What is duplicate content?
Duplicated content (also called duplicate content) occurs if the same break text or parts of the break text exist on several different URLs. It can occur internally on your website, if the same content is found on two or more pages, and it can occur externally, if content on your website is found on another website (because you or the other party has legally or illegally copied the text).
Duplicated content also applies title tags and meta descriptions, but not, for example, menus and footer content, which are naturally included on all pages. You can check if your content is duplicated by searching for a phrase or an excerpt of it in quotation marks on Google. If Google shows multiple search results, this means that the content is included on multiple pages and is therefore duplicated. You can also use a tool such as Copyscape or Siteliner.
Duplicate content can hurt your SEO visibility on Google, in part because Google doesn't want to show the same content multiple times in search results. In the worst case, it can harm the visibility of your entire website. In other cases, the consequences are smaller, but in all cases you risk Google showing a different page than the one you would prefer to appear in search results.
Causes of duplicate content
Duplicate content can occur in many different ways. It does not necessarily occur only because content has been physically copied by one person from one page to another.
Internally duplicated content can occur if:
- your website can be accessed with both HTTP and HTTPS. Set up a redirect from HTTP to HTTPS version of this website.
- your website can be accessed both with and without www. Set up a redirect from one version of the URL to another.
- the same product page appears in several different categories. Make sure that identical products always have the same web address.
- you have a printer-friendly version of the page with its own web address. Make sure that the print-friendly page cannot be indexed by Google.
- the user can sort and filter products, thereby generating new pages on new URLs with the same content. Ask your website technical managers to set up a canonical-tag on all duplicated pages.
External duplicate content can occur if:
- others have copied your content (with or without permission). Contact them and ask them to remove your content from their website.
- you have copied content from others (with or without permission). Write your own unique content and don't copy other people's content.
- you have received a product text from a supplier, but not rewritten the text. Rewrite all product texts you receive from suppliers.
- a development site, when developing a new website, is not removed from Google. Contact your web developers and ask them to exclude Google from the development website.