Duplicate Content: What Is It?

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Duplicate content occurs when the same or similar content appears across more than one URL. There are two types of duplicate content: exact 1:1 content that can be produced in a variety of ways (which we'll discuss below), and comparable content with overlapping search intent.

Both types of duplicate material can have a negative effect on performance and search rankings, which is why it’s important to hire specialist SEO companies such as Digital Cornerstone to make sure all of the boxes are ticked and correct.

What Effect Does Duplicate Content Have on SEO Results?

Because search engines struggle to decide which version of the information to show readers, duplicate content can have a detrimental impact on search visibility for a variety of reasons. Due to the creation of duplicate and/or identical content:

  • Internal Competition — Search engines won’t know what page to rank if they are the same or similar. Because consumers won't know which version of the page to click on from the SERPs, this could potentially provide for a confused user experience.
  • Wasted Crawl Budget — If there are multiple pages with duplicate content but you only want one to be indexed, crawlers will still visit all of the duplicate variants, taking time away from them visiting non-duplicate, vital pages.
  • Diluted Link Equity - External and internal links may refer to multiple variants of the page since there may be confusion on which one to link to. Instead of directing traffic to the single page you want crawled and ranking, this will distribute the link equity across a number of pages.

How is Duplicate Content Created?

There are several ways duplicate content might be made. Even if it's frequently unintentional, it still needs to be handled.

Although these sample URLs appear to be the same to people, search engines interpret them differently on a technical level.



https:// example.com/index.html

https://www. example.com/index.html

http://www. example.com/index.html

https://www. example.com/INDEX.html

Here are a few typical methods for creating duplicate content:

Http vs. Https

This occurs when a site is available in both http and https. Duplicate content problems can occur if your site switched from http to https but you neglected to properly migrate (301 redirect) the http version to the https version. 

https://www. example.com

http://www. example.com

versus non-www

When a website is accessible both through www and non-www, this happens. It's crucial that a website only resolves to either the www version or the non-www version. Duplicate content is produced when both versions are online.

https:// example.com

https://www. example.com

URLs in mixed case

When URLs can be accessed using both uppercase and lowercase letters, mixed casing duplication can happen. To prevent concerns with duplicating content, URLs should ideally always resolve to lowercase letters.

https:// example.com/Blog

https://www. example.com/blog


Multiple URL Endings and/or Trailing vs. Non-Trailing Slash URLs

When URLs have various, inconsistent endings, duplication from trailing and non-trailing slashes may happen. Along with various versions, this can also happen when URLs finish in /index..html,.aspx, etc. Only one URL ending should be used to visit URLs.

https:// example.com/blog

https://www. example.com/blog/


There are numerous uses for parameters. Parameters are frequently used for monitoring, changing on-page content with facets and filters, and other applications. Parameterized URLs frequently result in flimsy content that is of little use to search engines.

Canonical tags, noindex tags, robots.txt blocking, or a combination of these components can be used to properly manage duplicate/thin content produced by facets.

Canonicalizing the parameterized URL to the clean URL in the example below would probably make the most sense.

The following URL has been parameterized: 

Near Duplicates

When two pages on a website have almost identical content and the same search intent, this is called near duplicate content.

For instance, if we have a landing page explaining "Why diet is Important" and another one explaining "Benefits of dieting," these two pages will probably compete with one another for the same search phrases. We should integrate two landing pages with related content themes into one landing page rather than having two.

How to Get Rid of Double Content

Implementing 301 redirects from the HTTP URL variation to the HTTPs URL will solve the problem of duplicate content across HTTP and HTTPS. To prevent equity loss and a bad user experience, it's crucial that the HTTP pages are carefully transferred over to their HTTPs counterparts.

You can build a server-side 301 redirect to compel URLs to one URL variation for www and non-www, mixed case, and trailing vs. non-trailing slash URLs.

You can canonicalize the lower performing page to the higher performing page if redirects are not an option or if the duplicate pages are required under different site sections. As a result, Google will understand that only one of the pages needs to be indexed and ranked.

Only 1:1 duplicates should utilise canonical tags. Click here to read more about canonical tags and how to use them.

Implementing a canonical technique won't help you save crawl costs if there are many pages with duplicate content.

How to Address Similar Information 

If the pages do not exactly match each other but have similar search intent, you could want to merge any original, pertinent content from the redirected page with the destination landing page to produce a single, effective landing page. Use 301 redirects to combine all related pages into just one. Remember to change internal links and the XML sitemap to only contain the canonicalized or redirect URL destination for all duplicate content fixes.

What URLs Should Duplicate Content Be Consolidated To?

As indicated above, condensing content should be done through 301 redirecting or canonicalizing the lower performing page to the higher-performing page.

Below are some metrics to examine while looking for the higher-performing page to consolidate content to:

  • Keyword rankings 
  • traffic conversions
  • amount of backlinks

Comments (1)

Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Great information for homeowners in your area Dina. Thanks for sharing!

Jun 27, 2022 01:33 PM