Duplicate, as the name states, is one of the two or more identical things. In other words, it is exactly like being something else, especially through having been copied. Duplicate content specifies content within or across domain that is either completely matched or partly similar. There are many websites which have duplicate content, which can be either within the same website across different URLs or within 2 or more different domains.
When Google bot finds a duplicate content within a same domain, it chooses one of the pages to list in the index and leaves the rest of the pages. In other case, if search engine finds duplicate content in two or more different domains then preference is given to the website which has the older content uploaded on the website, which consider the other website content as copied. However, in some cases, website deliberately copies the content from another website to gain more traffic and rankings.
Here are some of the most common reasons sites have duplicate content:
- Canonical issues
- Paginated pages
Most of the time, one user creates two websites or redesigns the existing website. In that case, duplicate content is found on either of the websites. As a result, the ranking of the site is hampered or in some cases, the site is entirely removed from Google index, which leads to no longer appearance of the website in search engine. There are few measures which are to be taken to address the duplicate content issue beforehand :
- 301 redirection- When the website is been redesigned, use 301 redirection, which helps in redirecting users, Google bot and other spiders. This can be done within websites .htaccess or through administrative console.
- Minimize similar content - In many websites, there are several pages with similar content. In this situation, either fresh content needs to be uploaded on each page or the pages should be consolidated into one to avoid duplicacy.
- Syndicate carefully- While syndicating the content on the other website, you need to make sure the syndicating website adds a link back to the original content.
- Most importantly, while linking internally throughout the website, maintain consistency.
The effect of duplicate content can be adverse for the website. The website with duplicate content can suffer a huge traffic loss along with ranking drop. Fixing duplicacy should be taken into consideration to avoid any damage to the website and business, and Google always try to filter the information as per the distinct information and if duplicate content is found, it is termed as manipulations done to achieve ranking and deceive users.