01 May 2023

Effective SEO Copywriting- Boost Blog Visibility & Rankings with Optimized Content

Decoding Duplicate Content and its Impact on SEO: A Comprehensive Guide

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The phenomenon of duplicate content in the realm of SEO is a fascinating one. What exactly is it? Duplicate content refers to material that is either an exact replica or very similar to information found on other websites or different pages within the same website. Having a significant amount of duplicate content can be detrimental to your Google rankings. In simple terms, duplicate content can be defined as content that is identical to that found on another page, or even content that bears close similarity to other content, regardless of minor rewrites.

Understanding the Impact of Duplicate Content on SEO

As a general rule, Google tends to avoid ranking pages that contain duplicate content. Google’s goal is to index and display pages that offer unique and valuable information. Therefore, if your website lacks unique content, it may lead to a decline in your search engine rankings. There are three major issues associated with websites that have an abundance of duplicate content:

  1. Decreased Organic Traffic: It’s straightforward - Google refrains from ranking pages that plagiarize content from other pages in Google’s index, including pages on your own website. This ultimately leads to a decrease in organic traffic.

  2. Penalty (A Rarity): Although rare, Google has warned that duplicate content may result in penalties or even complete de-indexing of a website. However, this usually occurs only when a site deliberately scrapes or copies content from other sources.

  3. Fewer Indexed Pages: Particularly for websites with a large number of pages, such as eCommerce sites, sometimes Google not only downranks duplicate content but also refuses to index it altogether.

Best Practices

  1. Keeping an Eye on Identical Content on Various URLs: This is the primary reason behind the emergence of duplicate content issues. For example, if you’re running an eCommerce platform and selling t-shirts, ideally, all variations of the product should reside on a single URL. However, if your site generates a new URL for every version of your product, it can result in thousands of duplicate content pages.

  2. Check Indexed Pages: One practical way to discover duplicate content is by examining the number of pages from your site indexed by Google. This number should align with the quantity of pages manually created by you.

  3. Ensure Correct Site Redirects: Occasionally, you might encounter multiple versions not just of the same page but the same site. This occurs when the “WWW” version of your website does not redirect to the “non-WWW” version (or vice versa), or when you’ve transitioned your site over to HTTPS and didn’t redirect the HTTP site.

  4. Employing 301 Redirects: 301 redirects are a simple solution to rectify duplicate content issues on your site (apart from outright deleting pages). So, once you find multiple duplicate content pages on your site, redirect them back to the original. Once Googlebot pays a visit, it will process the redirect and only index the original content.

  5. Watching Out For Similar Content: Duplicate content isn’t just about identical word-for-word copies. According to Google’s definition, even similar-looking content can lead to duplicate content issues.

  6. Canonical Tag Usage: The rel=canonical tag plays an instrumental role in conveying to search engines that among numerous pages with duplicate content, one page is the original and others can be disregarded.

  7. Leveraging Tools: Several SEO tools offer features designed to spot duplicate content. Siteliner is one such tool that scans your website for pages containing lots of duplicate content.

  8. Consolidating Pages: If you’re dealing with similar content across multiple pages, instead of writing unique content for each page, consider consolidating them into a single comprehensive page.

  9. Noindex WordPress Tag or Category Pages: To prevent WordPress from automatically generating tag and category pages that often contain duplicate content, add the “noindex” tag to these pages.


In conclusion, handling duplicate content can be a challenging task, but it is essential for maintaining the prominence and relevance of your online presence. With a proactive approach and strategic implementation of the best practices mentioned above, dealing with duplicate content can become less daunting over time.

Remember, effective SEO copywriting and following SEO content writing guidelines are crucial for increasing your blog’s visibility and driving organic traffic. Conduct thorough blog keyword research and implement SEO blog writing tips to optimize your content for search engines. By prioritizing unique and valuable content, you can enhance your website’s performance and achieve higher rankings in search engine results.

Click here to learn more about Content Cannon, an SEO tool that can help you create unique and engaging content for your website.