avoid duplicate content

Google rewards fresh, original, and unique content and penalizes duplicate content. The issue of duplicate content occurs when the content of one page is found on another page as well. This causes confusion for Google, as it doesn’t know which page is the original or intended version without further guidance. If your content isn’t unique, Google may penalize that page and potentially your entire site. There two types of duplicate content:

  1. Internal (onsite) Duplicate Content
  2. External (offsite) Duplicate Content

Internal (On Site) Duplicate Content

Many websites have multiple ways of displaying the same content, which can lead to instances of duplicate content. Here are a few examples:

  • Some sites, including some WordPress themes, display full articles in places like search results, archives by date, listing by category, and listing by tag. When full articles are displayed, the exact same content is displayed in multiple places, on the original post and on these other pages mentioned.
  • Some sites allow users to sort content based filters like “popular articles”, “recent articles”, and others. If the exact same content (in a different order) is displayed on multiple URLs, duplicate content issues can arise.

In all these situations and others, duplicate content is created and needs to be addressed. To avoid confusion, there are a couple solutions.

Use the Rel=”Canonical” Tag to Avoid Duplicate Content

The Canonical tag is placed in the HTML head of the web page that you consider the “duplicate” and points over to the original or preferred page. It looks something like this: <linkhref=”http://www.example.com/preferred-page/” rel=”canonical”/>

So when Google sees this tag in the head of the web page, it knows that the current page is a copy and gives the link authority and index preference to the following URL in this example:

“http://www.example.com/original-preferred-page”

No action is required for Squarespace users, as their pages automatically generate proper canonical tags. Within WordPress, the All in One SEO Plugin or your Yoast Plugin will solve this issue. The Yoast Plugin automatically fixes these issues, while the All in One SEO Plugin simply requires that you check the rel=”canonical” box in the admin panel.

If you’re not using one of these content management systems, you’ll need to add in the code manually.

Use the Noindex Tag to Avoid Duplicate Content

As we mentioned previously, you can instruct Google to not index a page by including the “noindex” tag between the section of a webpage. Including this tag on the potential duplicate pages such as a search page or a listing by category page, you can avoid this issue.

Keep in mind that this is only an issue if your listings display the full content. If these listings only display a small excerpt, then not enough content is being repeated for it to be considered duplicate content. The image below shows an example of the “All in One SEO” plugin noindex settings. If you do not use a CMS like WordPress or Squarespace, you will need to include the “noindex” value manually in each of these pages.

noindex-tag

External Duplicate Content

The second form of duplicate content happens if you copy someone’s content or if they copy yours. You should never copy over exact text from anywhere on the web beyond quoting a couple of sentences. Besides copyright and legal infractions, you should avoid this because Google will likely identify the duplicate content and penalize that.

If your content is stolen by others, it can potentially hurt your site as well. Generally, this happens more and more as your site gains more visibility. Unoriginal webmasters see you climbing up the search results and somehow think that if they copy your content, they will experience similar success. Though this is a terrible strategy, some just don’t know any better.

Ways to Prevent or Mitigate Duplicate Content

Contact the Webmaster – If you discover someone stealing your content, contact them immediately and ask them to take it down, citing copyright infringement.

Submit a Claim – If your emails are being ignored, or if they refuse, consider submitting an infringement claim to Google: https://support.google.com/legal/answer/1120734

Include Your Link – Be sure to include in-content links to your site so that if a site is automatically pulling content from your site, at least you get a link back and credit for your work (more on this in the link building book). Though it feels odd to link to your own site within your own content, remember that internal linking is good practice anyways, so this is just another reason to do it.

Submit to Other Siteshttp://stopstealingphotos.com/ and other sites like it might be willing to help you apply pressure on the webmaster to remove stolen content.

CHAPTER 1.01 – INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 2: 1.02 – SEO BASICS & KEYWORD STRATEGY

CHAPTER 3 1.03 – CREATING CONTENT

CHAPTER 4: 1.04 – SITE STRUCTURE

Chapter 5: 1.05 – ACCESSIBILITY, SPEED, AND DUPLICATE CONTENT

Chapter 6: 2.01 – LINK BASICS

Chapter 7: 2.02 – LINK VALUE FACTORS

Chapter 8: 2.03 – NOFOLLOW, RELATED LINKS, & ANCHOR TEXT

Chapter 9: 2.04 – LINK BUILDING STRATEGIES

Chapter 10: 3.01 – THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Chapter 11: 3.02 – MAXIMIZING SPECIFIC SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS

Chapter 12: 3.03 – MASTER LOCAL SEARCH

Chapter 13: 4.01 – Initial Decisions

Chapter 14: 4.02 – WORDPRESS AND Squarespace

Chapter 15: 4.03 – GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Chapter 16: PAID DIRECTORIES

ACCESS TO INDUSTRY-LEADING EDUCATION

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