Last Updated in March 2021 by Lukasz Zelezny
How to avoid Google Penalty
In this blogpost
Most people know that Google ranks websites based on certain factors. Those factors include the quality of content, page speed, and mobile device compatibility. As well as the positive ranking factors, there are also negative ranking factors. These are the things that will lower the position of a website in Google’s search results pages – in other words, we will tell you how to avoid Google Penalty
In some cases, Google will impose penalties on websites. These penalties are usually imposed on websites that have adopted unacceptable SEO practices. A google penalty can be disastrous for a website. It can put a website so far down the rankings that all organic traffic dries up. There is a difference between search engine optimization and illegitimate SEO tactics. Here are ten sins that you need to avoid committing if you want to avoid a google penalty.
Avoid Spammy Inbound Links as these can cause Google Penalty
Good quality inbound links show Google that your website is popular. It is an indication that your site contains valuable information. Backlinks still play a major role in determining how high up on Google your website appears.
This has led to a thriving market in backlinks for sale. But, the official line from Google is that you should never buy backlinks. If Google thinks that you have manipulated the system by buying backlinks, your site will get penalized. So, if you are going to buy backlinks at all, make sure that you buy high-quality links that look natural.
Stay away from duplicate content is a way to Google Penalty
The best way to improve your Google ranking is to post fresh, original content. But that takes time and effort. So, some people resort to posting content that they have copied from other websites. Not only is this an infringement of copyright laws, but it will also get your site penalized by Google. It is possible that you could write duplicate content by accident.
You might also get duplicated content from dishonest content writers. The easiest way to check that your content is unique is to use a plagiarism tool such as Copyscape.
Keyword Stuffing – you may be penalized here too
You need to optimize your content with keywords. This is so that Google can identify what your content is about. But, if you over-optimize your content for keywords, you could receive a google penalty.
The optimum keyword density is between 3-5%. Although, opinions do differ on this. The most important thing to do is to make sure that your use of keywords looks natural.
Don’t do Outbound Links to Bad Neighborhoods
Google does not police the internet, but it doesn’t like to promote unsuitable content either. If a kid’s site contained links to a porn site, for example, no one would be happy about that. So, Google will penalize a site that links out to gambling, pornography, and drug-related sites. A link from your site to another site is like a recommendation. So, be careful about the sites that you link to within your content.
Do not use Hidden Content and Cloaked Links
It is possible to post content that the Google web crawlers will see, but that user will not. You could, for example, have lots of keywords written on a page in white font on a white background. This used to be a common black-hat SEO technique.
As was the cloaking of hyperlinks so that users would click on them by accident. Both these techniques will get picked up by Google and earn you a penalty. You should make sure that what your users see is the same as what the search engines see.
Avoid Poor Quality Content – one of the way Google Penalty
Google looks for high-quality content that provides value. The quality of content is becoming more important in search engine optimization. Content that has lots of spelling and grammar mistakes is likely to get penalized. So too, will incoherent spun content. Make sure that all your pages contain good content that makes sense to a human.
Also, avoid very short pages of content. Even the shortest pages on your website should contain at least 250 words.
Keep away from Malicious Links and Viruses may drive to you Google Penalty
It is important that you keep your website secure. If Google finds a computer virus on your site or links to phishing sites, it will penalize your website. If you don’t install security software on your website, your site will be vulnerable to hacking.
Hackers may insert malicious code and links to your web pages. If that happens, your site will soon disappear from the Google search results pages.
Unauthorized Use of Images
It is important that you are careful about the images that you use on your site. If you use images that you are not authorized to use, you may get a google penalty. You may also find the owner of the image takes legal action against you.
There are websites where you can download good quality, royalty-free images, such as Pixabay and Unsplash. Play it safe. If you are at all unsure if you should be using an image, don’t use it.
Broken Links and algo Google hit
If you have broken internal links or outgoing links on your site, you need to fix them. Google will treat broken links as a sign that you are no longer maintaining your site. Google does not want to direct users to sites that are not cared for. So, your web pages will rank lower if they contain links that lead nowhere.
