How Detrimental is Duplicate Content for Search Engine Ranking?
Relatively hassle-free to orchestrate, relatively hassling to do away with, and very detrimental to your website- that is how to define duplicate pages accurately.
Now, if you are pondering whether duplicate content can lead to any harm, the answer itself is ambiguous. It varies.
First, I would like to elaborate a bit about the types of duplicate content that exist.
There are two types of duplicate content;
- Duplicate content that involves web pages on your portal specifically
- Duplicate content that involves multiple site’s webpages
Now comes the second part.
Why can Duplicate Content be Deceptive?
There are a few notable reasons why duplicate pages can hamper your website.
But before that, we must understand what or which type of content exactly hamper your portal. If you have duplicated content on your portal, it drops your website quality. That is true even if your intention was not to deceive the search engines. Will your pages rank if they are identical to other pages?
However, this predominantly occurs when your portal possesses low-grade content. Some cases of low-grade content, per Google, cover:
- Sites copying and republishing content from other sites sans adding any fresh content or value
- Sites copying content from other sites and altering it slightly (for instance, by interchanging synonyms or using mechanized techniques).
- Sites regenerating content feeds from other sites sans yielding any benefit to the user.
Thus, copied content can be deceptive. It can wreck your search engine rankings. Indeed, Google does not hold a “duplicate content penalty” per se; the search engine stocks the privilege to eliminate your pages from its index entirely.
Every search engine is, primarily, a business. Like any business, it strives for its efforts to be productive at the end of the day. Thus, there is a crawling budget set for every website.
The primary reasons behind duplicate content’s hampering your website are:
I think the first reason to dodge duplicate pages is crawling budget competence.
Crawling issues generate indexing concerns—and this is your second reason to do away with duplicates. If an essential web page fails to get crawled, it will fail to the index. The only thing here would be to resolve the difficulty and await reindexing, but it can take time, notably if you are working on a recent portal.
The third reason is the jeopardy of keyword cannibalization or different pages struggling against each other for the exact target keywords. Think you have entered a new supermarket and you see the bread section sign both in the right corner and in the left corner. You probably will be thinking, where the real bread is and the reason behind putting the sign in two different places. Similarly, when a search engine detects several of the same pages—it will be puzzled to rank the pages. So, it is recommended not to mess up the search crawlers.
How duplicate content impacts your ranking?
Duplicate content on your site can have an adverse impact on your rankings. When you hold duplicate content on your portal, Google may separate some of your web pages from the search results. Filtered, aka they won’t rank.
When Google displays two web pages that look to be too alike in content, Google chooses the page it believes to be the best for that query and omits the other runner out of the results.
And the page that Google picks may or may not be the page that you want showing up in the search results for a particular keyword.
So, What is Considered Duplicate Content?
Google defines duplicate content as:
Duplicate content is the substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely resembles other content or are appreciably similar.
Reputable portals are not involved in scraping, so most website publishers fabricate duplicate content inadvertently. There is a long list of issues that could arise in duplicate content, so it is worth understanding.
Issues that foster Duplicate Content are;
- Two site versions
- A separate mobile portal
- Trailing slashes on URLs
- CMS difficulties
- Duplication of Meta Information
- Related content
- Boilerplate content
- Parameterized pages
- Product representations
- Content syndication
The phrase “duplicate content penalty” generates fear in the hearts of entrepreneurs—people who have no SEO experience use this phrase generally. Most of them are not aware of Google’s guidelines on duplicate content. They somehow believe that if something reappears online, asteroids and locusts must be behind it. In my view, we are living through a huge overreaction. For many, it is almost panic. So, let us be calm and consider reading the article.