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Understanding Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is content that appears on more than one web page either on the same domain or a different domain name. For example, if you have the same content on your main website as you have on your mobile website that is considered duplicate content. Or, if you have an informative page on your website and someone copies your page and puts it on their website that is also considered duplicate content. Another common mistake is putting up the same content on multiple websites in an effort to get traffic from more than one source, but that is also considered duplicate content.

Why Is Duplicate Content Bad?

It may seem like you are not doing any harm, but in the search engine’s eyes you are. Google and the other search engines sole purpose are to gather quality, unique information for searchers. In an effort to provide searchers with unique content they try to minimize the amount of duplicate content they index. What good would the search engines be if they returned you with 10 websites with the same content?

How Can You Tell If You Have Duplicate Content?

Finding out if your website has duplicate content is easy. Simply copy a couple of sentences from your website and type them into Google’s search bar. You will be returned with a list of websites that contain that sentence. Sometimes you will find some interesting things when looking through the results.

In doing a duplicate content search for our website we found many sites that directly copied content from our website. Other web development companies seemed to have copied our content word for word even leaving our company name on their website content.

Why Do People Duplicate Content?

In the example above of other web development companies duplicating our content, the only realistic reason why a competitor would do that is to hurt our ranking. By copying content from our website they must have hoped that the search engines would see our content as duplicate content and remove us from their results.

Duplicate content can also be on the same website. In putting together your website’s content it can be easy to use the same wording on different website pages. Beware that using that same wording on multiple website pages may be easier than writing new copy for all your pages, but it will only hurt your website in the long run.

How Do You Stop People From Duplicating Your Content?

There is no guaranteed way to stop others from stealing your website content, but there are a few things you can do to help lessen your chances of duplicate content. Copyrighting your website content can help to protect your content. By putting a copyright notice on your website pages it may help to deter some people away from copying your content.

In order to check and see if other people are copying your website content doing a search often can help lessen the amount of duplicate content you have. If you locate other websites that are copying your website content you can try to call or email and ask them to remove your content. While asking may not always work, it is worth a try.

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