Duplicate content, whether internal or external, has a very negative effect on organic positioning because when it is detected by Google's robots, the search engine penalizes it in several ways:
- It can filter this type of content so that it does not appear in search results.
- According to the Panda algorithm, if the copying is systematic, Google directly penalizes pages that engage in this practice.
- In the event of a plagiarism report, a Google examiner can perform checks and decide to manually set penalties.
Why is there duplication of content?
To answer this question correctly, we need to distinguish two types of duplicate content: internal and external.
1- Duplicate internal content
Most of the duplicate content that Google automatically detects is produced by misuse of URL parameters or by poor organization or management of content.
These are the main issues:
- Have a non-canonical domain. Your website can operate with a domain with or without a “www” prefix, resulting in pages with identical content but with a different URL, so there is a risk that Google will consider them to be duplicates.
- Allow Google crawlers to access parts of your website that are being tested. These sites sometimes contain content which can be considered as duplicate.
- Have URLs with different endings for each country or region. You have to take into account that for Google, a page which, for example, ends with the address .fr, is different from one which ends with .uk. Therefore, if for some reason you included identical content, Google will consider it a duplicate.
- Inadequate organization of your content: either through poor classification of categories, the non-existence or poor planning of meta descriptions or the use of a duplicate content in several posts. This practice is very common in online stores due to their tendency to literally copy product descriptions.
2. External duplicate content
Sometimes content is duplicated between completely different websites, managed by different administrators. This usually happens for two main reasons:
- Because a post or one or more fragments of it to write an article is copied or because other websites are copying your texts. There are even programs that are dedicated to automatic duplication of content with spam methods.
- Use syndication strategies. Sometimes, in order to gain visibility, you decide to upload your content to other websites, which can cause problems when you post the full content of an article without citing the link or doing it incorrectly.
Some keys to solving the problem of duplicate content
The problem of duplicate content is not easy to solve because it involves spending a lot of time controlling and monitoring it. But due to the negative consequences this can have on your page's SEO, it's important to take the following steps:
- Use the "rel_canonical" tag to tell the search engine which version of your website (the one with the www prefix in the URL or the one without) is the one you want to index. You can do this by inserting a line of code in the "head" section or in the HTTP header.
- Create 301 redirects to direct Google robots to the page of interest, which is especially useful when you've moved content from one page to another.
- Use the "no follow" tag to deny Google bots access to certain links because they are under construction, review or testing.
_ Use the "hrflang" tag when using different URLs with emphasis on content from different countries or languages.
- Improve your titles, article categories and meta descriptions. To do this, you can use the Google Webmaster Tools.
- Optimize your strategy of internal links and external links.
- To avoid external duplications, you must be very careful not to plagiarizeeven if this is only a fragment of articles from other websites.
- Check that we are not copied with automatic tools such as Copyscape.
- If you find that you have been plagiarized, you must demand that the text or article be deleted. If necessary, you can also report the page to Google.