Performancing Metrics

How Duplicate Content Affects Website Ranking, Domain Authority And SEO

Buzzword Bingo: Duplicate Content

(Photo credit: planeta)

Google has an obligation to give a searcher with the best search experience. It’s frustrating when these searchers look for information and find it’s almost similar or same. Google looks at this content, whether served on the same domain or on different ones, as a duplicate and has heavy penalties for the same.

There is no definite penalty for duplicate content, when the intention behind duplicating is to manipulate the algorithms or act maliciously. This is a judgment algorithm you have no control over. Dealing with duplicate content on your website ensures that you are not vulnerable to this judgment.

The real result of duplicate content is decreased visibility. When you have low visibility, your ranking gets hurt and as a result, bad SEO results. Duplicates also trigger lower crawl rates which is also related to lower indexing and visibility in search. As such, dealing with duplicate content once and for all is the best strategy.

Where does duplicate content come from?

Considering that duplicate content is the biggest problem webmasters face, the battle with it is far from over if you have no idea where it comes from.

Having multiple URL’s for the same content

When the same content is pointed to from different domain or URL destinations on the same website, the content is duplicate. When the different extensions are not stopped from being indexed by search engines, duplicates thrive and this leads to there being penalized.

Printer and Mobile versions of a site

Creating different, user friendly versions for visitors is great. However, when these versions are indexed for the same content, they become a source of duplicate content with massive penalties in tow. You need to have a contingency on how to deal with the different versions to your customers.

URL parameters for analytics

Some of the analytics code setups create duplicate content for each other and these often lead to duplicates. This is especially common where scenarios are created where search engines view pages as separate extensions leading to bad reports.

Sessions IDs

Session IDs are generally not a problem on website when tweaked correctly. However, when these session IDs find their way to a destination URL, they cause duplicates on the website. This can lead to massive losses and problems.

Worry not

The above factors could be worrying. However, worry not because you can actually deal with duplicate content easily using the techniques below.

Creating 301 redirects

301 redirects are permanent redirects and they can be useful in dealing with duplicate content. The best place to implement this is with the root domain to indicate that the page has been redirected permanently to a new location. Creating a 301 redirect ensures that the content on the specified page does not compete with others for relevancy on the website. This boosts SEO.


This is a critical SEO tag you can use to redirect a website page to a definite destination. To the website users, this one is friendlier than a 301 redirect. It’s normally placed in the Href part of the website URL. Its functions are of the same value as 301 redirects.

Create unique content

This is one of the most ignored SEO advice webmasters listen to, yet it’s one of the most important. Ideally, you need to ensure that the content you create is published nowhere else on your website or on others. The best way to start this is with your own content as mentioned. This requires initial thorough research. One of the best tools that can help you detect duplicate content is PlagSpotter because, apart from saving time, it’s also great as its pretty fast and accurate.

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  1. Jordan Meeter ) says: 11/20/2012

    So, a Korean news website wants to syndicate a select few of my posts and has agreed to use the rel”canonical” protocol to avoid Google penalties. However, they will translate the posts into Korean. How does this affect things?


  2. Chris ) says: 11/21/2012

    I’d like to see some actual sources on the penalty thing or is this just a wild guess from you?


  3. khushal ) says: 11/21/2012

    useful information…..thanks for sharing


  4. eldy says: 1/6/2013

    but I saw many copied content rank pretty well, especially in the world of niche of news.. why?