Duplicate Content Issues on Your Website? Easy Ways to Find and Fix Them

It is simple to be fooled into pondering search engine marketing is nearly hyperlink constructing or rating first for particular key phrases.

Whereas these are essential components, and staying up on finest practices is crucial, resolving duplicate content material points must be your prime precedence.

Usually, the hidden explanation for misplaced rankings and lowering site visitors is not that another person does higher at hyperlink constructing or key phrase optimization.

Quite the opposite, the issue lies to find and fixing points on our websites that forestall searchers from discovering us.

And in the case of duplicate content material, the satan is within the particulars — discovering it and fixing the issue it causes on our websites. Fortunately, you’ve management over your web site, so you’ve the facility to repair it. That’s exactly what I’m masking at present.

Free Guide: How to Run a Technical SEO Audit

What’s duplicate content material?

Duplicate content material merely refers to equivalent chunks of content material on totally different internet pages. If it is a sentence or a phrase, it’s not often a problem. In spite of everything, there are solely so some ways to say, “Contact us about our providers.”

What’s extra, in case you continuously write about related subjects, you probably have some frequent phrases

As an illustration, on my weblog, I discuss extensively about model messaging, my framework for copywriting and content material creation, and advertising technique.

And in case you learn a number of articles from me — whether or not on my weblog or a visitor publish — you’ll discover a number of locations the place I’ll repeat my explanations of my strategy.

That’s not what has the potential to trigger issues until you utilize misleading ways and behaviors to maneuver your website up within the search rankings, which may trigger a pink flag for Google and its spam insurance policies.

Nonetheless, when you’ve whole articles, pages, or sections repeated phrase for phrase, or when a number of web page variations are listed, it may be difficult for Google and different search engines like google to know which articles to prioritize.

And since search engines like google not often present duplicate items of content material, they select the most effective model for every search, which can differ from the web page you most wish to drive site visitors to.

It is essential to notice that individuals consider duplicate content material in two methods — inside and exterior.

On this article, I’m primarily specializing in inside duplicate content material, not content material plagiarized elsewhere on the web, which is a rising concern with the rise of AI.

Nonetheless, within the instruments part, I’ll additionally present you the right way to discover and resolve duplicate content material points from throughout the online.

Why is duplicate content material an issue?

In my expertise, one of many largest issues with duplicate content material lies in even realizing that it exists in your website within the first place. After we create articles or merchandise for our websites, it’s simple to hit publish and transfer on.

Positive, I would come again and replace the article or make an edit or two, however by and enormous, with the whole lot else happening, it isn’t all the time prime of thoughts to recurrently verify for duplicate content material. Nevertheless it must be.

As a result of it’s a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know,” and as I all the time say, it’s what you don’t know that causes you probably the most vital issues. And in case you’re unaware of an issue, it is unimaginable to repair it.

Causes of Duplicate Content material

Should you begin checking for duplicate content material recurrently, it’s important to know the right way to repair it and what causes it within the first place.

Based on Beth Bovie from Revelo, “Duplicate content material errors could come within the type of duplicate title tags and meta descriptions, in addition to content material inside an article. After auditing one shopper’s website, I discovered that they had over 800 duplicate content material errors.”

With that in thoughts, let’s dive into a number of the largest offenders for inflicting duplicate content material.

1. URL Parameters

URLs can typically comprise extra parameters due to how they’re being tracked (advertising marketing campaign IDs, analytics IDs), or the CMS an internet site makes use of provides its customized parameters.

I see this loads when e mail advertising software program or social media posts appends monitoring to hyperlinks when folks click on out of platforms.

For instance, the next URLs might all result in the identical web page:

http://www.instance.com/page1

http://www.instance.com/page1?supply=natural

http://www.instance.com/page1?campaignid=3532

2. Printer-Pleasant Pages

Usually, an internet web page can have an possibility to provide a printer-friendly model of that web page. I typically see these hyperlinks resulting in duplicate content material points on web sites I go to.

For instance, the next URLs would result in the identical web page.

http://www.instance.com/page1

http://www.instance.com/printer/page1

3. Session IDs

Websites could typically monitor a consumer’s session throughout their web site to allow them to tailor content material. Whereas this occurs throughout many various industries, I see this continuously in e-commerce websites like Amazon.

Within the instance under, Amazon personalizes content material to remind me of my latest searches.

