Duplicate Content: SEO Myths & Facts

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Duplicate Content Explained with SEO

There is much hype and misconception out there about duplicate content and the duplicate content Google penalizes.

Over and over duplicate content is mistaken and distorted into something it isn’t. Some of the biggest myths are about article marketing and duplicate content. One of the biggest article marketing secrets seems to be the truth about duplicate content and article marketing because the BS just keeps propagating on the web.

Real Meaning of Duplicate Content

Really there are two forms of duplicate content, the malicious and non-malicious types.

Non-Malicious Duplicate Content

Same exact content repeated across the same domain, usually because of the CMS design and without malicious intent by the webmaster.

  1. Duplicate content across the same domain, such as two versions of the same page, for example, a readable and print version on a website.
  2. Blogs: By design blogs and CMS apps generate duplicate content, such as the same content falling under archives, tags and new posts listed on the home page.

Both of the above can be handled by indicating on your robots.txt file to block the search engine from crawling and indexing those pages.

Example of Robots.txt commands:

  • User-agent: *
  • Disallow: /tags/
  • Disallow: /archives/
  • Disallow: /print page/

Learn more ways to address such non-malicious duplicate content on your sites at GWT on Fixing Duplicate Content Issues.

“Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.” 
-Google Webmaster Tools

Malicious Duplicate Content – The Real Penalty

Malicious duplicate content is the true culprit and WILL suffer a duplicate content penalty and basically applies to Substantially same content placed on multiple pages, subdomains, or multiple domains to deliberately manipulate the search engine rankings, and get more traffic.

Google posted a very comprehensive post about duplicate content on their Webmaster Central Blog that will hopefully crush the myths forever and end the constant barrage of hype that exists about duplicate content, read it at Demystifying the Duplicate Content Penalty.

Top Q&A on Duplicate Content

Important questions answered about duplicate content.

Can spun content be penalized by Google?

Totally UNTRUE and doesn’t even make sense. I can and do all the time, submit the duplicate content to thousands of sites and they always show up in search results for the keywords, some rank higher than others, depending on the article site, but they will all be there.

Remember, this does not mean that you will rank for that article as there are multiple factors involved when it comes to ranking a webpage.

Can I post same content on different sites?

If Google penalized for duplicate content the logic would follow that G would have to penalize the article sites for publishing the duplicates and that would mean that there would be no article sites left since they often feature the same article submitted by the same author that is also published on other sites.

Also, whenever there is a chance simply and a rel-canonical tag to pages that you are adding the duplicate content.

What is duplicate content?

Duplicate Content has nothing to do with submitting the same article. Duplicate content refers to the significantly noticeable duplicated content within the SAME domain or across multiple domains.

How to find duplicate content on my website?

The best way to find duplicate content on your website is to run a scan using a free tool called Siteliner. Simply visit the website and enter your website URL into the search box and hit the blue Go button.

How to fix the duplicate content issue?

There are 4 ways to fix duplicate content:

  1. Rewrite all duplicate page content on your website
  2. Delete all pages that are identified as duplicate content
  3. Use 301 redirect and point all duplicate page URLs to a different location on your website
  4. Add rel=’canonical’ tag to duplicate content pages and mark the original content within it. This would clearly tell search bots that the page is duplicate and points it to the original piece.

Final thoughts

One should definitely stay away from duplicate content and especially the malicious ones used to bypass Google algorithms in the hope that they will not get caught, well it is definitely a big risk and there is more to lose than profit.

You can use spun content but do not use on your money site instead use it on third party article forms and directory sites. In hopes that I have left you with a better understanding to duplicate content, I shall take your leave, until next time.

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Posted on August 4, 2019 in Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

Author: Jobin John

Jobin is the founder & CEO of Egochi, a United States digital marketing agency specializing in SEO and content marketing that helps businesses grow online. He is well known & respected for his expertise in the search engine optimization industry and has helped a huge number of local businesses grow their business.
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