Not Being Mobile Friendly (or AMP ready)
Google has been rewarding mobile-friendly sites for several years. Now, though, they have gone a step further. Google now ranks mobile-friendly sites above sites that are not mobile-friendly. Being Mobile-friendly does not end with a responsive website. It also includes ease of navigation and not having hyperlinks too close together.
Whenever you design a site or publish content, you need to think about your mobile users.
Conclusion about how to avoid Google Penalty
If you want your website to rank in the search engines, the best thing to do is follow Google SEO guidelines. Google’s goal is to present high-quality websites to its users. The rules are there to help Google achieve this.
You need to be aware of the Google-approved SEO practices. But you also need to be aware of what practices can get your website penalized. You can make some short-term gains by breaking the rules. But the way to get to the top of Google, and stay there, is to produce high-quality content and follow the rules.
Does My Website Have A Google Penalty?
This is a common question asked by both the affected and those not. Nevertheless, Google has an algorithm that decides which sites should receive the penalty. There are many criteria which when met; your site is hit with the ban. What stands out from the long list is the fact that your site won’t be spared for trying to harm the audience or deceive the ranking system. The moment malice is detected; you will not be spared.
Once the penalty has been handed, how do you tell your site is affected? One way to tell whether your site has been penalised is when you realise a substantial drop in your traffic. The Google Analytics section will always record how much traffic you have. This is the section to always refer to when trying to establish whether your site is safe or penalised.
Normally, the penalties take effect when Google reviews its penalty issuance algorithm. It is up to you to find out the dates these updates happen. When they do, you should check your numbers in the Google Analytics section. If they have dropped significantly, the chances of a penalty handed to your site are very high. At this point, you will have no other alternative than exercise patience.
There’s no way your site will retain its traffic with a Google penalty on. That means, as long as you still have your traffic, your website is free from the Google Penalty. A site that is hit will drop in rankings in a remarkable manner. Therefore, as long as you’re still connected to your audience, your site is safe from the penalty.
How To Check Google Penalty?
The Google Webmaster Guidelines give directions on the dos and don’ts on the web. Whenever a penalty is handed to your site, one of the guidelines must have been abused. The following link: https://search.google.com/search-console/about will lead you to a platform you can use to check up whether you have a Google penalty or not.
Remember the penalty is given manually. Therefore, you will go to the Security & Manual Actions. The Section is divided into two categories. There are the Manual Actions and the Security issues segment. You should go for the former when finding out whether your site has a penalty.
In most cases, you will either be notified of the penalty handed to your site or you may get a fragmentary warning with a reason. You’ll also get details on what to work on to avoid a penalty. This is information you should take seriously because it may cost you your audience.
It is important to note that the Google algorithm for giving penalties has a whole list of guidelines. You could violate one, two, or even more with/without your knowledge. The penalty checker helps you know which one you have violated or are about to violate. This is helpful especially if you are about to violate the rules without your knowledge.
One of the most common reasons why penalties are issued is sites posting shallow or misleading information. Plagiarism is another issue not taken lightly by the Google Penalty algorithm. Once you have them sorted, your penalty or potential penalty will be lifted or avoided respectively.
How To Remove Google Penalty?
The world today offers two fundamental options for solving problems. The first alternative is offering the solution to yourself. The Do It Yourself option is convenient and mostly affordable. In this case, you can choose to remove the penalty yourself or hire the services of a professional.
When it comes to doing it yourself, the first option is in finding out the reason you were handed a penalty. You will most likely get a possible solution and that is what you should implement. For instance, let’s say you get a warning in regards to plagiarism. The best thing to do is to start posting authentic and your own generated content rather than information lifted from other pirated sources.
Think about another possible reason. Say your site shares shallow information or data that may be misleading. In addition to that, the writers employed keyword stuffing in their writing to try deceiving the ranking system. Once the warning has been issued, it is your duty to comply. One of the obvious ways to act in accordance with the guidelines is to stop with orthodox ways of trying to bring in visitors.
The other alternative would be to find an expert to do the removal for you. In this case, your handler will work closely with you to get the penalty removed. They’ll guide you and advise on the best practices now and going forward. Sustainability is critical and that is why it is not enough to sort the issues just now, but for the rest of the days, your website will be operational.
