If you have multiple sites to manage and clients to keep happy, it can be a balancing act to provide unique and SEO optimized content for each without the worry of the dreaded “duplicate content”, especially if you serve a particular niche.
In this article, we’ll share a little bit about duplicate content — what it is, how to check for it, and how to prevent it, so you can make the informed decision on how to best optimize your client sites for success.
Some Notes on Search Engine Optimization
SEO can be intimidating for anyone unfamiliar with the mechanics of it, but with the proper guidance, maximizing your sites’ rankings doesn’t have to be a chore or a timesink.
Let’s break down two major categories of SEO:
- On-Site SEO incorporates certain elements into your website, such as the right headlines, relevant and well-written content, imagery, code-based optimisations, and so on…
- Off-Site SEO involves having other sites link back to yours. This gives your sites credibility and gives the impression that your clients are experts in their industry.
SEO (both On-Site and Off-Site) is essential for generating traffic to your business in 2021 and beyond. Understanding what Google is looking for and catering web content and backlinks accordingly can be a bit of a challenge for an agency with limited resources, though. .
Things are further complicated when your attempts at SEO can actually backfire and hurt your sites’ rankings. One of the ways Search Engine Optimization can hurt your website is duplicate content.
What is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content is any content that is a complete match (or very close) to other websites or pages on your site. It can be content that is word-for-word identical to another page.
Even if it is slightly rewritten, but close enough to the original, it is considered duplicate content. When there is a large amount of duplicate content, it can actually negatively affect Google rankings. Not an ideal situation when the whole point of fresh content is to benefit your clients’ SEO.
This situation becomes tricky because search engines won’t know which version to include in their indices. They won’t know which version to rank for query results or whether to direct the link metrics to one single page or between multiple versions, so they will rank neither. In short, it hurts more than it helps.
Sometimes, duplicate content is intentional and used to manipulate search engine rankings and gain more traffic. These tactics can result in poor user experience and a loss of trust when someone uses a search engine and sees the same content repeatedly.
There are times when this is malicious (and intentional), but there are also times when this happens by accident.
While duplicate content is not always intentional and technically not a penalty, it has adverse effects. With that said, it is something that should be addressed as soon as possible for best results.
How to Check for Duplicate Content
Duplicate Content happens, but there are ways to resolve the issue. There are resources out there that help you catch similar content before you publish.
Copyscape is a free tool (with a premium option) that allows you to check your content to see if it exists on other domains. If so, Copyscape will show you the URL of those sites and give your content a comparison rating based on the degree of content similarity.
Copyscape allows you to paste your text into a search box or upload it and see if anything is plagiarized (a premium feature). It is a handy tool that can put any of your worries of duplicate content at ease.
Copyscape is a great resource, but other free and premium tools work as well. Plagspotter, Duplichecker, and Siteliner are other free options worth checking out. If you want to go a step further and get a premium option, Grammarly, Plagium (which has both a free and premium option), and Plagarismcheck.org are options to consider.
How to Prevent Duplicate Content
Using one of the tools we’ve shared (Copyscape, Grammarly, etc.) is an excellent way to detect duplicate content, but other steps address duplicate content. Things like scraped content (content that is stolen or “scraped” from another site to increase organic traffic) cause duplicate content and affects how Google ranks it.
But there are ways to combat this from happening. Using 301 redirects, minimizing similar content (on your sites), being consistent with your internal linking, and more, you can combat duplicate content. If you decide to syndicate your content, try to do so in a thoughtful, careful manner.
Navigating duplicate content (and SEO in general) can be challenging. Luckily, you have options that take the worry out of content production and optimization for all your client sites – SEOHive.
SEOHive is Your White Label SEO Partner
SEOHive is a simple, transparent and proactive SEO service that will equip you to sell and deliver SEO contracts, while we perform the service level work for your agency.
As valuable as it is, creating fresh content is extremely challenging for most small businesses. Whether they’re occupied focusing on the day-to-day of their business or don’t feel qualified or comfortable to write themselves, producing content is something that is often ignored or underutilized. It’s an intimidating task, and that’s where SEOHive’s Content Pathway comes to the rescue.
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