Every page added onto a website should written with unique, “evergreen” content. Fresh, relevant information that has value to users is key in boosting search results. With the pressures of pushing out content onto websites, people frequently look for shortcuts. They either copy content onto multiple pages on their site or they steal content from other websites. Luckily for those webmasters partaking in the good, “White Hat” SEO practices, Google is able to notice this poor activity. Duplicating content will eventually result in penalties and dropped results on search engines.
Whether you are new to SEO or if you have just inherited a website that you are doing work on, it is important to check a website for duplicate content. If you don’t get back on Google’s good side, all your work will be for nothing. Luckily there are some easy tools where you can quickly check if a website has partaken in these bad practices or not.
This website has the ability to analyze your complete site for internal duplicate content. It will pull individual pages and give you a summary along with a % of content that has been duplicated. Be aware that siteliner.com will frequently pull blog posts and blog category pages as duplicate content. There is no need to worry about this, as Google is smart enough to realize that a blog post and its content may be on a few different URL’s because of categories.
If you have suspected a page of being stolen from another site, take a few sentences from the page and post it into Google. If the content you have posted into Google search is duplicate content, Google will then rank the other websites that have your content. This is a fast way to test individual pages.
Copyscape is similar to Google as you can check for stolen content online. Copy and paste URLs into this website to check for stolen content online. Copyscape will pull up pages that have the closest matched words. You can then look through a few of the linked pages to check if the content is similar.
After noticing this duplicate content, it is very important to take action. Your goal is to get on Google’s good side, so this information on your site can’t stay the same way it is. Below are a few helpful tips to address a situation with duplicate information:
- Rewrite Your Page: Whether it’s a main home page or a blog, completely rewrite the page so it’s in your own words. This is my first suggestions, if possible. Rewriting the page with fresh content will be the most helpful option for you in terms of SEO.
- Delete the Page: While not suggested, this will remove any duplicate content on your site.
- No Index/ No Follow: No index/No Following a page on your website tells Google not to take that page into consideration when ranking your site. When Google acknowledges this code you have added, content on that page won’t hurt or help you.
- 301 Redirect: In the event that you have multiple pages on your site with similar content, you can add a 301 Redirect to consolidate them all into one. This way, when someone travels to any of your duplicate content pages, it will redirect to one chosen page.