What Is Google Penalty In SEO?
Google penalty happens when your site gets disconnected from your audience. This forfeit can happen in two ways. The first takes place when your site seizes appearing on search outcomes. In other scenarios, the page may still appear on the search sequel but significantly drop in ranking. In essence, your clicks and impressions drop conspicuously or your periodic curve flattens completely.
Just like any other penalty, a Google penalty is meant to punish internet sites that have committed transgressions on the web. The penalty will be handed notwithstanding the fault was intentional or accidental. In fact, some get the ban unaware. This affects your site’s performance without your knowledge.
Imagine being stopped from reaching out to your readers and viewers. It means one thing. If the site was your source of income, the source has been disrupted. If you used your site to create influence, you will not be able to do that. There are no limits or bias to which the penalty can be given. In most cases, those affected include aggressive sites trying to improve their rankings.
The majority of those receiving the Google penalty happens to be genuine site owners trying their best to rank higher. Google uses a certain algorithm to issue the penalty. Once you are affected, moving back to higher ranks can be a challenge. It is possible, but you may need to hire the services of an expert to get back to your rank or even perform better. You may have been affected yet. It doesn’t mean you are safe. The penalty could land on you anytime depending on the algorithm in use.
What is the paid link penalty in Google?
If you have a website and you want it to rank on top then you will be inclined toward backlinks building as it is the most successful strategy in SEO. It is one of the most imperative ranking factors in the Google algorithm. Link building is a strategy practice by many webmasters and makes sure that their website receives ample amount of traffic through all internal and external links pointing toward their website. But some websites got penalized by Google because of illegal practices like paid link building. Paid link-building is buying links from another domain as some companies pay to third party website for the do-follow links that would point back toward their website.
As link building is the backbone of SEO to rank any website high on Google search result page (GSRP) and getting those links by paying is strictly forbidden by Google engines and would result in extreme penalties. Paid link penalties are the outcome of bad, low quality paid links which are listed in any website’s backlink profile.
Google engines reckon them as the violation of their webmaster quality guidelines and culprit of building link schemes to manipulate Google ranking. Google has introduced the algorithm name “Penguin” in 2012 to detect such notorious naturally looking links and give you a penalty or worse like erase your from Google searches completely. By giving a penalty means your site ranking will be pushed down to the bottom which would drastically affect your traffic & visibility.
Google is all about organic traffic and natural links. But if it detects any unusual paid link then it would raise the red flag on your site. Google is very aggressive in paid link building that it gives penalty without any discrimination to any site, no matter if it’s a well-established organization. For example, Forbes, overstock, J.C Penney was penalized for doing this practice even it penalized Google Japan for 11 months.
Am I Under A Penalty In Google?
Google keeps making changes in its search algorithm so you must be aware of these changes in Google’s latest algorithm and how it works. There could be many reasons why Google may put a penalty on your website so it is important to stay cautious and updated with Google algorithms.
Here is how you may know if you are under a penalty:
Checking Manual Penalty Through Google Search Console
For this, the first step you need to do is to register yourself on Google Search Console if you have not done it so far. This free service is offered by Google and helps in observing, maintaining, and troubleshooting the presence of your website on the search results. It informs the webmasters if their website have any issues or penalties.
For checking the penalties, login to Google Search Console, go to search traffic and then click on manual penalties. On checking, if you get the message “No issues detected”, you need not to take any further action but if you see a penalty then you must read the message carefully, solve the issue and request for a review.
Checking Algorithm Penalty (Automatic) Through Google Analytics
Login to Google Analytics, go to acquisition, the click on All Traffic and then Source / Medium. After that, choose Google/Organic and check your organic traffic. If Google changed its algorithm recently and after that you see a drop in the traffic on your website, then it is most likely to be due to this penalty. Check the date on which you see the traffic falling and then compare it with the date of release of Google’s new algorithm. To solve this, read about the new algorithm and make changes where required.
Can A Staging Website Cause A Google Penalty?
Having a staging website is one of the WordPress website’s maintenance rules. You can update your staging website, tweak it, try some updates or plugins to see how does it look in functional mode. In this way, you don’t have to worry about the actual functional website that could crash. But do you know that Google could give you a penalty for this? That’s why most users don’t have a staging website.
