How To Manage Duplicate Content In Your SEO

How To Manage Duplicate Content In Your SEO

This article will guide you​ through the​ main reasons why duplicate content is​ a​ bad thing for your site,​ how to​ avoid it,​ and most importantly,​ how to​ fix it. What it​ is​ important to​ understand initially,​ is​ that the​ duplicate content that counts against you​ is​ your own. What other sites do with your content is​ often out of​ your control,​ just like who links to​ you​ for the​ most part… Keeping that in​ mind.

How to​ determine if​ you​ have duplicate content.
When your content is​ duplicated you​ risk fragmentation of​ your rank,​ anchor text dilution,​ and lots of​ other negative effects. But how do you​ tell initially? Use the​ “value” factor. Ask yourself: is​ there additional value to​ this content? Don’t just reproduce content for no reason. is​ this version of​ the​ page basically a​ new one,​ or​ just a​ slight rewrite of​ the​ previous? Make sure you​ are adding unique value. Am I sending the​ engines a​ bad signal? They can identify our duplicate content candidates from numerous signals. Similar to​ ranking,​ the​ most popular are identified,​ and marked.

How to​ manage duplicate content versions.
Every site could have potential versions of​ duplicate content. This is​ fine. the​ key here is​ how to​ manage these. There are legitimate reasons to​ duplicate content,​ including: 1) Alternate document formats. When having content that is​ hosted as​ HTML,​ Word,​ PDF,​ etc. 2) Legitimate content syndication. the​ use of​ RSS feeds and others. 3) the​ use of​ common code. CSS,​ JavaScript,​ or​ any boilerplate elements.
In the​ first case,​ we may have alternative ways to​ deliver our content. We need to​ be able to​ choose a​ default format,​ and disallow the​ engines from the​ others,​ but still allowing the​ users access. We can do this by adding the​ proper code to​ the​ robots.txt file,​ and making sure we exclude any urls to​ these versions on​ our sitemaps as​ well. Talking about urls,​ you​ should use the​ nofollow attribute on​ your site also to​ get rid of​ duplicate pages,​ because other people can still link to​ them.
As far as​ the​ second case,​ if​ you​ have a​ page that consists of​ a​ rendering of​ an​ rss feed from another site – and 10 other sites also have pages based on​ that feed - then this could look like duplicate content to​ the​ search engines. So,​ the​ bottom line is​ that you​ probably are not at​ risk for duplication,​ unless a​ large portion of​ your site is​ based on​ them. And lastly,​ you​ should disallow any common code from getting indexed. With your CSS as​ an​ external file,​ make sure that you​ place it​ in​ a​ separate folder and exclude that folder from being crawled in​ your robots.txt and do the​ same for your JavaScript or​ any other common external code.

Additional notes on​ duplicate content.
Any URL has the​ potential to​ be counted by search engines. Two URLs referring to​ the​ same content will look like duplicated,​ unless you​ manage them properly. This includes again choosing the​ default one,​ and 301 redirecting the​ other ones to​ it.

By Utah SEO Jose Nunez

How To Manage Duplicate Content In Your SEO

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