The Dangers Of Duplicate Content For SEO

What Is Duplicate Content?


Duplicate content refers to identical or substantially similar content that appears on multiple web pages, either within the same website (internal duplication) or across different web domains (external duplication). Search engines like Google strive to provide the best user experience by presenting unique but relevant content to their users.


When Google encounters the former, they face a dilemma in determining which version ranks higher in search results. The latter, on the other hand, can be considered plagiarism since there will be an obvious resemblance, indicating that you copied the works from other people. This form of duplicate content can put your reputation at risk. Web pages with duplicate content lack the credibility to rank higher on search engines.


Google understands that online communities discuss similar topics. The search engine also knows that creating completely original content is not always possible. As a result, Google does not automatically penalise websites that copy content from other sources. However, Google does take into account the following factors when evaluating a website’s content:


  • The amount of original content on the website
  • The quality of the original content
  • The source of the copied content
  • The context in which the copied content is used


If a website copies a significant amount of content from another source, or if the copied content is not of high quality, Google may take action against the website, such as delisting it from search results. However, if a website copies a small amount of content from another source or if the copied content is used can add value to the website, Google is unlikely to take any action.


It is important to note that Google’s policies on content duplication are constantly evolving. As a result, it is always best to err on the side of caution and avoid copying content from other sources without permission.


In both internal and external duplication, it is essential to address and resolve duplicate content issues to maintain a website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) performance in Singapore and ensure better visibility in search engine results.


By avoiding duplicate content, you can improve your SEO, maintain your online reputation, and attract more customers to your business.



The Effects Of Duplicate Content On Your SEO



The Effects Of Duplicate Content On Your SEO

  • iconSplitting Of Link Equity
  • iconLower Crawl Rate
  • iconTarnish Your Reputation
  • iconNegative Impact On Backlink Acquisition



When it comes to link equity, it refers to the value or authority passed from one web page to another through hyperlinks. In other words, when a web page receives links from other websites, it gains a portion of its authority, which can positively influence its ranking in search engine results.


The issue arises because the same or similar content is available on multiple web pages. It can confuse Google, making it difficult to determine which page should rank higher than the others. As a result, the link equity acquired by the original page is diluted or spread thin across the duplicates, diminishing their individual ranking potential. It means that each duplicate page may not receive as much authority from external links, making it less likely to rank well in search engine results compared to if it were the only version of the content.


Splitting Of Link Equity


A web page with duplicate content will have trouble ranking higher than similar web pages. It suggests that the duplicate content issue can negatively impact a page’s ability to accumulate link equity and, consequently, hinder its SEO performance.


Create original content to address this problem and make it easier for search engines to rank your website higher. By producing unique and valuable content, you can enhance your chances of attracting high-quality links and consolidating link equity on a single page, thus maximising its SEO potential.


While permissible to gather references and relevant information from reliable sources, it is crucial to write them in your own words. This approach ensures that your content remains original and distinct from others, reducing the likelihood of duplicate content issues and helping maintain the focus of link equity on your pages.


2. Lower Crawl Rate


Lower crawl rate refers to the reduced frequency and depth at which search engine bots crawl a website when duplicate content is present. Search engines rely on crawling to discover and index web pages, understanding their content and relevance. However, when duplicate content exists across multiple URLs, search engines may allocate their crawling resources less efficiently.


The reduced crawl rate can have negative implications for a website’s SEO. When search engine bots crawl less frequently or deeply, it becomes more challenging for new or updated content to be discovered, indexed, and subsequently ranked in search results. It can hinder the visibility of essential web pages and prevent them from reaching their intended audience.


By actively addressing duplicate content issues and ensuring a healthy crawl rate, you enhance the visibility and accessibility of your website’s content, improving its overall SEO performance.


3. Tarnish Your Reputation


Apart from duplicate content impacting search engine ranking, and people who discover web pages with plagiarised content might get confused. Copying content from other web pages is a surefire way to tarnish your online reputation.


Once the general public has noticed the duplication, they will start questioning your content and wondering which produces the original one. If you are caught red-handed, existing and potential customers will eventually lose their trust. Dissatisfied users are less likely to engage with the site, resulting in increased bounce rates and reduced conversions.


