and hence night harm the SEO performance. Possessing a dozen of duplicate content pages on any site of 100 pages is an area to look into because duplicate content is going to really weigh down the SEO performance if there is an unreasonable quantity of duplicate content. 

Major Causes

Unfinished Content

Once you create a fresh page containing little content, it is better to save it instead of publishing – often, it provides little or no value. You can make drafts of unfinished pages. In case you can’t avoid publishing pages with insufficient content, deter search engine indexing by using the ‘noindex’ attribute of the meta robots. Always check finished content with a duplicate content checker.

Tracking Parameters

Parameters are generally used for tracking too. For example, while sharing a link on Twitter, its source is also added to the link. This happens to be another place for duplicate content. A great practice is the implementation of self-referencing canonical URLs in the pages. In case you’ve done that already, this resolves the issue. Every URL with such tracking parameters is by default canonicalized to the version that does not have the parameters.

Session IDs

Sessions can store visitor data for web analytics. Let’s say every URL a visitor asks for gets their session ID appended.It will create several duplicate contents since the content in these URLs is precisely the same.

And again, a great practice is the implementation of self-referencing canonical URLs in your pages. In case you’ve done that already, your issue is solved. Every URL with such tracking parameters is by default canonicalized to the version that does not have the parameters.

Print-Friendly Version

If pages possess a print-friendly version on a different URL, there actually exist essentially two versions of the identical content. Implement a canonical URL to lead them from your print-friendly version till the original version of your page.

Penalty for Duplicate Content

If you don’t purposely copy from another website, then it’s extremely unlikely for you to get a penalty for duplicate content. In case you did copy large quantities of another person’s content, then it is okay. Here is the way Google talks about it:

“Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results. If your site suffers from duplicate content issues, and you don’t follow the advice listed above, we do a good job of choosing a version of the content to show in our search results.”

Does Fixing the Issue Help?

Yes, it does help. This is because by fixing these duplicate content problems, you’re informing the search engines the pages they really should be crawling, indexing, or ranking. Using a top SEO tool is also going to deter search engines from spending their crawl budget meant to fit your site on unimportant duplicate pages. They will focus on the unique content that you actually need to rank for.

There’s no particular quantity of acceptable duplicate content. However, if you wish to rank with one page, it has to be important to your visitors while having unique content. We hope this information regarding duplicate content will help your web pages.