Website content duplication is a website SEO issue that you have to control effectively.

Here are some tips as part of your Website SEO Strategy.

Check for duplicate content on your website that includes “Title, Description, and Keywords tags” on your website. You have to ensure the correct placement of “Title tag, Meta description tag, Meta keywords, and Meta tag” on the “Heading tag” in your HTML code on every page on your site, and these are all unique. Make website content deduplication one of your top priorities for your content development and SEO strategy. Any mishandled duplicate content will cause site owners to suffer rankings and site traffic losses. You can use any duplicate content checker and plagiarism checker online free such as CopyScape, SeoReviewTools, and a lot more. Ensure duplicate content check as well as a thorough check for the plagiarism of your website content, as well as your pulled-out (scraped) and syndicated content from high-authority domain sites.

Why does duplicate content on a website happen?

A “duplicate content” or website content duplication on a website occurs when a text on more than one page on your site appears, for reasons like the appearance of similar content, use of scraped or copied content, URL variations, the use of HTTP vs. HTTPS or WWW vs. non-WWW versions of your sites, and other causes including those that are more unintentional. You need to determine these duplicate content issues on your website to ensure a smooth website SEO strategy, especially the search engines’ crawling to increase your website’s ranking, and content marketing. When your website rises through the search engine rankings, so is your business to benefit from the traffic it generates, the leads it drives to the site, and the conversion rates. Unknowingly, it may have created duplicate content along the way.

First, you have to differentiate a good website content to get rid of your website content duplication and make sure to check for plagiarism. Duplicate content is website content that appears on the internet in more than “one place” that is a location with a unique website address (URL). If this happens, you’ve got duplicate content. The same web content will be available on multiple URLs on the web once your web address has similar content that appears more than once in the same location, including third-party high-authority domains that you link your content to. When more than one URL shows the same content, then it will be difficult for search engines to know which URL to list higher in the search engine result pages or SERPs. You have to implement these tips to control duplicate content or website content duplication, as well as the use of any online SEO tools, plagiarism checker, and duplicate content checker. Should you have other SEO best practices that are not listed here, please include and customize your SEO strategy to control your website content duplication.

Most importantly, secure your website with open-source software or OSS dependencies to avoid duplicate content on your website amidst an increasing demand trend of internet use. These dependencies are third-party open-source packages that have to comply with OSS copyright notices and license obligations. According to WhiteSource, “the use of permissive OSS licenses is still on the rise, continuing the trend since 2018. Use these tips to control duplicate content on your website in sending signals to search engines to correctly rank your URLs and give preference to your website content pages that you intend to rank in the SERPs.

Take these tips to control duplicate content that can help you on your website SEO strategy:

1. Recognize and cluster duplicate web pages on your website.

You need to identify all near-duplicate and duplicate content on your website.

  1. There are a lot of tools to identify duplicate content. You can use any online content duplication checker, such as CopyScape.com. It is easy to use, you have to insert a link in the box on the homepage, and CopyScape will return several results, similar to that of Google’s search engine result pages. People mistake duplicate content for a penalty because of how Google handles it, but it is not how it originally happened. These clusters of duplicate content cascade and are being filtered in the search results. Try to add “&filter=0” to the end of any of your URLs and remove the filtering to see it for yourself.
  2. The occurrence of near-duplicates can increase the space required to store the index results by the SERPs, decreases search engine crawling of your website, and can irritate the users. You can use several capable near-duplicate content detection tools that are important to allow a smooth user query experience for duplicate contents and to filter out unnecessary information on your website and in the vast content on the internet when SERPs do the indexing.
  3. You can also detect near-duplicate and duplicate content using the simplest and most logical method, by copying and entering a snippet of your content into Google search and see if any other page shows up with identical or duplicate content. Google does not penalize a website for duplicate content. Still, it does filter similar or identical content, which has the same impact as being penalized – a loss of rankings for your web pages. One of the many reasons duplicate content can severely impact your website SEO.
  4. You can use Google Search Console to detect duplicate content, including those content that appears on a web page but can also appear in search snippets (i.e., meta titles, meta descriptions). The website content duplication can be detected easily via Google Search Console’s “HTML Improvements” under the Optimization option.
  5. You can also make use of the “Site:” Search Operator. Just enter your website URL on search using the “site: search operator” along with part of the content from the page:

site:www.yoursite.com [enter a part of the content copied from your site here].

Once you see a message from Google saying about omitted results, it means your website has duplicate content present on it or outside of it.