This google penalty is called a duplicate content penalty and is one of the major concerns for people who have recently started web development. Google search engines crawl all the listed website domain pages and rank each content. If they come up with any website having the same content as yours then hit your website with a penalty. Creating a live duplicate staging website of your real one comes under the violation of google rules of unique content. In other words, any publically visible changes in the staging website could cause you a penalty.
So how to avoid this issue if you want to have a staging website too? There is a simple answer to this question, you should deindex your website by turning on the ‘discourage this site from indexing’ option from the WordPress admin setting.
However, keep in mind to turn off this setting while cloning the website from staging to live. As not doing so will prevent your website from showing up in searches.
Do Google Manual Penalties Expire?
On reviewing your website by a Google employee, if he finds some ranking manipulation for any reason, you may get a manual penalty.
There is no need to panic if you just received a manual penalty from Google. You will have a chance to rebound it.
You will get a manual action report through Google Search Console if your website has been penalised by Google. After you fix the problem you were notified for, you need to explain the origin and resolution for the problem if it is a manual penalty.
To what extent or how much severe your manipulation is will be the deciding factor for the penalty on your website. The duration of this penalty may vary from maybe 30 days for a not so severe act and may be longer for the severe ones. Once the time for penalty is over, it will expire automatically.
Google’s John Mueller wrote in one of his tweets:
“Yes, manual actions expire after time. Often things change over the years, so what might have required manual intervention to solve / improve back then, might be handled better algorithmically nowadays.”
Google confirms that manual penalties do expire over a period of time but in case you do not address the violation, Google will reissue it. So, it is better to address your penalties on time and resolve them as soon as possible.
Does google give you a penalty for mobile pop-ups?
in 2017, Google officially announced the interstitial penalty for website domains using mobile interstitial, which means all website owners are going to get a penalty for mobile pop-ups.
Interstitial ads are the ones that load between the pages or preceding the research destination, that resembles the mobile pop-ups & displays in the middle of the screen. Most of the news on this google penalty was much related to interstitial ads on websites. Many were thinking that Google is only trying to restrict publishers from uploading content that covers any type of interstitial adds but in implementation, google seems to penalize all the website content that is using any type of pop-ups.
Interstitials have been used widely by publishers for email sign-ups, webinar and e-book downloads, additional page views, and apps download, which seems a pretty big concern of google with mobile pop up advertisement. Because on mobile, interstitial ads take the large format of ad that could block all the content viewpoint of users and lead them away from the content page, which results in a low value of page as it will affect negatively the quality of page and users would never come to such sites. To access the content of such a page, users have to take actions like clicking add or closing it which is not easy at all to find cross “X” on such pop-ups.
The important thing to remember is the penalty is applied on a page basis not on the entire website unless you are using the pop-ups on the whole website, only the pages will be demoted on google search results.
Some publishers may think of this google penalty on pop-ups as a bad sign for business but think wisely is it worth losing your visitors for few extra dollars because it is going to hit your SEO hard in long run.
What is the algorithm penalty?
Google penalties are the worst nightmare of any website owner. There are two types of Google penalties
- Algorithm penalty
- Manual penalty
Algorithm penalties are given by google algorithm as they regularly check the websites on the base of some preset rules and if they found any website violating them then the algorithm hit them up with a penalty. This algorithm penalty is not manual and not given by Google employees, hence, algorithm penalty could not be lifted y google employees while reviewing your website manually. Thus the reconsideration request is not effective at all.
Given are three algorithms that check your websites daily.
Panda was established in 2011 and hit the websites with penalty more than any other algorithm. It mainly focuses on on-PAGE SEO issues and decreases the traffic of low-quality sites.
Penguin was introduced in 2012 and it mainly focuses on link quality. It doesn’t affect the whole site but only the pages with spam links. No one is sure about how it actually works but some SEO expert believes that given below three factors are used to identify spam links.
- Link-quality: if a website is ranked on the base of natural links then it would have a mix of both low and high quality. However, artificial links would be either low or high quality.
