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If you sell your products through third-party retailer websites or have other resellers offering your product, then provide each source with a unique description.
How the manual action penalty works: a human reviewer at Google will review the website to determine if a page is compliant with Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines. If you are flagged for trying to manipulate Google’s search index, you will either find your website has been ranked significantly lower or removed from the search results entirely.
Scraped content can occasionally be easy to identify as the scrapers sometimes don’t bother to replace branded terms throughout the content.
There are two types of duplicate content:
In this article, I will explain how to find duplicate content, how to determine whether it’s affecting you internally or across other domains, and how to manage the duplicate content issues properly.
Let’s face it; you didn’t work so hard to produce original content to have someone steal your work and outrank you in the search results.
However, if you want to rank for “Rickenbacker 4003 Electric Bass Guitar,” you have to differentiate your product page for Rickenbacker 4003 from all the other websites offering that product.
It doesn’t matter if you manage a website for a small business or a large corporation; every site is vulnerable to the threat that duplicate content poses to SEO rankings.
Regardless of whether duplicate content on a site is accidental or the result of someone stealing blocks of text from your web pages, it must be addressed and handled correctly.
Product variations, such as size or color, should ideally not be on separate pages. Utilize web design elements so that all the variations of a product are kept on one page.
How to Check for Duplicate Content.
Note: There is no SEO benefit to using or not using www or the trailing slash in your URLs. It is a matter of personal preference.
Of course, having some similar content is natural and sometimes unavoidable (i.e., quoting another article on the internet).
Content syndication is when another website republishes your content that, most likely, originally appeared in your blog. It’s not the same as getting your content scraped because it’s something you volunteered to have shared on another site.
If you want your product description page to outperform the others, check out our article on how to write a great product description page.
To avoid duplicate content issues, make sure that each page on your site has:
Copy a few sentences of text from one of your web pages, put it in quotation marks, and search for it in Google. By using quotation marks, you’re telling Google that you want results that return that exact text. If multiple results show up, then someone has copied your content.
If you have a significant amount of valuable content, there is a good chance that it will end up being republished on another website. As flattering as this may be, you will have to do without it. Here are the different ways duplicate content occurs externally:
If you find that your website either has a conflicting www vs. non-www or trailing slashes vs. non-trailing slashes, then you will have to set up a 301 redirect from the non-preferred version to the preferred one.
Duplicate content refers to blocks of content that are either completely identical to one another (exact duplicates) or very similar, also known as common or near-duplicates. Near-duplicate content refers to two pieces of content with only minor differences.
A quick way to check for these issues is to take a section of unique text from your most valuable landing pages, put the text in quotes, and search for it on Google. Google will then search for that exact string of text. If more than one page shows up in the search results, then you will have to look closely to determine why that’s happening by first looking into the possibility of the three options listed above.
An often overlooked area of internal duplicate content is around URLs with:
However, this is super rare. And it’s only done in cases where a site is purposely scraping or copying content from other sites.
Well, you might have one services page optimized around the keyword: “Learn French Boston”.
If everything is setup right, every size and color of that t-shirt will still be on the same URL.
How Does Duplicate Content Impact SEO?
For example, Siteliner scans your website for pages that contain lots of duplicate content.
But sometimes you’ll find that your site creates a new URL for every different version of your product… which results in THOUSANDS of duplicate content pages.
For example, let’s say that you have three pages on your site with similar content.
For example, Backlinko has 112 pages indexed:
Sometimes Google doesn’t just downrank duplicate content. It actually refuses to index it.
Sometimes the content will technically be different. For example, one page has a location listed for the Boston location. And the other page has the Cambridge address.
So if you have a bunch of duplicate pages on your site, you probably don’t need to worry about a “duplicate content penalty.”
(Including pages on your own website)
If you use WordPress you might have noticed that it automatically generates tag and category pages.
This issue crops up when the “WWW” version of your website doesn’t redirect to the “non-WWW” version.
So they’re useful to users, I recommend adding the “noindex” tag to these pages. That way, they can exist without search engines indexing them.
(Or use the canonical tag)
In fact, Google defines duplicate content as:
301 redirects are the easiest way to fix duplicate content issues on your site.
Duplicate content is content that’s similar or exact copies of content on other websites or on different pages on the same website. Having large amounts of duplicate content on a website can negatively impact Google rankings.