Different types of content issues may plague a site – from URL-based content issues down to physical duplicate content which are actually replicated from page to page without many alterations. As if that weren’t enough, you also have other WordPress-specific duplicate content issues to worry about, such as duplicate content on product pages as well as category pages. Identifying duplicate content issues is a very crucial part of your SEO audit.
What Is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content is content which appears on the Internet in more than one location. That ‘one place’ is defined as a location with a unique website address (URL). Thus, if the same content shows at more than one web address, you’ve got duplicate content.
While not strictly a penalty, duplicate content may still sometimes impact search engine rankings. When there are a number of different pieces of, as Google calls it “appreciably similar” content, in more than one place on the location, it may be very difficult for search engines to decide which version is more pertinent to a given search query.
An automated duplicate content checker tool is quickly and easily able to help you determine where such content exists on your website, even if hidden in the site code. Such tools need to display each URL and meta description that contain duplicate content so that you are able to methodically perform the work of addressing these issues. The most obvious practice is to remove repeated content or add new, original copy as a replacement.
There are a number of other approaches which you might find valuable.
Check URLs For Duplicate Content
Spotting duplicate content isn’t just restricted to text content on the page. Checking for URLs leading to duplicate content may also reveal issues which cause Google great confusion when they crawl your website.
Check and investigate the following aspects:
- How recent are the content updates are?
- What is the magnitude of content updates?
- What is the historical trend of page updates?
Using The Rel=Canonical <Link> Tag
These tags can communicate to search engines which specific URL should be viewed as the master copy of a page. This solves any duplicate content confusion from the standpoint of search engines.
Using 301 Redirects
These offer a straight-forward and search engine-friendly method of directing visitors to the correct URL when a duplicate page is required to be removed.
Using The “Noindex” Meta Tags
These types of tags will simply tell search engines not to index pages, which can be beneficial in certain circumstances.
Duplicate content is often not created intentionally but can indirectly harm your SEO value and ranking potential if left unattended. By finding and managing the duplicate content on your site, you can ensure search engine crawlers know precisely what to do when they encounter duplicated content from your site. The more proactive you are in the beginning, the less of an issue it will be in the long run.
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