- Link growth: naturally ranked website would have backlinks growth at a sustainable time rate but an unnatural website would have lots of backlinks in a short time.
- Link diversity: websites should have links from all sources like blogs, articles, comments, forums, etc.
What is a manual penalty?
Manual penalties are different from algorithm penalties as panda and penguin algorithm is related to on-page or link quality check-ups. However manual penalties are given by google employees reviewers who check your website manually on the base of google quality parameters and hit you with a penalty if see anything violating their quality guidelines.
Manual penalty given by google reviewers will show in relevant website google console with explanation; how it is violating quality guidelines.
Following are some reason for the manual penalties
- Spam or unnatural links:
For a long time, backlinks creation is the strategy of SEO experts and every expert believes that backlinks increase the ranking of a website so as soon as they learn about this, they start making it. Backlinks no doubt always bring positive results, however, if your website is linked with a low domain authority site means you have low-quality links, spam links, paid links then reviewers will do a manual action on it.
- Thin content:
Another factor could be thin content like duplicate content. If google reviewers find out that your site content is copied from other websites then they will send you a manual penalty.
Although no one likes to be penalized yet, manual penalties are less severe than algorithms as you can eventually recover from manual penalties if you correct all your mistakes and problems. But this is not the case in algorithm penalties.
What Is Duplicate Content?
If content appears at more than one place on the internet, it is said to be duplicate content. That means, if a particular content is appearing on more than one URL, it is duplicate content. In such a case, the search engine may not be able to know which website should be shown in a better position.
Google defines duplicate content in the following manner:
“Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin.”
It is important to note here that if in order to rank higher you try to trick the search engine by copying, scraping, or by spinning the content that already exists on a website, it can prove to be hazardous for you. Duplicate content on your website may affect the search engine ranking of your website because it becomes difficult for the search engine to analyse the best URL for the customer’s query.
In other words, a word-for-word copied content that already exists on some other page or a similar or slightly rewritten content all are counted as Duplicate Content. For example “the brown fox jumped over a lazy dog” written as it is or rewritten as “the brown fox leaped over a lazy canine” both will be considered as a duplicate content.
A reader might be fine reading duplicate content as he has got what he was searching for but the search engine wants to show only the best search result and no repetition.
Is There A Penalty For Duplicate Content On A Website?
Google has stated several times that they don’t issue out a duplicate penalty. But, is this entirely true? Yes, it is but with some conditions. So, if you accidentally have duplicate content on a website, there will be no room for any penalty because it was not done deliberately. But if done intentionally, you might be penalised.
When Google recognises that a website has duplicated its content with the aim of misleading our users and influencing our rankings, we will also make proper modifications in the ranking and indexing of the sites involved. As regards this, the site ranking may undergo difficulties or might be completely removed from the Google index. In this case, it will no longer be displayed in the Google search result.”
Know that when you use have duplicate content on your website, Google will use the content as a signal to find if it is identical content. If it is identical, this means your site has no original and helpful content to offer users and will cause a lower ranking on your site. And definitely, it will pose an effect on your revenue and site traffic.
These few things may happen on your website when you have so much duplicate content. They are:
- It affects your SEO
- It lowers your rankings in search results
- It dissatisfies users from going through your website talk more about learning more about a topic, like a product and its features
- It decreases website traffic, sales, and leads
So, to avoid this, you have to take a practical approach to duplicate content because you want to create a very original website.
Can You Duplicate Your Own Content Within Your Own Site?
No! It’s not advisable. Having to do so will affect your ranking on the search engine; pages with repeated contents are considered inappropriate. Hence certain restrictions may be sanctioned on such sites by the search engine protocols. Sites which fails to stick to the content regulations will reduce their visibility which in turn will affect the click-through rates of the viewers. When a site has a high occurrence of duplicate contents, this can impede their analytic feedback, traffic generation levels, and ranking on Google’s search engine and other search engines in the digital space. Thus, by duplicating content word-for-word, you might risk being seen as an SEO pirate which will not be right for your site’s public view.