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And the place Amazon shops my cart till I both purchase, take away, or save gadgets for later, different e-commerce shops bear in mind what I added to my purchasing cart the final time I visited.

When this occurs, the positioning typically appends session IDs to the URL, which causes duplicate variations of a web page to exist. And though Amazon probably has options for this concern, smaller e-commerce companies could not.

The instance under illustrates what URLs resulting in the identical web page would possibly appear to be:

http://www.instance.com/page1

http://www.instance.com/page1?sessionid=12455

4. Repetitive Product Descriptions

E-commerce websites, specifically, can have lots of repetitive product descriptions, whether or not as a consequence of having related merchandise or merchandise that stay in a number of classes.

The instance under illustrates one thing I’ve seen on many retail websites, the place a particular product is commonly present in a number of groupings.

Whereas the product web page and its content material stay the identical, you discover it with three totally different URLs—one that includes a group, one that includes finest sellers, and one other that includes gadgets on clearance.

http://www.instance.com/assortment/widgets/widget1

http://www.instance.com/best-sellers/widget1

http://www.instance.com/clearance/widget1

Jarik Oosting of SmartRanking sees this typically, agreeing that this kind of duplicate content material “jeopardizes search engine marketing rankings and creates confusion amongst customers.”

Duplicate Content material Points

Whereas the obvious duplicate content material points stem from decreased searchability, there are different repercussions for a similar content material.

1. Search Indexing

If a search engine doesn’t know what web page to index, it’d index all or not one of the pages, creating issues to your searchability.

2. Area or Web page Authority

When search engines like google encounter a number of variations of a web page, they may battle to assign hyperlink authority precisely, which may lower the authority of your content material and whole website.

3. Searchability

When search engines like google don’t know what model of the web page to rank for a related search question, not only one however all of your related pages would possibly seem additional within the outcomes.

Moreover, if customers go to the unsuitable hyperlink, they might not get the precise info they’re on the lookout for.

4. Diluted model credibility

When search engines like google are confused by duplicate content material, they might show older — presumably outdated — content material to your viewers, which may lower shopper belief in your model.

Of all of the search engine marketing specialists I linked with, I discovered Anatolii Ulitovskyi of Unmiss had the most effective abstract of those issues.

Ulitovskyi defined that duplicate content material finally “confuses search engines like google and dilutes the authority of your web site, resulting in decrease rankings, decreased natural site visitors, and a damaging impression on consumer expertise.”

Instruments for Discovering Duplicate Content material Internally

Once I linked with Kyle Roof, founding father of Excessive Voltage search engine marketing, he mentioned, “I’ve discovered {that a} mixture of automated instruments and guide checks works finest to determine and rectify duplicate content material.

Being conversant in your CMS also can provide insights into potential sources of duplication.”

Nonetheless, in case you’re questioning the right way to verify for duplicate content material, there are a number of instruments you should utilize to your website. Listed below are three of the most effective on the market.

1. Siteliner

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Siteliner scans whole web sites to determine duplicate content material, damaged hyperlinks, and different points.

Utilizing it’s nearly a no brainer. It’s as simple as typing in your website URL, ready a couple of minutes, after which getting a complete report that highlights particular areas of your website to repair.

And I discover it very reasonably priced. The freemium model provides you as much as 250 pages free, and extra credit are $0.01 every.

What we like:Siteliner is my go-to device. It’s quick, affords a comparative evaluation, and pinpoints the precise duplicated content material segments,” says Ajay Porwal of DroidOwl.

Along with affordability, I’ve discovered it extremely simple to make use of. I really like that Siteliner offers detailed info on duplicate content material. It calls out your prime points and exhibits you the right way to repair them.

Greatest for: It is nice for freshmen and professionals alike — and it’s really easy to determine areas in your websites to repair.

Professional tip: After figuring out your duplicate content material and figuring out which items to repair first, check out the opposite areas of your website. The higher your website expertise, the higher your website will carry out in search outcomes.

2. Google Search Console

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Whereas not particularly a reproduction content material device, Google Search Console is comparatively simple to arrange and provides you nice insights into the well being and efficiency of your website.

