TaylorLovett

Duplicate Website Content – Why It’s Bad and How to Fix It

January 12, 2011 by Taylor Lovett

Hey {!name}, I thought I’d let in on a big problem that I look for on client websites when I’m doing SEO consulting.

From Google Webmaster Tools:
—–
Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content
or are appreciably similar
——

Here’s all the ways duplicate content can occur on your website:

* URL parameters such as click tracking and some analytics code can cause duplicate content issues.

* Printer friendly versions of content can cause duplicate content issues when multiple versions of the pages get indexed.

* Session IDs are a common duplicate content creator. This occurs when each user that visits a website is assigned a different session ID that is stored in the URL.

The biggest problem with duplicate content is that search engines don’t know which version to index. If you are using a WordPress website, then duplicate content probably applies to your website in a more subtle way, a way which most SEO “gurus” try to charge you money to learn about. Multiple pages with the same page title or meta description are considered duplicate content which hurts your website in a variety of ways.

The page title is contained in the HTML header and can be read by users in the URL bar at the very top of browsers. The meta description is also contained within the HTML header but cannot be read by humans and is used exclusively by search engines like Google. I’m going to send you another email about the importance of meta descriptions and titles and how to make good use of them.

— Ways to Detect Duplicate Content on Any Website

* Here is a useful duplicate content detector tool: http://www.virante.com/seo-tools/duplicate-content.php

— Ways to Fix Duplicate Content on WordPress Websites

* First make sure all your pages have unique page titles and meta descriptions.

* If you are using permalinks, each page can be linked to in at least two different ways i.e. yoursite.com/?p=20 or yoursite.com/mypage/. Make sure you pick one way to link to each page throughout your website. If you are using permalinks, you should be using yoursite.com/mypage/

* Finally, if you still have duplicate content, you will need to mark pages with canonical link tags. A canonical link tag tells the search engine where the primary version of that content resides. Here is a great WordPress plugin that does this for you automatically: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/canonical/

— Ways to Fix Duplicate Content on WordPress Websites

* The best way to do this is to manually add the following meta tag to the section of every page that is a duplicate:

That’s it! Everything you need to correct duplicate content on your website is in this email. Enjoy.

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