If you have duplicate content on your website you should try and reduce it. But many website owners still don’t realize why they should avoid duplicate content, or even, what it is exactly.
What is duplicate content?
According to Google, duplicate content is defined as any content which “either completely match[es] other content or [is] appreciably similar.”
By never posting any content which is blatantly copied, spun, or superficially modified from an outside source you would prevent duplicate content from appearing on your site. However, most duplicate content is not generated by unethical practices.
Many instances of duplicate content come from within a website itself. Boilerplate content, such as the product descriptions on e-commerce and affiliate sites, blogrolls, CTAs, RSS feeds, customer testimonies, online forums and directory sites can all generate a substantial amount of duplicate content.
So the goal should be to avoid, as Google describes it, that your content does not completely or appreciably match content on other pages of your website.
Ways to reduce duplicate content from your site.
- Running a content audit. Use tools Google Webmaster Tools to locate hidden duplicate content on your site;
- Pruning your site. Make sure all content on your site adds value. Delete thin content, out-of-date information, and eliminate spam;
- Watching out for multiple content versions. Maybe you have multiple versions of a web page with only minor differences. This is a common issue for sites which have geo-localized content and for sites which use multiple landing pages. Consider using canonical URLs.
- Converting boilerplate content to images. If your site uses the same CTAs or other content on multiple pages, using an image version of the text will prevent duplicate content;
- Creating a site map. Build a sitemap to make it easier for search engine bots to find the pages you want indexed, and
- Checking out your code. If you are technically savvy enough, make sure each web page uses unique meta-tags, and that your site is using canonical tags to identify your preferred version of a page. Otherwise, a web developer or freelancer may be able to help with this.
- Content management systems – many times the CMS you’re using may be the cause. Understand how your CMS works as there are likely ways to reduce the opportunity for duplicate content to be minimised.
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