Before getting into the details, of duplicate content, let us know what it is? As the name suggests, any content that is copied from some other source is known as Duplicate Content. In simple terms, any information that can be found on various places on the Internet in exact form, exact manner, and exact words is duplicate.
Posting duplicate content not only hurts your legally if someone sues you for their copyright infringement, but it also affects the SEO ranking of your webpage. Because no matter how many keywords are used, no matter how relevant and accurate the information is, once it has been duplicated, the search engines cannot differentiate between the original and the authentic content. There are fair chances that the duplicated content might actually appear on the top whereas the original one gets lost in the herd.
How does Duplicate Content affect SEO?
Duplicate content hampers the SEO in the following ways:
- They cannot differentiate between which content to include and which one to exclude depending on their authenticity.
- They have no scientific method to decide ranks in case of duplicate content. The ranking is done on a random basis.
- They don’t know how to maintain the chain of links and hyperlinks between the pages.
Causes of Duplicate Content
- Due to the concept of comment pagination, sometimes the content of the original page, content of the same page plus comment 1, content of the same page plus comment 1 plus comment 2, and so on, gets duplicated over different URLs.
- The writers assume that the SEO follows their article ID, however, most of the SEO procedures depend on the page URLs. The creators change the URL without changing the content and without realizing that multiple URLs are being created unknowingly with similar content.
Tool to identify Duplicate Content
Google Search Console is the most effective way to find Duplicate Content. Using this, you can get a detailed list of all the URLs that have similar content. Not only you can get to know if any website has used your content without consent but also you will get to know if by mistake you have created multiple URLs of the same content.
The most practical and widely used solution to the problem of Duplicate Content in SEO happens to be Canonicalization. Here what is done is, after you find all the links and URLs that have duplicated your content, you add a canonical link to those pages and URLs that would redirect them to your original page, thereby improving your SEO results. The original content page is known as Canonical Page and an HTML link is added from duplicate page to canonical page.