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By clicking on “Search Outcomes” beneath “Efficiency,” you possibly can see probably the most visited and clicked-on URLs. As you look via these, you possibly can hold an eye fixed out for any pages which have duplicate variations by anticipating issues like

HTTP vs. HTTPS

http://www.instance.com/page1
https://www.instance.com/page1

WWW vs. no WWW

http://www.instance.com/page1
http://instance.com/page1

An finish slash

http://www.instance.com/page1
http://www.instance.com/page1/

Appended monitoring

http://www.instance.com/page1
http://www.instance.com/page1?supply=e mail

Moreover, Search Console provides you invaluable information on website indexability, together with if there are any causes Google isn’t capable of index pages.

What we like: I discover it is usable for folks with even probably the most minimal tech understanding, making it one in every of my favourite instruments for enhancing web site searchability.

I additionally notably love the flexibility to see what search phrases folks use probably the most to seek out your website so you possibly can prioritize updating posts which can be direct to them.

Greatest for: Google Search Console is nice for individuals who probably have minimal duplicate content material or don’t publish a ton of latest content material frequently. It’s additionally implausible for people who find themselves tiptoeing into the world of duplicate content material.

Professional tip: Watch your e mail each month for Google Search Console updates in your website, and use this as a reminder to prioritize a number of new website enhancements.

3. Screaming Frog

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You possibly can obtain the Screaming Frog internet crawler and use it to crawl 500 pages without cost. This utility allows you to do lots of various things, together with discovering duplicate content material issues.

Most of the search engine marketing specialists I linked with, together with Janis Thies of SEOlutions, suggest Screaming Frog. Thies says,It’s by far the most effective device for a whole crawl and overview of your technical information.”

What we like: Screaming Frog is extremely complete. Listed below are a number of the methods it really works.

Web page Titles/Meta Descriptions

You could find duplicate web page titles by merely clicking on the tab “Web page Titles” or “Meta Description” and filtering for “Duplicate.”

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URLs

You can even discover pages which have a number of URL variations by merely clicking on the “URL” tab and sorting by “Duplicate.”

Greatest for: That is in all probability among the best options on the market. It is very best for folks with a bit of extra technical know-how who know what to do with the duplicate content material they discover.

Professional tip: For an entire information on all of the various things you are able to do with Screaming Frog, try this publish from SeerInteractive.

Instruments for Discovering Duplicate Content material Externally

Earlier, we touched on the distinction between inside and exterior duplicate content material. With that in thoughts, listed here are our favourite instruments for checking for duplicate content material exterior of your website.

1. Grammarly Plagiarism Checker

Grammarly is understood for serving to folks write clearly and concisely.

Many individuals aren’t conscious that their Enterprise Plan (at present $12/month with an annual plan), additionally includes a plagiarism checker to substantiate that your content material doesn’t seem elsewhere on the net.

Merely click on the choice on the underside of the right-hand toolbar (if utilizing the online model).

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What we love: Should you’re already utilizing Grammarly, it’s a simple technique to make it possible for content material doesn’t seem elsewhere on the web.

Greatest for: Grammarly’s plagiarism checker is nice for content material that you simply’re about to publish, however it’s also possible to return to beforehand printed content material, paste it into the tracker, and get a way of any exterior duplications.

Professional tip: Their plagiarism detector generally flags issues that aren’t truly duplicated content material. So take it with a grain of salt and search for big-picture gadgets.

Within the under instance, the checker flagged one phrase in my article on model messaging. The phrase? “As an alternative of forcing a sq. peg right into a spherical gap.”

Along with it being frequent, the positioning it referenced was one a couple of just lately handed invoice in Illinois.

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All in all, it’s excellent news. I do know that the press launch referenced is on no account duplicating my content material (or vice versa).

2. CopyScape

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CopyScape is my favourite exterior duplicate content material checker. It’s as simple as dropping your URLs into the search field and discovering out if and the place any duplicate content material exists.

However what it will probably do goes even deeper.

CopyScape Premium lets you add or paste whole articles to seek out out the place else your content material could have been shared (and listed) for roughly $0.01/100 phrases.

Plus, they’ve a device—CopySentry—that may verify particular pages each week or day, relying on the choices you select.

What we love: CopyScape is straightforward to make use of, cheap, and up-to-date. It’s much less prone to pull random phrases and extra prone to determine social media shares.

Greatest for: I discover that CopyScape is likely one of the finest instruments on the market for guaranteeing that nobody has lifted your content material. Probably the most technical information you want is copy and paste to begin checking your content material.

Professional tip: Run something you’re about to publish via CopyScape to make sure that you haven’t unintentionally lifted a phrase in your analysis or pleasure a couple of supply!

