Double trouble – Duplicate content and how it can affect you

It’s not breaking news that Google doesn’t like duplicate content. Many sites for over a decade have been hit hard due to either an unfortunate mistake, or the deliberate ploy of displaying non-unique content. The occurrence of duplicate content, however, is still quite frequent, particularly amongst organisations that can afford to have multiple domains at their disposal.

When we talk about duplicate content, we aren’t referring to two pages that vaguely resonate the same tone. We are referring to the like-for-like similarities of two or more different pages being an exact match. Content that matches exactly isn’t always deliberate. Many print optimised pages will obviously be entirely similar, as well as pages that rely on a session ID mechanism to operate. Some other examples of accidental duplicate content are:

  • Product descriptions
  • Category sections
  • Guest posting
  • Shared content

These examples are obviously unintentional, and can be clearly attributed to the interface of the page more so than the deliberate replication of any page. Luckily for those that have these kind of setups on their website, a simple canonicalisation of your URL’s will inform the Google bots of that particular page’s honest intentions. But what do these bots look to penalise in suspected duplicate content?

It’s important to understand that there is no “penalisation”. Rather, a correction is made to the SERP’s to reflect the proper order of websites. Google goes to great lengths to determine which piece of duplicate content was the original, acknowledging that singular piece of content as being unique. Other websites showing that same piece of content do not get penalised per se, rather, they are corrected to represent their actual standing.

Given all of this, there are some simple solutions to ensure that any accidental duplicate content is removed without requiring a massive overhaul of your entire page, of which are:

  • Canonicalisation and 301 Redirects – Great for eCommerce pages or those that have a refined search function, as it directs duplicate content pages to the original
  • Consolidated Link Signals – Allows any inbound links from your shared content to be redirected to the category page (e.g. /car?=1979-car becomes /1970-cars.html)
  • Ensure your Content is Unique – Fairly obvious, however it is important to not deliberately double up regardless of lack of malicious intent

IT Consulting Company is a leading provider of essential web services throughout Australia, and our team of content producers and designers love the idea of unique content. Each website that we construct for our clients is original, and represents the needs and requirements of them. Call us on 1300 770 119 today, and let us see what we can do for you.

Have you had any experience in dealing with duplicate content? Or maybe you’re regretting having pressed copy and paste in the past? Share with us your thoughts below.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required