Duplicate Content and SEO

Search engines consider duplicate content to be large sections of the same content that are found either within a single website or from multiple websites across the web. For this post, we will focus on fixing duplicate content that is accidentally created from within a single website.

Duplicate Content and SEO Don’t Mix

These three links to the exact same page are actually considered different pages by the major search engines:

Which version of this page should the search engines list? Each search engine will choose a version, but it may not be the version of the page that you want to be listed. It is very important to make sure that linking to internal pages is consistent throughout your entire website.

Another problem that duplicate content creates for SEO is with the backlinks that are good for search. If different websites link back to an internal page using different links to the same page, the strength of the internal page is diluted because the search engines consider those links to actually belong to different pages instead of just one.

Use 301 Redirect for Duplicate Content Issues

If another website is linking incorrectly to an internal page on your website, this is the perfect time to use a 301 redirect to make sure that your visitors land on the correct version of the internal website page anyway. A 301 redirect will also help the search engines to combine the backlinks for your internal pages so they can be as strong as possible. The exact code for a 301 redirect usually varies depending on the hosting company that you use, so ask your host for more information.

Add Canonical Tags to Website Pages

Canonical tags tell the search engines which version of the page you would prefer that they list in their index. After duplicate content issues have been discovered, this is the perfect time to add canonical tags to your website pages. We have more about canonical tags in this post.

Did this post help you discover potential duplicate content issues on your internal pages? Let us know!

2 responses to “Duplicate Content and SEO”

  1. Peter S. says:

    I agree that dupe content can severely damage your SEO, and possibly even get your site de-indexed, but I disagree somewhat on your definition. As far as I understand it, duplicate content is when you’ve got identical or nearly-identical content on the SAME site, but it doesn’t count when it’s on different sites. If that was the case, then even simple syndication could hurt you. Right? Or were you referring to something else when you said “different sites?”

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