Having the same content appearing multiple times on the same site or page will make you lose possible leads and profiting especially when you are working with AdSense. Although, duplicating of content if rightly carried out is seen as an appropriate measure but when it is executed with an increased number of repetitions, it is then seen as spam! In the same way, you would not want to keep seeing similar wordings in your mail, this is the same approach search bots uses to evaluate all sites. Having spam or repeated content can be counterproductive to your site’s ranking on most search engines. The best you can do is to maintain an original status or better still to come up with similar content in a more creative way. Appearance and order play a vital role in how you thrive or survive while using the internet.
What is boilerplate content?
The boilerplate term is used in different meanings depending upon the context used. This term is also used in references, contracts, program coding, statements.
From an SEO point of view, boilerplate content is any text that can be reused in any piece without doing significant changes to the original content.
As a general rule, if your boiler content increases from a set point then you would be in trouble. However, you can reuse a useful piece of content from the website but you have to take care of some boundaries like minimize your repetition and just add a summary of your boiler content and create an anchor link to the page where more details are present.
How does Google deal with duplicate product descriptions across multiple retailer sites?
Duplicate content can create bigger problems for your site especially if you are an e-commerce website owner. In 2013 anonymous reports said google has 35% almost duplicate content and it’s quite ok. Because Google has never issued a direct penalty for duplicate content rather duplicate spun or malicious content.
But it doesn’t mean you should ignore your duplicate content especially if you have an e-commerce site. Product description duplicate content is the block of information that matches with another retailer site product description or somehow relatable to it. However, Google keeps explaining that duplicate content does not have a direct penalty if they are not malicious.
Looking closer to this issue, duplicate product descriptions create indirect problems so you need to tailor your duplicate content more carefully to rank it on GSRP.
In an e-commerce site, while the title, meta-description, and retailers are different but images, content is the same which makes it difficult to rank a product on google. It presents google with challenging problems like what content is original and it makes google confuse which product page to rank first.
Same products have the same features listed with little differences so it’s a rare chance that google will display all different versions of the same product so it will choose the best and original product description version and the result will be scarcer duplicates on the first page.
To avoid this issue, look closely at your duplicate product description and delete any content which deviates away from the point.
Is There A Google Penalty For Spun Content?
Yes, there is, if it’s done inappropriately. When contents are spun, it creates similar copies of the original content and this gets interpreted by different search engines. Having to create non-genuine content or spin-off can hamper your site’s visibility on google search query if it’s done inappropriately. Google’s terms of service prohibit to a great extent any malpractice or dubious scheme which centers on getting more from less – that is, using alternative measures to attain optimization metrics goals. It is important to know that a page or content that is copied may have the lowest rating among the vast pool of sites having similar curated copies of the original content on your page. Though it may take little or no time to copy the main content. It is important to note that the right amount of effort, content expertise, content curation; if tailored rightly to your viewers with added value, can become an advantage for you to rank high.
Google’s search bots and algorithm makes all spun contents less active in generating traffic and high conversion rate. Why? This is because the internet is enmeshed with various sites and links which may have similar content as yours, this could limit your ranking on the search query. Though most web newbies are yet to understand the conditions attached to such conduct. Acting without prior knowledge of these policies can make your sites dormant or potentially liable to being barred.
How Does Google Rate – Copied and Main Content?
Duplicate or copied content is the ones that are present on the internet in more than one website. Google hasn’t explained any penalty over duplicate content but it does affect your google search ranking. Google calls such content as appreciably similar content.
However, It does confuse google engines which duplicate version is more suitable and relevant to query.
Duplicate content must not be copied and spun, if you try to make your copied content unique by spinning it then you would be hit by algorithm or manual penalty. As google said that if you use techniques like adding synonyms and related words then it is counterproductive and not a useful step to help your website. So keep in mind that it is not a penalty rather a factor of, how Google ranks if it found that your content is not unique and doesn’t rank you above your competitor’s site.
If you are using unique and original content then google will filter it out and add more value signals to it and enhance traffic towards it. Google rewards rich, unique, productive, and relevant content in its organic listing and measures this by the ratio of low-quality content as compared to quality content on your site.
Can Duplicate Content Rank In Google?
In many cases, those who own a website do not purposely create duplicate content on their website. But this does not conclude that duplicate content is not on the web. Researchers have discovered and estimated that the web contains about 29% of the duplicate content.
