Avoiding Problems with Duplicate Content on Google

Avoiding Problems with Duplicate Content on Google

Duplicate content can lead to ranking issues on Google and other search engines. Although there is no duplicate content penalty, your web pages may not rank as well as they could if your content can be found on other pages.


Google definition of duplicate content:

Duplicate content generally refers to blocks of content within or between domains that completely match other content or are substantially similar.Usually, this is not misleading in origin. Some examples of malicious non-duplicate content could be:

  • Discussion forums that can generate pages directed to mobile devices.
  • Products shown or linked through several distinct URLs.
  • Print versions of pages.

Google tries to index and display pages with different information. This filter means, for example, that if your site has a “normal” and “print” version of each article, and none of them are blocked with a noindex meta tag, you will choose one to list them in the results.If the content of a page is on multiple pages, Google only shows one of these pages in the search results. Unfortunately, this could not be the page you want to see.

How to Find Duplicate Content Problems on Your Website

If your website contains duplicate content, incorrect pages may appear in Google’s search results. For that reason, you should check your pages for duplicate content.The easiest way to find duplicate content on your web pages is to use the website audit tool in SEOprofiler. The website audit tool checks all the pages of your website and informs you about errors that can lead to classification problems.

Of course, finding content issues is just one of the things that the website audit tool does. In addition, to duplicate content, the website audit tool checks every page to find things that may have a negative influence on Google rankings.

How to Troubleshoot Duplicate Content

There are several things you can do to fix duplicate content issues. Of course, you can do nothing and expect Google to do it right. Usually this is not recommended. Better do the following:

  • Use the rel = canonical attribute to tell Google about the preferred version of a page. Details about this attribute can be found here. For most duplicate content issues, this is the best solution.
  • Redirect duplicate URLs with a 301 redirect to the original page. In that case, alternate pages will not be displayed at all. This does not work with print pages because you want to display these pages.
  • It is not necessary to block the duplicate pages in your robots.txt file and it is not necessary to use a noindex attribute in these pages. Just use the two tips above and you’ll be fine.

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