Checking for Duplicate Content

Picture of Duplicate Content

How To Avoid Duplicate Content


In the world of online web results, frequently referred to as a search engine results page, duplicate content is taken into consideration from a site within a site, or from one site to the next, when the results are displayed. Although not all duplicate content is malicious in theory, which is to say, ripped directly from another site to increase another’s page ranking, even inadvertent duplicate content within the same site can hinder a websites ranking, or how an overall search engine result is displayed.

 What is Duplicate Content?

Content such as copyright infringement statements, contact information or content repetition of any kind that appears in the exact same verbiage from page to page, within a single website is considered duplicate content. This duplication in content can result in mixed search engine results, or the displaying of a website in a non-complementary manner. For example, website owners prefer their site to be displayed on a search engine results page as: When content is duplicated from page to page, the result may be listed as: These types of search engine results, although considered non-malicious, do not favor a consistent company brand or message, and can harm the site’s visibility.

 Types of Duplicate Content

There are a few examples of duplicate content, with the previous example of different pages sharing the exact same copy blocks being the least harmful of the three. Although an extended URL is not the ideal way to present a company’s webpage, the second type of duplicate content can produce a similar search engine result. Duplicate content can be recognized through different mediums on the same site, which carries the same, non-malicious value as the first example. In this example of non-malicious duplicate content a site may contain different formats or alternate views of their original content through printer-friendly, HTML or mobile versions, which may increase inconsistent search results or links.

The third and more detrimental type of duplicate content is content that is intentionally generated from another site’s content – usually from a more popular site – to increase the page ranking of a not so popular or trusted site on a search engine results page. This practice includes deliberately repeating unrelated phrases to increase the non-trusted or potentially spamming site’s prominence on the search engine results page. Thanks to smarter algorithms employed by larger search engines, Google especially, websites that participate in the malicious side of content duplication are often singled out and blocked from the search engine results.

How to Avoid Duplicate Content

Picture of avoiding duplicate content
Avoid Duplicate Content

The first step in avoiding duplicate content it to examine a website’s content carefully to determine whether certain phrases are repeated in the exact same context on different pages of the same website. In instances where this occurs, change the copy, or condense the copy to appear on one page, to avoid duplication altogether. If two products share the same description, try tying them together to avoid two separate pages that share the same content, thereby lessening content duplication. Using a writing service like The Content Authority gives you the opportunity to receive unique articles and lessens the chances of having duplicate content.

In addition, there is software available through online resources that allow for the comparison of content from two different sources. Free downloads such as GC Duplicate Content Checker allows its users to download the application to their computer, so it is readily available for copy entry and comparison. Simply enter one source, either through importing or copying, into one side, and the second source to the opposite side and hit “compare.” This will provide the user with the number of words, phrases or sentences that are the same, allowing ease in changing the verbiage through a highlighting mechanism. In addition, there is a site called that allows users to enter their URL, and will identify replicas of that site’s copy on the Internet. There are several sites that will provide the same service at no charge, and can be found with a simple online search.

Whichever application is utilized to pinpoint duplicate content, it is important that website owners stay on top of the process, and repeat it often to insure the best page ranking available. Individuals who search the internet for information do not enjoy results that list several different websites containing the same, exact information. Unique information or points of view are the way to Internet users’ hearts, and preferred search engine rankings.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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