Duplication handling is a very important aspect of SEO. If the majority of the content on a page is copied from somewhere else it will receive a very low rating from Google, even if the content is cited to the external source. It should be noted that Google distinguishes between ‘copied content’ and ‘duplicated content’. Copied content can be penalised, as it is seen to be malicious, whereas duplicated content is much more common and not meant to be manipulative. Regardless, neither are good for SEO. Basically, Google rewards individual content, believing that it is adding value. A lot of websites have duplicated content, but as long as there is a decent amount of unique content on the site, you should be OK.

Duplication handling needs to be considered for both your own website and other websites. You will get penalised just as much for having duplicate content across your own website as taking it from others. This type of content can be called ‘boilerplate’. For example, if you use the same boilerplate block of text on lots of pages, Google might start to ignore them entirely. So try and mix it up. For example, if you have the same coffee cup available in 5 colours, with the same url (plus the colours on the end), title, meta-description product description, this could be detrimental. So although it is very time consuming, try and re-write each description, and not just spin the text around!

If you are already an established website with lots of content, the first phase of duplication handling should be to check if you have any duplicate content already on the site. The easiest way to do this by taking a bit of text from a page on your site, and searching it on Google when it is in “quotation marks”. Then Google will return all the pages that have this exact content too. Of course, there are lots of third party companies that will do this for you too.

Here are a few tips to avoid duplicated content:

  • Disable session ID’s in your URLs
  • Disable comment pagination in WordPress
  • Order parameters within your script in the same order
  • Use a print style sheet instead of duplicate printer friendly pages

Bloggers will often end up writing about the same topics, especially in a niche industry. The best thing to do is link to the other article instead of duplicating it.

Duplication handling can be quite an in-depth and sticky concept, so get in touch with us if you need help to decipher the do’s and dont’s.

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