What Is Duplicate Content and How Does It Affect SEO?

7 quick SEO hacks for the SEO newbie

For those who are not too familiar with the inner workings of digital marketing campaigns and Internet marketing in general, it might be confusing why the use of unique content is touted as one of the most crucial rules in the marketing industry. They say that content is king, but they also say that content should be informative and unique. It is the reason why Chicago SEO agencies err on the side of caution to ensure that duplicate content is never an issue.

However, the issue lies in a lack of understanding when it comes to duplicate content in general. How does it affect search rankings in Google? Why is duplicate content avoided wherever possible? Why do search engine optimization agencies go to great lengths to ensure that content is always unique and informative? All are legitimate questions that need answers to fully understand how duplicate content can affect SEO.

Learning all About how Technical SEO Works

To help ensure that there is a firm understanding of why duplicate content is detrimental, it would be a good idea to look into the inner workings of technical search engine optimization and why it can be so useful to a business. For those who are not in the know, technical SEO serves to make improvements to make the site visible to Google’s algorithm and make everything easier to index. The reason why it can be somewhat confusing is that many of these changes are not found on the surface — but rather, the infrastructure of a website. Considering the fact that the infrastructure of the site is practically the foundation, it is no wonder why many people rely on technical SEO specialists to give them an edge.

The idea of technical SEO is to ensure that Google has an easier time finding and indexing the website in question. While it might not necessarily guarantee that it will hit Google’s top ten, the fact that it is easier to index means that every marketing strategy moving forward automatically benefits from technical SEO’s exploits.

For Duplicate Content, the Effect is the exact Opposite

Technical SEO is all about ensuring that the infrastructure of a site is ideal for Google’s algorithm. However, the presence of duplicate content immediately makes things challenging for the algorithm to effectively index. For example, if anyone types a question online, it is extremely rare for Google to show any duplicate content no matter the scenario. The fact that the algorithm has little to no leniency when it comes to duplicate content shows how many websites are not shown just for having the content on the site.

It does not help that the algorithm will be forced to make a decision on which websites to rank based on their content, which means the presence of duplicate content will only force the algorithm to keep a few websites out of the loop. It could even mean that the algorithm decides not to list any of the websites — especially if there are already Wikipedia articles related to the topic.

How often Does Duplicate Content Pop up?

One of the most interesting facts of digital marketing and web design, in general, is that not many site owners mean to create duplicate content on the website. However, some studies and estimates show that as much as 29% (!) of the Internet is duplicate content. It is a staggering number, which only goes to show how crucial it is for a company owner (startup or otherwise) to take unique content seriously. After all, even the act of accidentally making duplicate content could very well result in the website not showing at all.

Fortunately, there are plenty of digital marketing strategies that can help keep an eye on the various digital marketing metrics and trends. For example, Chicago SEO experts might look into various metrics to ensure that a piece of content is gaining the right amount of traffic. If it is getting little to no traffic despite being an informative piece, there is a chance that there might be duplicate content around. A startup owner would do well to research the necessary keywords and the top content before writing any blogs or articles for their website.

How do I Avoid the Threat of Duplicate Content?

First and foremost, duplicate content can easily pop up in articles and blogs. If the articles are written too similarly, there is a chance that the algorithm might not bother with either piece. Fortunately, there are writing tools available that can help ensure duplicate content will not be a problem. For example, Copyscape is all about preventing plagiarism by scouring the web for the same content. If things are too similar, Copyscape will provide tips on how to keep things in order.

Even writing tools such as Grammarly has a similar plagiarism checker, though Grammarly Premium is necessary to make use of the feature. There are also many other digital marketing strategies such as the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model that offers data analytics alongside paid results. Not only will it help a business stay relevant in a competitive industry — but it will also help companies keep an eye on strange metrics within their digital marketing strategy.

Keeping Best-Practice Methods at Heart

For those who want to fully avoid the threat of duplicate content, there are quite a few things to consider. As stated above, writing tools can help keep duplicated content at bay when it comes to articles and blogs. It also helps to keep things short and sweet when developing a website. The more that the primary site caters to online users by making things easier to navigate, the higher the chance of the algorithm taking note. It might not be an easy road to digital marketing success, but it is entirely possible.

Using the help of the best Chicago SEO experts will not only provide a meaningful foundation for any marketing strategy, but it also provides the opportunity for newer business owners to learn all about effective marketing strategies. Hopefully, the information above provided enough insight on duplicate content to deter company owners from risking anything with duplicate content in the future.