Is Duplicate Content Bad For SEO? 

You may be wondering, “Is duplicate content bad for SEO?” Well, duplication is not necessarily a negative. It has many positive aspects, including brand cannibalization, conflicting signals to search engines, and higher rankings for related content. However, you must make sure that duplicate content does not affect your website. Here are some common reasons why. Read on to find out how to avoid duplication.

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Internal content duplication carries no penalty 

The most obvious example of duplicate content is when a website intentionally copies content from another website. The problem can also occur accidentally or as a result of technical problems with the site’s platform. For example, online retail stores often copy product descriptions from manufacturers to save time and money. Since two to three million e-commerce companies exist worldwide, there are likely several websites that are similar in content. 

Conflicting signals to search engines 

If you have several pages with the same content, you should consolidate them on one URL to avoid conflicting signals to search engines. Consolidating duplicate content is often the best option if both pages have external links. Then, all ranking signals will point to one page. In some cases, you may want to use the same URL, such as non-www vs. www. Another example is 301-redirecting to one page instead of two. 

Brand cannibalization 

You might wonder whether your website is suffering from brand cannibalization. The answer is yes, but there are two ways you can identify it. The first is by checking your search analytics. Specifically, activate the “Pages” option to see what URLs are ranking for a specific keyword. If you notice multiple URLs for the same keyword, it’s a sign of keyword cannibalization. In this case, you should optimize the offending page to contain only one keyword. 

Conflicting signals to users 

Google isn’t penalizing websites that have duplicate content. There are plenty of reasons why it’s fine to have more than one version of the same page. These pages are called “canonical” and are much better for ranking. However, when you use multiple versions of the same content, you’re sending conflicting signals to users. Ultimately, this is bad for SEO. If you’re going to use multiple versions of the same page, it’s best to combine them into one strong page. 

Negative impact on search ranking 

Though Google does not penalize duplicate content, it can affect your rankings. When there is duplicate content on your website, Google may filter out the duplicate page and choose the most relevant one for your query. This will lower your SEO ranking and may result in preference being given to other web pages. The best way to improve your SEO rankings is to avoid duplicate content. The following article outlines some of the common ways that duplicate content can negatively impact your rankings.