Duplicate content is something that really hurts your SEO and unfortunately, there are still a large number of websites who have issues with this.
We highly recommend looking at all three sections, you might think one doesn’t apply to you but it might be an issue you haven’t realised. There are 3 main types of duplicate content:
Duplicate content across pages on your website
This can be very harmful for your website if you have content copied across multiple pages on your website it makes it much harder for your page to rank.
Google loves fresh content, so if they can see it’s being used multiple times they are much less likely to choose your content over other websites. There is an excellent tool to find out if you have duplicate content on your website: http://www.siteliner.com/. All you have to do is put in your website URL, it will then go through and scan each of your pages and give you a report.
On the left bar under “Main Menu” you will see the “Duplicate content (%)”, if you click on this you can see all of the pages that have overlapping content and various metrics including match words and match percentage. If you then click on the page it will give you a full report of where the content is overlapping and will highlight it for easy navigation. This tool is incredible and it’s free! If you are scanning a larger website it will run out of resources after 250 pages and you will need to purchase additional credits to continue the scan, but in most cases, this shouldn’t be an issue. Additionally, this scan will show your broken links on your website which is an extra bonus, this can also be found under the “Main Menu”.
Once you have identified pages with overlapping content you will need to make a plan to fix it. If it is “common content”, this is content that shows up on a large number of pages and it’s fine to ignore this. Whereas if you have large sections and paragraphs that are overlapping on other pages you will need to first decide which page the content makes the most sense on. Then on other pages, you will need to rewrite this content. Do this with all overlapping content and you will have a much cleaner, healthier website to start ranking. This issue is a very simple one to fix and makes a huge difference to your SEO, still, there are so many websites that have addressed it.
Duplicate content copied from other websites
This can also be very harmful to your website if you have copied content from another website Google will look at your content.
For this you can use a tool called http://www.copyscape.com, the free version of this tool isn’t as powerful as the Siteliner one but is still very useful. Simply enter the webpage you want to check, unfortunately, you can only check one page at a time with the free version. With the paid version you can check up to 10,000 pages in a single search but for this example, we will be using the free version. Once you have entered your webpage it will show you any results of copied content. If it has no results, perfect your content is unique!
*Just as a note this doesn’t check it against other pages on your website.
If there are other webpages with content that is the same, one of two situations has happened. They have copied your content, or you have copied theirs. If the other website has copied your content then this will have no effect on the way Google views your website. But you need to make sure that your page has been indexed in Google before the other page (there is no easy way to do this). If you aren’t sure we would recommend just rewriting the overlapping content to be on the safe side.
Duplicate content from targeting multiple countries
This section is the most complex so hold onto your seat as it’s going to get bumpy.
If you have a brand that spans across multiple countries and has multiple websites for example: “yourbrand.com”, “yourbrand.com.au”, “yourbrand.co.uk”. You are going to have duplicate content across these domains and this can have a large negative effect on your SEO. Since in most cases they are essentially clones of the main website. This is a rather large job and we wouldn’t recommend inexperienced users attempting it. If you need advice on how to proceed with an issue like this get in contact and we can see if we can help you out.