How To Avoid Duplicate Content Within Your Site

How To Avoid Duplicate Content Within Your Site

You sit down to read your favorite author’s new book. You start reading as soon as you open the book. After some time, you find two pages that are the same. You’re not sure what to do. What went wrong? Was this just a mistake? Did the book get two extra pages because of a mistake on the assembly line? Users and search engines get confused when they find duplicate content, just like finding a duplicate page in a book.

Search engines aim to provide users with the best information they can find. If your website has duplicate content, such as the same information on more than one page, search engines don’t know which version of a page to show users. So, websites with duplicate content will be punished by the search engine. Here are six ways to avoid having duplicate content on your website.

What exactly is duplicate content?

When the same core content is on two different URLs, this is called duplicate content. When a search engine finds two pieces of content almost the same, it will choose which one to show. This can be an issue if it’s difficult to get people to visit your website by writing content, but they end up on the mistaken page.

Specifically, if that page is not on your domain or if one of the URLs is subject to laws in a different country. But you might be wondering if SEO is hurt by duplicate content. Google doesn’t penalize you for having multiple copies of the same piece of content. But having it can hurt how well your website is indexed.

Search engines don’t look at all of a website’s pages. They stop when they think they’ve found all the important stuff. This is called a “crawl budget” by many. If you spend all of your crawl budgets on duplicate content, other content might not be indexed.

There are four ways to deal with problems with duplicate content:

  • Eliminate one of the versions.
  • Redirect the less significant version to the main page
  • Disallow indexing of less-than-perfect content versions
  • Utilize canonical tags to indicate the main content

How do search engines recognize duplicate content?

Search engines first crawl URLs and then read the content. They open doors to see what’s behind them, write down everything they see, and then cut it down. Things like navigation menus and footers are taken out of the shorter version. Then, this content is compared to what is already in their databases to find similar content.

If there is too much similarity, the search engine will group URLs from the same domain and only keep one of them. When there are similar pieces of content on different domains, it usually chooses the older one. Yours was probably the first one to be indexed.

How to Avoid Duplicate Content

The SEO audit stages listed below evaluate a website’s architecture.

How to Avoid Duplicate Content: Using Robots.txt Files

Robots.txt files tell search engines which sheets you don’t want to be crawled on your site. This helps direct web traffic. Think of a treasure map: it shows you where the treasure is and where it is not. You could still look around in these places, but you won’t find what you need.

If you have duplicate content, like pages that can be printed, put it in the robots.txt file and then send the robots.txt file to the search engines again. Search engine crawlers won’t go to these pages anymore, and users will be sent to your website’s most important pages.

Be careful with similar topics

Pages with similar content may be seen as duplicates by search engines. If you have pages on your site with similar information, you might want to merge them or add information that shows what makes each page different. For example, your medical practice website has pages for each of its four clinics that have the same information. You could combine these pages into one page for each location or highlight the different services at each site to make each page stand out.

Utilize 301 Redirects

When you update a website page, you might get rid of an older page with similar information or start moving it to a new URL so that people don’t get confused by the duplicate content. You are required to make sure that you don’t lose sight of visitors.

When you move content from one URL to another, you don’t want to lose users. They do this by automatically sending people to a page’s new URL if they type in the old one. This is how the US Postal Service will send your mail to your new address after moving.

It sends people to the right page on your site after taking down an old page or moving content to a different spot. Also, 301 redirects tell search engines that content that was once indexed and may have been near the top of search engine outcome is now in a different place.

Be aware of copied content

You likely know that websites that share content are a source of duplication. Blogs and other long-form content aren’t the only things on the internet. If you sell things on your website, the pages about your products are also content. Search engines may punish your site if you use the same descriptions from the manufacturer or copy descriptions from other e-commerce sites.

Beware of repetitive boilerplates

Copyrighted text at the bottom of a website is called “boilerplate.” This can be marked as duplicate content by Google and other search engines. Consider putting all this information on one page and a summary with a link to all the copyright information on a different page.

Format your internal links consistently

Internal links take you from one page on the same website to another. They make it easy for people to find their way around your website, help search engines figure out the order of pages, and help spread ranking power around your website. If you format the visible URL for internal links the same way, search engines will be able to quickly find information that is relevant to a user’s search.

2 thoughts on “How To Avoid Duplicate Content Within Your Site”

  1. Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Outstanding blog and outstanding design.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.