‘Duplicated content generally means large blocks of content, belonging to the same domain or spread over several domains, which are identical or substantially similar.’
‘Duplicate content’ is any content that appears on the Internet more than once. By ‘more than once’ we mean on more than one site address, or on several URLs with a margin of tolerance of 40% similarity between two pieces of content. We distinguish between internal duplicate content when the same content is found on different pages of the same domain and external duplicate content when the same content exists on different sites.
Duplicated content is not necessarily the work of a forger or a desire to trick the search engines. It can be the result of site architecture, of pages which are developed specifically for mobile display, or printable versions of Web pages and suchlike. Due to poor management, duplicate content is often found in several URLs within the same domain.
In these cases, the content is deliberately duplicated by its creator and used multiple times to provide the user with the best possible experience. This is ultimately what matters to Google. It is therefore logical that the search engine offers ways for these sites to prove their credentials such as Redirection 301, Search Console and the noindex tag.
Here are some basic pieces of advice to take into account:
- Do not prohibit the publication of your content on other sites. This practice will allow you to generate backlinks that are invaluable for your ranking. However, be scrupulous about citing your sources and of course about the link pointing to your site.
- Beware your friends, and especially your CMS. Category pages, tag pages, label pages, filters… Your site manager can become your worst enemy in terms of duplicate content by publishing pages you didn’t know existed. Make sure you know how to use your system properly, and crawl your site regularly to take stock of your online pages.
- Spruce up your internal links. Content can be relevant across multiple pages and add value to several of your site sections. Where applicable, cite the page in question and use internal links to guide your reader within your site to the appropriate and ‘unique’ content.
- Work on your titles and meta titles. If multiple pages have the same tags, Google may consider these pages to be duplicates.
- Keep an eye on your URLs, especially if several URLs point to the same content. In the back office environment you may have the feeling that your content is unique, but Google only recognises pages as being different if they have different URLs. This applies to the path, but also the domain name and protocol.
In addition, be careful when migrating your http site to https. You could shoot yourself in the foot without even realizing it.
Malicious content is fraudulent content that is deliberately copied from a page in an attempt to fool search engines. So-called ‘copied’ content is therefore generally present on several different domains.
Duplicate content does not result in a penalty as such on the part of Google (such as the sandbox, blacklist or loss of Page Ranking). When Google detects duplicate content, it applies a filter rather than a de-indexing of that content. Duplicate pages are removed from the pages of search engine results but are not de-indexed. They continue to appear in the additional results and are displayed via a click on ‘relaunch the search and include the skipped pages’.
Google does not have the ability to differentiate between the plagiarist and the creator, and so sometimes it is the original site and not the copier which is subject to the filter. And it is essential to follow the recommendations to avoid being unfairly considered as the plagiarist and not the one plagiarised.
Duplicate content and product descriptions
E-commerce is one of the most sensitive areas in terms of duplicate content. Brand sites, marketplaces, sites stocking a range of brands… The same product may be available on dozens of different merchant sites or even on the same site, especially when a product is available in several shapes, sizes and colours.
Creating different content for each product page may seem tedious or illogical. Yet sometimes it is essential, if only to meet the technical requirements of each e-merchant site in terms of word count, content, editorial brief, tone and so on.
A standard tip is simply not to copy and paste the content of one of your suppliers.
Duplicate Content and Edit-Place
At Edit-Place, every piece of content that we deliver to our customers is processed by our proprietary anti-plagiarism solution. This way, we guarantee 100% original content and protect your site from possible de-indexation.
If you would like to know more about our offers and discuss your content projects, leave us a message via the contact form or call us on (+44) 20 3302 4494.
This article has been translated by a freelancer from Edit-Place Community. Click here to join