Avoiding Duplicate Content

Kristin Lesko - July 30, 2012

If you have blocks of content that is the same or substantially similar to other content within your company website or across multiple domains, this is often referred to as “duplicate content.” When duplicate content is being used across multiple domains, such as the same description of a red pencil skirt being promoted on different department store websites, a potential customer who is conducting a Google search on “red pencil skirts” may see results that display the same or similar content. This creates a poor user experience and, as a result, Google’s bots may flag this duplicate content and eliminate it from search results. Although this content may not have been duplicated intentionally, the filtering could still be the same. So, now that you know why duplicate content is bad, what can you do to avoid it? MoreVisibility provides you with five tips to avoid duplicate content. MoreVisibility provides you with five tips to avoid duplicate content. (See? No one likes to read the same sentence twice.)

1) Make your web content unique from other competitors’ web content. If you have content for the same product, like a red pencil skirt, that other companies may sell, don’t pull a description of it verbatim from the clothing brand’s website, catalog or press release that your competitor will also have access to. Add a brief introduction to the product description about what you offer as a retailer that the other guys don’t.

2) Create copy for users first, search engines second. When creating unique content, don’t “keyword stuff” to force in words or phrases that don’t naturally fit into the sentence to try to manipulate search engine ranking. The search engine bots will know, and so will your target audience.

3) Repurpose, don’t reuse. If your company produced a great article on how to prepare your kids for a new school year that was heavily viewed and shared, don’t post the same article in multiple places in hopes that it will further drive traffic to your site. Take a look at the theme of the popular article and create spin-off ideas that your audience will also find relevant and enjoy reading.

4) When necessary, link directly to take the user (and search engine bots) where you want them to go. Instead of putting the same content in multiple places, select the one page that best categorizes the information you want to share and direct your audience there from other pages.

So, in the aforementioned pencil skirt example, don’t link to:




5) Understand how your content is being managed on the backend. Some Content Management Systems may be set up to store a blog post in multiple locations on your live site. Make sure you know exactly where your content is going to “live” when it goes live so it’s not being duplicated. You may need to utilize canonical tags in the event that the system can’t otherwise be overwritten.

With these five tips on avoiding duplicate content, MoreVisibility hopes that the information you share will keep search engine bots, and potential customers, happy.

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