Although, I am yet to see proof that duplicate content affects the ranking of a site except for an extreme case study. Here is what happened.
A web development firm launched a new website. On that same day, lazy IT staff copied the home page text of another site and published it. Immediately after it was published, it created hundreds of versions of the home page content all over the internet. Negative signals went straight to Google and an ill-natured Googler single-handedly added the domain into a blacklist.
This was indeed a rough experience on their side. They had to plead with Google to reconsider their actions. At the end of it, their domain was re-indexed.
What brought about this issue?
Firstly, Volume. When the home page was published, there were hundreds of the same text on the internet.
Secondly, the Timing. It was seen that all the web content published came out at the same time.
Lastly, the Context. The case study explained that one of the staffs copied the homepage of another website and published it on a newly launched domain.
So, don’t expect your duplicated content to rank on Google. And know that once it appears, your domain’s credibility will no longer be relevant on the search engine.
How does Google rate content deliberately duplicated across domains?
Duplicate is a concern for many years and has been the culprit of low ranking and less traffic on site. When you publish something on your site then Google takes time to crawl and index it. If you are a famous site and often post articles then Google will crawl it early. Google will then compare your piece of information with the other and if it found the duplicate content then one of the two possibilities will happen.
- Google either will display your content and rank it, if it is found useful for their readers. The most suitable example would be the news headlines with the same statement showing on GSRP again and again.
- Another possibility is google will omit your site from the search result if it found that you are spamming the results or have intentionally added duplicate content on your domain.
Will google give you a penalty over this? well no!
Will, it affects your traffic and ranking? yes!
Because it doesn’t matter if you don’t get a penalty over it ut google clearly has stated that it adds value to unique content and filtered out duplicate content in search results. Google does it because it doesn’t want their server to be overloaded with spam content.
Do Trailing Slashes Cause Duplicate Content Challenges on a Website?
If you put a trailing slash at the end of the URL then it could cause duplicate content challange4s if not dealt with correctly. As Google doesn’t like that same the content is available on different pages as it would be annoying for both engines and users.
There are multiple reasons that we should deal with this trailing slash problem seriously google crawls each URL and rank them. If it seems that both URLs’ have the same content then it comes under a duplicate content problem.
It can split your link equity, which is the SEO juice of ranking factors. Other web pages when linking their page with yours then it would create a problem for them as they don’t know which URL should be used either with trail slash or without. When they linked their page it means they are sanctioning that link by giving their link equity and it helps those pages rank. However, with trail slash, 50% would link with trail slash link and 50% without it. It would slip your link equity.
Google also has explained this issue in their blog and explains a lot of details with examples but the essence of it is that it will not cause technical issues but it is a best practice to fix your trailing slash problem.
You can fix this issue by applying 301 redirects. First, you need to choose your preferred content copy and then redirect the duplicate content to that preferred URL. Doing this one by one on large scale could be time-consuming and hectic so the site-wide redirect would be the best option to apply here.
How To Check For Duplicate Content On A Website?
Having duplicate content on your site could hurt your SEO ranking and you should regularly check if your site has such content. Because Sometimes during writing the content for your site, you could accidentally write content much similar to other content although its accidental similarity but it’s a good practice to eliminate such similarity to avoid any issue in future.
Following are some free tools that can be sued to check plagiarized or duplicate content.
- Copyscape tool:
This tool will instantly tell you, by comparison, your result with other content on the internet if it is resembling. It will highlight the resembled sentences and would tell you the percentage of copied content.
It will check the originality of the content you have written. Registered users can do 50 checks per day.
It has various SEO tools and also has a plagiarism checker to check any duplicate content.
This tool will check your website once a month to see if there is any duplicate content. It will also check broken links and detect pages that are most noticeable to search engines.
It not only detects the duplicate pages of your content all over the internet but also identifies who has stolen your content. You can also do URL check up on weekly basis to check duplicate content.
- Grammarly premium.
Although it is a paid tool. it allows you to check the plagiarism in your content. It also checks your grammar, sentence structure, clarity in your whole content. It also gives you word choice for better content presentation.