How to Fix Duplicate Content Issues on Your Site

Discussion in 'Articles & Tutorials' started by markdoyle, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. markdoyle

    markdoyle
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    Did you know that over 60% of the websites have duplicate content on them? And did you know that this is the number one reason Google penalizes websites? In this article I’ll show you how you can find duplicate content on your site and how you can fix it.

    External vs. Internal Duplicate Content
    When the same content is both on your site and on some other site, that won’t hurt you. Think about it: if it did, all you’d have to do to hurt your competitors is to take their content and put it on some other website.

    The kind of duplicate content you need to worry about is the internal. That is, when the same content is on two pages of your site or can be accessed through two different URLs.

    Although external duplicate content won’t hurt you, it sure helps having a lot of unique content on your site. If all your content is borrowed from other sources, you’re adding very little value to the web and Google won’t appreciate that.

    Canonical URLs Issues
    Try typing YourSite.com in your browser’s address bar. Does it redirect to www.YourSite.com (with the “www”)? Or maybe www.YourSite.com redirects to YourSite.com. Either way, you want to make sure that one version of your domain redirects to the other. I suggest having your non-www version redirect to your www version.

    How you do this depends on what kind of server and hosting platform you use. Here’s a good tutorial.

    Home Page URL
    When you link to your home page, you should be linking to “/”, not to “/index.html” or “index.php”. Check all the links you have pointing to your home page and fix any links that aren’t pointing to “/”. In addition to this, create a 301 redirect so people who type /index.php are redirected to “/”. This tutorial explains how to create 301 redirects. Keep in mind that you can hire a good developer to fix all these issues for under $100, so it might not make a lot of sense for you to learn how to write code.

    Different Versions of the Same Content
    Do you have printer-friendly versions of your pages? Or maybe a mobile version of your site. Here you have two choices:

    You can use the robots.txt file to tell the search engines not to index the folder where you have your PDF files or printer-friendly pages.
    If you have several versions of the same page you can use the “rel canonical” tag. This is how it works: let’s say you can access a certain piece of content through three different URLs. You want to choose your main URL and make that one the canonical version. And then on the other two pages you can use the rel canonical tag, which tells Google what the “official” URL for that content is. This is how you use it:
    <link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish”/>

    Almost-Duplicate Content
    This is a very common problem. Let’s say you have an e-commerce website with 100 different products. And, let’s say you’ve written 20-word descriptions for each of your products. Here’s the problem: each of your product pages has 20 unique words and a lot of content that doesn’t change across your whole website (like navigation menus, headers, footers, etc.)

    There are two things you can do about this:

    Reduce the amount of content that is common to all pages
    Add some unique content to each one of your pages. Write longer descriptions, explain how the products can be used, ask customers to leave reviews, tell stories, share testimonials and leave comments. Get creative. You’ll get a better response if you offer a free giveaway to people who add content to your site.

    Duplicate Content Caused by CMSs Not Set Up Properly
    Most content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla, have duplicate content issues out of the box. The good news is that it’s easy to fix them.

    Make a list of the types of pages on your site, such as home page, categories, products, member profiles, etc.
    Take one page of each type and copy some of the text on the page
    Search for that text on Google (put it between quotes) and see if the text appears on more than one page. If it does, you have a duplicate content issue you need to fix

    In most cases, you want to fix these issues blocking folders using Robots.txt (tutorial here) or using the rel canonical technique I talked about before.

    Fixing duplicate content issues will considerably improve your Google rankings and organic traffic. Let me know if you have any questions.
     
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  2. patrick0001

    patrick0001
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    Thanks for sharing. I use copyscape to check duplicate content.
     
  3. TisdaleJohn

    TisdaleJohn
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    I just always try to index my content in the search engines as early as possible that no other website owner could steal the content of my website.
     
  4. joshtimber

    joshtimber
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    Thanks for giving this tip. it is really helpful.
     
  5. goodbells

    goodbells
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    Thanks for giving nice information . I use copyscape to check duplicate content or put content on double quote ("content here") on google search bar .
     
  6. band

    band
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    If you are constantly create fresh content, it is pointless for others to steal your content. Because search engines can recognize your effort, beside that you can take DCMA against those copy cat.
     
  7. cbss

    cbss
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    Ya very useful information you have shared, plagiarism is a tool from which you can check your contents whether its copied from someone or not, try to write fresh and unique contents for your website, contents plays a vital role to get ranking in search engines..
     
  8. Josephjohn

    Josephjohn
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    Thanks for giving useful information. we are using copyscape in order to check duplicate content. changing the content on the site frequently helps in the improving the ranking.

    emergency plumber in London
     
  9. daytrader

    daytrader
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    I thought google allow 40% of the contents being non unique as what thier blog says.

    I have installed lamp on my computer today and have edited contents of this forum database and so are the ips of these posters, will it also be penalized when i make it online?
     
  10. ewanfisher

    ewanfisher
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    Quite an informative post! There are many tools for plagiarism...i personally prefer copyscape.

    Regards
    Ewan
     
  11. girdharkumar

    girdharkumar
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    hi

    this is right duplicate conent can be effect on your site because google not crawl duplicate content and it can be effect for your websites traffic
     
  12. girdharkumar

    girdharkumar
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    hi

    this is a nice information about duplicate content on website i agree with you that duplicate content may be harmful for your websites so always try to unique content because accroding to google algo google like unique content and give pr
     
  13. girdharkumar

    girdharkumar
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    copyscape is the best tool for check duplicate content of your websites
     
  14. dollartycoon

    dollartycoon
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    Good info. Thanks for the share. Another hand raise for Copyscape.
     
  15. ThirdSEO

    ThirdSEO
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    This is one of the most important things for new SEOs to learn at the very beginning to give their search engine rankings a nice little boost. Duplicate content is one of the biggest 'rank-killers' out there so getting rid of duplicate pages should be one of your top priorities as an SEO.
     

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