Duplicate Content Issues: Sounds Familiar?

Are you expecting a definition of the phrase? Come on, you can’t be so naïve. How many times have you come across this phrase before? Quite a lot, if you have been in the SEO world for some time. As it sounds, not at all a good practice. And if you are user, how many times have you seen the same content in the home pages of different sites and got totally annoyed and left the search?

Duplicate content has been a topic of discussion in SEO for a long time, especially since a few site owners started using content to build articles and site information from other websites for their own sites. It didn’t take long for the search engines to realise this and implement different filters, and not just one, to prevent the duplication of content. It is not going to hurt to collect some information on duplicate content and the options you have to prevent that.

When search engines filter the content they sometimes remove the spams too. Poor web masters who have unknowingly added spams in the search engines would suffer here. There are different kinds of content that can be considered as spam.

  • Identical content in different websites: Websites that have identical content can be considered as spam. Similarly affiliate sites with same looks and appearance also are prone to same risk.
  • Scraped content: Using content from a website and rephrasing it to make it look different is also duplicating content. This is more of a problem for search engines to tackle since the content would be more of rephrased sentences and paragraphs.
  • E-commerce websites: Very often e-commerce website owners use the description provided by the manufacturers. Since the same products will be added in different e-commerce websites chances are the product description would be the same for all the websites.
  • Article distribution: Creating articles and publishing on the Internet in different website is a good idea for search engines to notice you. But what if your article is duplicated by other websites? Not all search engines can detect this and find the duplication.

Are you baffled? So you should be! These are a few of the means by which your website can be considered and discarded as spam. However, there are means to find out whether your content is duplicated by other websites or not.

  • First of all, you can check whether your site content is reproduced by searching for them in www.copyscape.com.
  • Sometimes, especially when you distribute articles in different sites, there are chances of content duplication. What you can do here is add some of your comments and statements to the article and the problem will be solved. The Similar Page Checker can help you here.
  • In case your site is an e-commerce site you can provide product descriptions that are original and unique.
  • You can also avoid creating doorways and leaning on affiliate sites. These are shortcuts to your site being rejected as spam.
  • Use 301 redirects to redirect users instead making them reach the same pages without warning.
  • In case your site contains identical content in different pages you can inform Google as to your preferred URL (referred to as “canonicalization).
  • Decide yourself on which pages have to be indexed rather than leaving it in the hands of search engines. You can use robots.txt files for this.
  • Finally, DO NOT try to repeat the same content in all the pages of your website deliberately. This is considered a bad practice not just by search engines but also the users who will be bored to see the same content everywhere.

What you need to keep in mind is that what is more important here is not just to escape from being labeled as spam but also to be recognized as a site that is unique and relevant.

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4 Responses to “Duplicate Content Issues: Sounds Familiar?”

  1. What I dont believe I agree with that at all seriously.

  2. Wow, I just started, and this content on your site helps a lot, thanks for sharing!

  3. [...] Duplicating content, cloaking, creating doorway pages, keyword stuffing, etc. are some of the common unethical or black hat SEO practices. They are easy to use and if you don’t get caught it might even bring some results initially. However, it’s just a short-lived happiness. Your website can get even banned for that. Hence, make sure the steps you take are ethical SEO practices. [...]

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