  1. Also, you can canonicalize each product/color URL with the same content but change the main product image even though this may not be enough to set a difference and set them apart. Should you canonicalize all similar content to one and consolidate duplicate content, you can rewrite the product name, description, etc. to keep each version separate and unique. When you combine pages with mostly similar or duplicate content, you can cluster your web pages, positively signal Google search engine crawling, and lead to higher performance.

2. Pick a representative URL, index unique pages.

Determine your preferred URLs to represent your website content as unique pages in the indexing of search engines. Define a canonical page as a representative URL of similar or duplicate pages. If you have a single page that is accessible by multiple URLs, or different web pages with duplicate content (i.e., a web page that has both mobile and desktop versions), Google search engine crawlers see these as duplicate versions of the same page. Google will choose one URL as the canonical version and crawl that, and all other URLs will be considered duplicate URLs and crawled less often than those being canonicalized.

This is how Google works, and if you don’t explicitly tell the search engine crawlers which URL is the canonical version, Google will make a choice for you or might consider them both of equal weight. This may lead to unwanted behavior of search engines and may rank your website content low in the SERPs.When your website has pages with mostly similar or duplicate content, they can compete in the SERPs. Most likely, they would get filtered at query time, which each one of the pages filtered accumulates links that can go to waste. So, what if users or visitors specifically search for content that is only available in some of your web pages? This means it would not be wise to consolidate those duplicate content or URLs because your website would lose the relevant rankings it aims for. Hence, better forward or send these signals to your representative URLs or also known as canonicals, or make your redirects.

3. Forward signals to representative URLs (canonicals).

To effectively send or forward signals to representative URLs or canonicals, consider using a 301 rewrite rule in your htaccess file so that both addresses:

[http://example1.com and http://www.example1.com] can resolve to the same URL.

Start forwarding the signals by deciding which URL you want to define as your representative URL or canonical. You should pick your best-optimized URL as your canonical.

Place the rel=”canonical” annotation in the <head> of your page to properly indicate to search engines that the content is copied from your canonical URL. It should look like this:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”<https://www.example.com>”

Ensure you can handle non-canonical URLs as these pages (that are either a canonical duplicate of another URL or a duplicate piece of content) can link to from pages on your site, and can be accessed if they are mishandled with redirects. Check Google General guidelines for all canonicalization methods to follow in sending or forwarding signals to representative URLs or canonicals, including your syndicated contents with high-authority domain sites.

4. Be consistent with your website content to send a good signal to Google.

Ensure that your SEO is consistent in any content that exists on your website. That is when a content is found identical to other content that exists either on the same site or a different one like a third-party high-authority domain all considered inconsistencies of your website SEO content strategy. Therefore, it can become duplicate content. Do this by identifying what website content duplication is, and what is not.

a. Here are examples of duplicate content that you need to be aware of so you can control them effectively:

  • Blog content that is syndicated or copied on another high-authority domain.
  • A home page that has multiple URLs that provide similar content, i.e., , , and .
  • Web content or pages that have been duplicated due to session IDs and URL parameters, i.e., and .
  • Web content or pages and that have sorting options based on time, date, color, or other criteria, such as and .
  • Web content or pages with tracking codes and affiliate codes, such as and .
  • Printer-friendly pages created by your website CMS with similar content as your web pages have.
  • Web content or pages that are http before login and https after.

b. Differentiate the above-mentioned website content duplication examples to these non-duplicate content:

  • Quotes from other sites that are associated with a source link when used in moderation on your webpage inside quotation marks.
  • Your website images from other sites or images repeated on your website – this is not considered duplicate content as search engines cannot crawl images.
  • Infographics that are shared through embed codes.
  • Regular and stripped-down pages which forum discussions generate to target at mobile devices.
  • Multiple distinct URLs that show store items or links
  • Printer-only versions of web pages.

c. And when you syndicate your content to third-party high-authority domains, make sure to pay attention that these sites help avoid duplicate content issues with republishing your content. You need to add a “NoIndex tag,” and a tracking URL, update the content to make it different, and have the third-party publish it at the same time as the original piece of your site. There is also an excellent reason to pay attention to the links that the syndicated or scraped content takes. These links may pass little or no authority, but you may get the occasional referral visit.

5. Signals Google uses for duplicate content.

The following are indicators you can use to cope with controls you need for the website content duplication that is generated on your site:

a. Effective Redirects are the most important signal that Google gets.

