Duplicate content (duplicated content)

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What is duplicate content

What is duplicate content?

Duplicated content refer to significant portions of identical or very similar text that appear on more than one web page. This can be the case within a domain or across multiple domains. So-called duplicate content is considered problematic for SEO, as search engines avoid including similar web pages in search results because it affects usability.

According to Matt Cutts however, duplicate content will not harm your site's SEO unless it is "spammy". If you have concerns about duplicate content on your website, apply the following principles:

  • Use 301 Redirectsto redirect traffic from old or retired URLs to new URLs.
  • If there are duplicate content pages on your website that you do not want to appear in search results, uninstall them with the tag noindex
  • If there are multiple versions of a page with very similar content, use canonicalization to tell Google which version is the "canonical" one. URL is
  • Consider consolidating similar pages rather than hosting multiple pages with very similar content


What does Google think of duplicate content?

  • Duplicate content leadsNOT cause your website to be penalized.
  • Google knows that users want variety in search results and not the same article over and over, so they choose to consolidate and display only one version.
  • Duplicate content is not a reason for action unless it is aimed at manipulating search results.
  • The worst thing that can happen with this filtering is that a less desirable version of the page is displayed in the search results.
  • Google tries to determine the original source of the content and display it.
  • If someone reproduces your content without permission, you can request its removal by filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act request.
  • Do not block access to duplicate content. If they can't search all versions, they can't consolidate the signals.


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Is duplicating content bad for SEO? arrow icon in accordion
Duplicate content on a website is not a reason to take action against that website unless the duplicate content is obviously used to deceive and manipulate search engine results.
What SEO contains duplicate content? arrow icon in accordion
There are a handful of SEO tools that have features to detect duplicate content. Siteliner, for example, scans your site for pages that contain a lot of duplicate content. As mentioned earlier, if you have many pages with duplicate content, you should redirect them to one page.
How much duplicate content is okay? arrow icon in accordion
How much duplicate content is acceptable? According to Matt Cutts, 25 to 30 % of the web consists of duplicate content. According to him, Google doesn't consider duplicate content as spam, and they don't cause your website to be downgraded unless they are used to manipulate search results.
Can duplicate content rank? arrow icon in accordion
If entire pieces of content on a website are duplicated, Google will rank one page and not show the other. Multiple copies of the same page do not send negative ranking signals. Duplicate pages can bloat a website and eat up the crawl budget, but that's a whole other topic not covered in this video.

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