If you are a webmaster taking over a new website, one of the first things you may do when performing a SEO audit is to check for duplicate content. Duplicate content is just what it sounds like, content that can be found almost identically on other websites. Google, and other search engines, likes original content. Original content is also more likely to rank higher in the search results as well. Most importantly, sites with duplicate content can be hit with a manual action penalty from Google. To identify duplicate content you can use free online tools such as siteliner or copyscape. What should you do if you find duplicate content? You have a few options.
Rewrite the content
One of the most popular options is to re-write the content. If it is on your website, chances are it’s important to the overall message of your company. Take the message you are trying to convey, maybe a service page for your company, and rewrite it with original content.
No Index No Follow
By adding a no index no follow tag to your webpage you are asking web bots and crawlers to not index the content on your site. These tags look like this:
<html> <head> <title>…</title> <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”> </head>
You won’t get any “SEO credit” from the content, but you can avoid a penalty while you find ways around the duplicate content.
Add a Canonical Tag
If you have duplicate content on your website, you can use a canonical tag on your webpage. Almost like the no index no follow tag, a canonical tag will let bots and crawlers know which webpage on your site they should index.
Do you think your website might be suffering from duplicate content? Use the methods above to get back on the right track!