Google mostly trusts redirects, as they are almost entirely predictive of website content duplication. This is part of why Google recommends using them when you move or redesign your site.

Use the 301 permanent redirects where necessary and possible. The use of 301 redirects is one of your handy resolutions on duplicate content or pages generated unintentionally. Meaning, they are not necessary for the user to see actually. So, adding rel=“canonical” tags to the duplicate pages can keep these pages visible to users while 301 redirects can only point both search engine bots, and users to the preferred page. You can do this specifically to your home page URLs, from the WWW URL to the non-WWW URL or vice versa, and depending on which URL is used mostly. Also, when you have duplicate content on multiple websites with different domain names, you can 301 redirect the pages to one URL. You have to note that 301 redirects are permanent, so please be careful when choosing your preferred URL.

b. High-Quality Content.

Google uses content checksums. To detect high-level errors, they use checksums and make efforts to ignore boilerplate and catch a lot of soft-error pages. You can minimize boilerplate repetition when you include a very brief summary and then link to a page with more details. This should be done instead of putting lengthy copyright text on the bottom of every page to make it a strong content as a whole. You can use Google’s Parameter Handling tool to specify how you would like Google to treat URL parameters. This is why Google prefers getting an http error instead. When in maintenance mode, use 500 instead of 200. Utilize Google Tools to optimize your website content and ensure to check for plagiarism. Go to Google Copyright Removal Page to report the website duplicate content issue if there is any.

So, when a user clicks the link to repeat the search, they encounter these missing duplicate-content pages. The chance of a user to click this link is nil as the message may show on the last search page, or how many pages a search may return. Additionally, when there is one version of the content on your website, why would you need to repeat one? This is one way that Google refines the user-experience of its search engine. There are many ways of handling your website content duplication, which the way Google handles duplicate content affecting your SEO and rankings:

  1. Lose Your Original Content to Omitted Results, when you syndicate your original blog to various third-party websites without a backlink to your content, their content may likely omit or replace your original content. This syndicated-content omission or replacement is real, especially if the third-party site has a higher PageRank, higher influence, and higher-quality backlinks than your website.
  2. Waste of Indexing Time for Bots, while they index your site. Search engine bots treat every link as unique and index the content on each of them on your website. Hence, when your website has duplicate links because of “session IDs,” or any of the reasons mentioned above. The bots then waste their time indexing repeat or duplicate content instead of indexing other unique content on your website.
  3. URL parameters can cause duplicate content issues, which include user-click tracking, some analytics code, and other URL peripheries. When these scenarios happen, not the parameters themselves but the order that these parameters appear on the URL itself, this can be a problem that may send confusion to the search engines, such as this example: www.widgets.com/blue-widgets? Google was able to design algorithms that prevent duplicate content from affecting webmasters, which consolidates various versions into a cluster of URLs, subsequently displaying the “best” URL in the cluster. They actually consolidate these various signals (i.e., links) from pages within that cluster to the one being shown on the search engine results. When your website seems to have a lot of pages that may look like duplicate content apart from one or two items on the page, then you need to “fold those pages together” into one strong page.
  4. Multiple Duplicate Links means to dilute “link juice,” when you build links that point to a page with numerous URLs and distribute the “passing of link juice” among them. Once all the pages consolidate into one, the link juice also consolidates. You can imagine your website content duplication like this, has a similar page that is available in three different URLs:

1st) domain.com/page/

2nd) domain.com/page/?utm_content=buffer&utm_medium=social

3rd) domain.com/category/page/

The first URL can show up in search results, but Google can get this wrong. When this scenario happens, an undesirable URL (2nd, or even the 3rd URL) may take its place. Mostly, people tend less likely to click on an unfriendly URL (2nd) but may choose a similar URL (3rd, a duplicate of the first URL) instead. Subsequently, when this scenario occurs, you may get less organic traffic and may confuse Google, placing your website indexing into the low priority or less frequent.

5.         Organic Traffic Loss is when your content is not what the keyword the user searches for, or the content version that Google chooses to show in search results. When this happens, you will lose valuable organic traffic to your site.

Look at how keywords are being deployed in the page content than on how it can affect the signals that Google uses. You need to focus your primary (or main) keyword as well as your related keywords into your page content by using it on your meta description, SEO title tag, and article title. Use your keywords within the first and last 200 words of your content, and evenly spread these keywords on the entire article or page content. And ensure to include latent semantic indexing on your content keyword implementation so t