Last Updated in August 2021 by Lukasz Zelezny
Duplicate content appearing on your site is something that should be well handled, regardless of whether it was put there accidentally or intentionally. This is because of its implications on your SEO rankings, whether you are running a small business or a big, well-established corporation. Today, this article will learn about duplicate content and how it affects our rankings on the search engine; among other important content, you must know about this topic.
What is duplicate content in SEO?
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When we have content appearing on different website addresses but with either complete similarity or having a very slight difference, we refer to this as duplicate content.
It can either be internal, where the content appears on the same website or external, where content searched by a single URL occurs on different websites.
Does duplicate content affect SEO?
Google doesn’t impose any penalties on duplicate content. However, filtering content deemed to be identical is what it does, which generally amounts to a penalty. You end up losing rankings on your website pages.
When there is an incident of duplicate content, the Google search engine is forced to decide which content will occur in the top rankings of a search result. The bad side of this is that there are high chances that even the original content may not be picked on the top results.
How can I check or duplicate content on my website?
It is always advisable to check and ensure that your content is not duplicated before you post it on your website. It never matters the confidence you have with it; it is always better to check and eliminate all doubts. Here are some commendable free duplicate checkers:
This is an essential free tool for checking plagiarism that enables you to do text searches, text files, docx, and URLs. It allows for one free search, and it is unlimited once you register.
This tool enables you to check the entire website for duplicate content. You only have to paste your site’s URL in the search box; then, it will search for plagiarism, internal and external links, number of words per page, page loading time, and so much more. The search only takes a few minutes, which of course, also depends on the size of your site.
After the search, you can click on the results to access more details, and you also have the option of downloading the results in pdf format.
This is a URL search tool that is free, fast, and thorough. It contains a unique feature called originality that allows you to check and compare the contents that have been flagged as duplicates. Plagspotter is a free tool, but you can sign up and enjoy a seven-day free trial and have access to multiple other features like the plagiarism monitor, complete site scanning, unlimited searches, and so much more. After the free trial period, if you wish to keep using Plagspotter, the paid version is also very affordable.
This is a perfect URL search that gives you results in only a few seconds. Although the free version does not do deep searches to break down texts in search of partial duplicates, it does a fantastic job of identifying exact matches.
Which tag is used for stopping duplicate content?
A vital tool is used to prevent duplicated content when doing an organic search, referred to as a canonical tag. It is usually a part of the HTML code for a website page, and it is used to show the source of the content. They cannot be seen by the visitors, but are not invincible to the search bot.
When search bots come across a canonical tag, they usually compare the URL of the tag and the URL of the page they’re searching. The page they are on is said to be the canonical version when the URLs match.
When there is no match, the bots don’t index that page but instead attribute the page’s link authority to the canonical version.
What are non-canonical pages?
Pages that could either be canonical duplicates of other URLs or duplicate contents are called non-canonical URLs. Although they are genuinely non-canonical pages, we can only find them by following links.
This means that the URLs are linked to from pages in your website and that they are accessible only if not well handled by redirects.
Should every page contain a canonical tag?
Yes, yes, yes. All pages with no exception, even the canonical page itself, must have the canonical tag. This helps to prevent the possibility of there being a duplication of your pages. There may not exist other versions of that page, but you should always provide it with a canonical tag that links to the page itself.
Are canonical tags necessary for SEO?
The best method to show the search engines the pages to be indexed is by using canonicals. These tags are an indication to the search engines that an original copy of a page already exists.
Canonicals are an essential element of any SEO strategy. They alert the search engines of a standard resource or a more relevant page, which helps resolve issues to do with the presence of duplicate pages or content. It is essential always to ensure the canonical tag is correctly implemented to avoid confusing the search engine.
What is self-canonical?
A self-referential canonical tag is usually defined on the primary version of the page, other duplicate pages notwithstanding. If a page doesn’t have the same pages existing, then the canonical tag is placed on this page; we refer to this as self-canonical. This is very important in SEO because it will give google search engines direction towards the correct URL that should be indexed and ranked.
We can only conclude how important it is to avoid duplicate content on your pages with all these being said. Google has even on multiple occasions encouraged the use of canonical tags on every page on your website. It may just be a simple single-line code, but the magic it does is commendable.