Establish your credibility and authority by writing and publishing original and unique content. There is nothing wrong with citing sources and references as long as you create content with your own words and thoughts.


DISCOVER: How To Establish Credibility With Content Marketing?



The negative impact on backlink acquisition occurs when duplicate content is present across multiple URLs, leading to the scattering of backlinks. Backlinks are links from external websites that point back to your site, which can be considered ‘votes of confidence’ by search engines. They indicate that other websites find your content valuable and trustworthy, boosting your website’s authority and improving its search engine rankings.


ALSO READ: 8 Quick Tips For SEO Backlinking


However, when duplicate content exists, backlinks can be distributed among multiple versions of the same content. This scattering of backlinks diminishes their overall impact and reduces their effectiveness in improving your website’s authority. Instead of consolidating the power of backlinks to a single URL, they are diluted across various duplicates.


The potential benefits of backlinks, such as improved search engine rankings and increased visibility, are significantly weakened. Search engines may find it challenging to attribute the full value of backlinks to a specific version of the content, leading to a reduced impact on SEO efforts.


DISCOVER: Top 10 Latest SEO Trends In 2023



How To Avoid Duplicate Content?



How To Avoid Duplicate Content?

  • iconCreate Original Content
  • iconImplement 301 Redirects
  • iconUse Noindex Tags
  • iconUse Structured Data
  • iconUpdate Outdated Content
  • iconMonitor A Website For Duplicate Content


Achieve a high search engine ranking without copying content from other pages. Below are some tips that can help you avoid duplicate content and improve your website management:


1. Create Original Content


It is the most effective way to prevent duplicate content issues. Invest time and effort into generating fresh ideas, conducting thorough research, and providing valuable insights to your target audience. By offering unique perspectives and information, you can establish your website as a reliable source of original content.


ALSO READ: 6 Blog Content Ideas That Generate Traffic To Your Website


2. Implement 301 Redirects


When consolidating or moving content from one URL to another, implementing 301 redirects is crucial. A 301 redirect permanently redirects users and search engines from the old URL to the new one, indicating that the content has moved. It guarantees that link equity is maintained and that search engines are aware of the preferred webpage.


RELATED: 301 Redirect: How Does It Affect SEO?



Old Page


301 Redirect


New Page


3. Use Noindex Tags


Consider implementing the ‘noindex’ meta tag for non-essential or duplicate content. This tag instructs search engines not to index specific pages, preventing them from appearing in search results. However, exercise caution when using this method, as applying the noindex tag to critical pages can inadvertently hinder the visibility of essential content.


Using Noindex Example From Hubspot


Retrieved this screenshot from HubSpot


4. Use Structured Data


Implementing structured data, such as schema markup, helps search engines better understand the context and purpose of your content. By providing clear metadata and structured information, you increase the chances of search engines correctly interpreting and indexing your content.


ALSO READ: 3 Reasons You Should Use Structured Data for SEO


5. Update Outdated Content


Regularly reviewing and updating outdated content is essential to maintaining a healthy website. By refreshing and enhancing existing content, you demonstrate your commitment to Google, delivering accurate and up-to-date information. Refreshing content provides an opportunity to incorporate new keywords and improve relevance.


READ MORE: How to Refresh Old Content?


6. Monitor A Website For Duplicate Content


Monitoring a website for duplicate content is essential to maintain a strong online presence and prevent potential SEO pitfalls. By regularly checking for duplicate content, you can promptly identify and address any issues that may arise.


Below are the tools that you can use to monitor duplicate content:





Duplicate content is a serious problem that can harm your SEO. By following the tips in this article, you can help to avoid duplicate content and improve your website’s ranking in search results.


If you are concerned about duplicate content on your website, you can contact an SEO vendor for help. Experts in SEO services can help you identify and address duplicate content issues that might affect your website’s SEO.


Contact OOm, a leading digital marketing agency in Singapore, at +65 6391 0930 or leave a message on their website if you want to outsource your SEO needs to avoid trouble like duplicate content.