In the world of SEO and content creation, we’re trained to prize originality and creativity, and copying is to be avoided at all costs.
With Google heavily penalising plagiarised content, and serious legal consequences associated with stealing other peoples’ work, duplication is obviously something we try to avoid. However, some forms of duplication are harder to prevent.
For instance, a corporate website could include virtually identical pages in product descriptions and blog sections. And online magazines could accidentally duplicate pages between their national websites or subject areas. But as we’ll see, taking extra care to spot that kind of duplication can have major benefits. Here’s why.
What is Internal Duplicate Content and Why Does it Matter?
When content is copied within websites, we call the process internal duplication.
When you’re putting together complex eCommerce stores or knowledge bases, duplication can easily happen inadvertently. It can be caused by replicating printer-friendly and standard pages, or by assigning unique session IDs for every user. However, if site managers get it wrong, internal duplication can have some nasty SEO consequences.
For starters, duplication causes confusion for the trackers which build search rankings. Engines like Google struggle to decide which pages are the most important, or how to assign them values like “trust” and “authority”. The result is that neither page ranks as well as it could, if unique content was applied across the board.
Duplication can also harm link building strategies, causing links to point to multiple pages, diluting a site’s inbound link rating.
What are the Differences Between Internal and External Duplicate Content?
External duplication is a little different, but just as important. In this case, we’re talking about pages that exist across domain name boundaries. It doesn’t necessarily mean that different companies have copied the same content. Instead, it usually involves sites run by the same organisation which have different domain addresses.
This can lead to serious ranking penalties, especially if companies persistently duplicate content. From the search engine’s perspective, duplication could be a sign of fraud or untrustworthiness, and there’s no easy way to tell whether it is a mistake.
Make Sure Your Content is Unique and Properly Organised
If you’re concerned with achieving the best possible search engine ranking, duplication is definitely a factor to consider – especially if your company is growing in size or ambition, and adding new websites to its organisation.
One way to stay on top of duplicate pages is to enlist professional copywriting and an SEO content service, that can deliver unique content and check for any overlapping texts or links. That’s something that greatcontent is well-placed to provide, and our team are experts in duplicate content causes and solutions. So get in touch, and we’ll find a way to ensure unique pieces of content that rank as highly as possible.
Text: Sam Urquhart