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Content duplication can kill your search rankings

If you've been in the online world for any length of time, you know that duplicate content is a big no-no. In fact, content duplication can kill your search rankings. Google and other search engines don't like it when websites have multiple pages with the same or very similar content, because it can confuse users and make it difficult for them to find what they're looking for. This can hurt your website's search engine rankings, which means you could be losing out on valuable traffic. In this article, we'll discuss why duplicate content can kill your search engine rankings - and what you can do to avoid it!

Why is content duplication can kill your search rankings?

There are a few reasons why duplicate content is bad for your website. First, as we mentioned, it can be confusing for users. If they see the same content on multiple pages, they may not be sure which page is the most relevant to their needs. This can lead to a poor user experience, which is something that search engines take into account when ranking websites.

Second, duplicate content can make it difficult for search engines to index your website correctly. They may not be sure which version of the content is the most recent, or which page should be ranked highest. This can lead to lower rankings for your website overall.

Finally, duplicate content can also hurt your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts. If you're trying to optimize a page for a certain keyword or phrase, but there's already another page on your site with similar content, it can be tough to get that page to rank well. You might end up splitting your traffic between two pages, instead of getting all of it concentrated on one strong page.

What can you do about duplicate content?

If you have duplicate content on your website, there are a few things you can do to fix it. First, take a look at your website and see if there are any pages with similar or identical content. If so, consider combining those pages into one. This will make it easier for users to find the information they're looking for, and it will also help reduce the amount of duplicate content on your site.

If you can't combine pages, or if you have different versions of the same content (for example, one in English and one in Spanish), then you'll need to use a "rel=canonical" tag. This tag tells search engines which version of the content is the original, and should be indexed. You can learn more about using canonical tags here.

You also need to think carefully about how you categorise your content. Often content management systems can use categories and/or tags to help group certain topics of content together. Care should be taken to never create a category that already has a tag of the same title. Often pages will automatically be created that index these categories and tags and so a search engine will see two pages with the same content, titles, information and links. This is obviously not ideal.

How can I work out if my website has duplicate content?

We recommend using a tool such as SEMRush to scan and identify on-page and technical SEO issues such as duplicate content.

SEMRush will give you a full on-page SEO report which includes a duplicate content checker for your website URL. The report will show pages with duplicated titles and meta descriptions as well as pages with duplicated H tags and anchor text.

How can BSharp Tech help?

BSharp Tech can provide SEMRush auditing of your site and provide you with a report with recommendations on on-page and technical SEO. This includes scanning your site for duplication issues and the best part is you don't need to have your own license to use SEMRush in order for us to do this on your behalf. We can even help you to correct the issues and can provide ongoing scanning and support for SEO.

July 13, 2022
Matt Grill
Written by Matt Grill
Matt Grill is the founder and director of BSharp Tech and has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry.
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