Fixing Duplicate Content material

By now, I’ve proven you the way duplicate content material can impression your natural site visitors and internet rankings. However, as James Maxfield of Darkish Horse explains, most “duplicate content material work is simply housekeeping, tidying up your website to enhance how Google crawls and indexes it.”

With that in thoughts, now it’s time to point out you that it’s additionally one thing that you could simply repair. Listed below are 4 methods you can begin “tidying” issues up.

1. Canonical Tag

Utilizing the canonical tag, you possibly can inform search engines like google what model of a web page you wish to return for related search queries. The canonical tag is discovered within the header of an internet web page.

The canonical tag is the most effective strategy while you wish to have a number of variations of a web page obtainable to customers. Should you’re utilizing the HubSpot COS, this can be taken care of routinely, so no guide labor is required.

Should you’re not utilizing HubSpot, you will want to enter the <head> part of the first web page and add <hyperlink rel=“canonical” href=”https://weblog.hubspot.com/advertising/https://www.instance.com/main-url-goes-here”/>

Despite the fact that the URL within the browser bar would possibly learn https://www.instance.com/main-url-goes-here?supply=email-TN1.0-S-sendtosite, the canonical tag ensures that the first web page will get the authority.

Get extra details about canonical URLs right here.

2. 301 Redirects

A 301 redirect will redirect all legacy pages to a brand new URL. It tells Google to go all of the hyperlink authority from these pages to the brand new URL and to rank that URL for related search queries.

The 301 redirect is the best choice when you have no want for a number of variations of a web page to be obtainable.

Should you’re utilizing WordPress, there are a number of plugins that may provide help to arrange redirects.

My favourite is solely known as 301 Redirects.

Organising a redirect with this plugin is as simple as typing within the URL you wish to redirect away from and the one you need folks to go to as a substitute.

3. Meta Tags

You should utilize meta tags to inform search engines like google to not index a selected web page.

<html>

<head>

<title>…</title>

<Meta Title=”Robots” Content material=”noindex, nofollow”>

</head>

Meta tags work finest while you need that web page to be obtainable to the consumer however not listed, e.g., phrases and circumstances.

As a HubSpot consumer, it’s simple so as to add noindex tags. Right here’s a fast overview.

4. Google Search Console

If the web page with duplicate content material is inflicting you large complications and you’ll’t resolve it simply or rapidly sufficient utilizing the opposite strategies, you should utilize Google Search Console to request that Google take away content material from its search.

Go into Console > Indexing > Removals and make a brand new request.

From there, click on New Request, and select “Quickly Take away URL” if you’d like one thing to be eliminated for round six months.

Alternatively, in case you’re altering the content material on a web page and wish to make sure that the present snippet is cleared till the following crawl, select the “Clear Cached URL” possibility.

Usually talking, most individuals and companies received’t want this.

That mentioned, there could also be occasions when you want to be sure that content material isn’t showing in search any longer, and I discover that individuals acquire peace of thoughts realizing that there’s an possibility of their again pockets.

Fixing Duplicate Content material Means Implementing Stable search engine marketing Processes

When resolving my duplicate content material points, I’ve discovered that the most effective offense is an efficient protection.

George Bates of Limelight Digital agrees, saying, “We’ve discovered that by adopting a holistic strategy that mixes automated instruments with guide audits, we will extra successfully find and resolve duplicate content material points.”

How typically do you have to verify in in your web site well being, together with duplicate content material? Each search engine marketing and internet professional will probably provide you with a unique reply.

My response is that it relies upon — the place your website is hosted, how a lot content material you’ve, and the way continuously you publish new content material.

At a minimal, I’d suggest reviewing any automated studies at the least as soon as a month after which doing a extra detailed evaluation periodically.

That may embody:

And, in case you discover that different websites are recurrently lifting your content material, it’s attainable to disable the “Copy textual content” operate when folks right-click in your website, which may make it considerably harder for them to plagiarize your content material.

The underside line is that duplicate content material is an actual drawback for websites, however one that may be simply solved utilizing the recommendation above.

If you wish to be taught extra about duplicate content material, watch this video sequence from the search engine marketing specialists at Dejan search engine marketing on how one can repair it to your website.

And in case you’re on the lookout for extra search engine marketing suggestions, try this text from Hubspot’s personal search engine marketing specialists.

seo audit

 

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