what is Duplicate content?- Is it a Black Hat SEO process?

What is duplicate content?

The content which appears on the Internet in more than one place is called as Duplicate content. That “one place” is defined as a location with a distinctive Uniform Resource Locator. So, if the same content appears at more than one web address, then that is duplicate content. Duplicate content generally means a portion of the content or a whole content within or across domains that entirely matches with the other content or considerably similar.

Why does duplicate content matter?

Duplicate content matter to search engines and three main issues are…

  • Search engines don’t know which version is original thus they got confused which one to include/exclude from their indices.

    Duplicate content- black hat SEO process
    Duplicate Content in SEO

  • Search engines don’t know whether to direct the link metrics (trust, ability, anchor text, link equity, etc.) to one page or keep it divided between multiple versions.
  • Search engines get confused that which version to rank for query results.

Duplicate content also affects the website…

  • The website can suffer rankings and traffic losses.
  • Duplicate content reduces the quality of the web page and may lose reputation.

How content gets duplicated?

Sometimes the content is duplicated knowingly, but in most of the cases, website owners don’t knowingly create duplicate content, but that doesn’t mean the content is not out there. According to the estimates, up to 29% of the web is actually duplicate content.

Below are some of the common ways by which duplicate content is unintentionally created:

       Domains and Sub-Domains:

URL factors, such as click tracking and certain analytics code, can be the reason for duplicate content issues. This can be a problem created not only by the parameters themselves but also the order in which those factors position in the URL itself.

Session ID:

In the same way, session IDs are also a frequent duplicate content creator. This thing happens when each and every user that visits a website is allotted a different session ID that is stored in the URL.

Printer Versions:

The printer-friendly versions of content can also create identical content issues when multiple versions of the pages get indexed.

301 redirect:

Solution to duplicate content

In most of the cases, the best way to fight duplicate content is to set up a 301 redirect from the “duplicate” page to the original page of the content.

When many pages with the probable to rank well are joined into a single page, they not only stop conflicting with one another; they also create a stronger relevancy and acceptance signal overall. This will definitely influence the “correct” page’s capability to rank better.

HTTP or HTTPS and WWW or non-WWW pages:

If your website has different versions of the pages at “www.yourwebsite.com” and “yourwebsite.com” with and without the “www” attach, and the similar content exists in both versions of the same page, you’ve effectively produced duplicates of each of those pages. The same relates to sites that keep versions at both http:// and https://. If both versions of a page exist and are visible to search engines, you may encounter a duplicate content issue.

How to handle duplicate content:

  • Identify duplicate content on your site.
  • Fix your desired URLs.
  • Be stable on your website.
  • Apply 301 permanent redirects where needed and possible.
  • Instrument the rel=”canonical” link component on your pages where you can.
  • Use the URL parameter controlling tool in Google Webmaster Tools was conceivable.

Duplicate content penalty:

As per Google, duplicate content on the same domain is not a cause to punish users. However, you waste a lot of potential with duplicates like this. Google always tries to deliver the best possible search outcome for every search appeal. If the best result exists on different URLs, the Google algorithm tries to recognize the best URL. Preferably, this must be the homepage. However, the algorithm may also settle for a completely wrong URL. Duplicate content is not the reason for degradation in Google rank, as per Google.

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