Duplicate content is the content that appears more than once on the internet. If the same content is present in more than one website address then it is an duplicate content. Though there is penalty action taken against duplicate content, it still has an impact on search engine ranking.
When there is the same piece of content in more than one place, Google Search Engine Calls it as an “Appreciably Similar” Content. It is difficult for search engine to identify which version is relevant.
What Duplicate Content Matters for Search Engine?
- They don’t know, which version is original which is copied version
- They don’t know, which version to be indexed and may cause indexing issues.
- Search engine confuses whether to direct the link metric like trust, authority etc., to the other page or not.
- They don’t know which version is relevant to the search query
What Duplicate Content Matters to Site Owners?
- When duplicate content is present, the page suffers from traffic and traffic is not focused on the single page, as a result, there may be the loss of some of the traffic.
- To provide the best experience to the user, the search engine may rarely show multiple version of the content which will dilute the visibility of original content as well as duplicated content.
Why does duplicate content issue happen?
In the majority of case, website owners don’t intentionally create duplicate content. Here are some of the ways how duplicate content is created unintentionally,
- URL Variation:
URL Parameter like click tracking or any other tracking or analytical code can cause the duplicate content issues. Similarly, session ids are other common reason for duplicate content. This occurs when each website visitor is assigned different session id’s that are stored in the URL.
Even printer friendly or downloadable version of the content also causes duplicate content issues when both the versions of the page got indexed.
- HTTP or HTTPS:
If your site has both the version HTTP and HTTPS and both versions of pages are live and visible to the search engine, you may have duplicate content issues. Similarly for www and non-www version of the website.
- Copied Content:
This is the most common issue in e-Commerce sites. If many websites sell the same items and they use the same manufacturer description then identical content appears in multiple locations of the website.