How Duplicate Content is Bad For SEO and How to Fix it

Duplicate content is a very familiar term in the field of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Duplicate content means that content which appears more than two times on different web pages. Duplicate content means such content which is exactly or partially similar to the content on other web pages. When search engines like Google or Bing observe duplicate content on any website, these search engines penalize the search ranking of this website. Here, we will discuss how duplicate content is bad for SEO and some essential ways to fix this problem.

The problems caused by duplicate content

Duplicate content cause lots of problems for the SEO of your website. These problems are explained below;

1) Your pages will not be crawled

Crawling is an essential feature of the search engines. By crawling, the boots of search engines find those web pages that are necessary for them to include in their search results. After finding these web pages, search engines index these pages in their search results. As a result, your website comes into search results of search engines and you can get free organic traffic on your website. On the other hand, if you share duplicate content on your website, these search engines will penalize your website and you will not be able to index your website in the search results of these search engines. Moreover, there is also a possibility that new changes and content on your website will also be ignored on your website. 

2) Link signal dilution

There are also some big websites that are sharing content in order to get backlinks to their URLs. Its reason is that if their URLs will get more and more links, their URLs will get stronger. This is possible only if you are getting links for specific URL of your website by sharing unique and original content. On the other hand, if you are trying to get backlinks for different URLs of your website by sharing duplicate content, instead of increasing ranking of your URL, you will be decreasing the ranking of your URL. 

3) Bad user experience

As we know that user experience matters a lot for the ranking of your website. If you have maintained good user experience on your website, your users will try to spend lots of time on your websites. As a result, your website will get higher rank in the search results. On the other hand, due to bad user experience, the bounce rate of your website will be increased and your website will get a lower rank in the search results. If you are trying to get long term benefits from your website, you should try to share unique and original content. Its reason is that people will visit your website because they want to read your point of views about the specific topic. If you are sharing duplicate content on your website, people will not like your website and they try to leave your website just after clicking on it. This is known as bad user experience for a website.

Tips to fix duplicate content issues on your website

There are two kinds of duplicate content. First is known as on-site duplicate content and second is known as an off-site duplicate content. Here, we will discuss different duplicate content issues and some essential tips to fix these issues.

1) Printer-friendly versions of pages

As we know that this is an era of mobile phones and lots of people are using mobile phones and they can easily get access to a wide variety of information in the form of voice assistants. In this era of mobile phones, we can’t deny printer-friendly web pages. The problem of printer-friendly versions of pages will occur when you have to create two distinct versions of the same page. If these two pages are indexable, search engines will index both pages and they will choose one of them in order to show data in SERPs. You can easily prevent this kind of issue by using canonical tags. These canonical tags will create the main version of the page and all the ranking signals of your website will be sent to this main page. 

2) HTTP/https or subdomain issues

It is a fact that almost all the website owners are trying to install SSL on their websites. After installing the SSL certificate in their website, the URLs of their websites will change from HTTP to https. This is the good sign for the better ranking of a website. Now the problem is that search engines will find two identical versions of the same website and this can create crawling issues for your websites. Its reason is that crawlers of search engines will consider that you have shared duplicate content. In order to solve this problem, you should try to open the Search Console of your website and try to select the current version of your website in the Preferred Domain option. 

3) UTM parameters and session IDs

If you want to get an idea about accurate web marketing metrics, you can easily track the information with the help of UTM parameters and session IDs. When you use these parameters and session IDs, search engines will consider different URLs as a duplicate content. This thing will be confusing for the crawlers and crawlers will decrease the ranking of your website. If you want to resolve this problem, it is necessary for you to use rel= canonical tags. These tags will tell the search engines about preferred versions of the URLs. 

4) Pagination

For the better look of a website, we have to divide its contents in the form of different pages. Now, the problem for the search engines is that they don’t recognize the paginated content. As a result, they consider that paginated content on your website is duplicate content. As a website owner, you can easily save your website from this kind of problem by using rel=” prev” or rel=” next” tags. These tags will tell the search engines that what is the exact relationship between different pages on your website?

After resolving these kinds of duplicate content issues on your website, you will be able to improve the search engine ranking of your website. 

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