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Duplicate content, or how the copied content is harmful to your website.

Every year, the content marketing position in the US is constantly strengthening. This is evidenced by the amount of content created, which are published daily by both large enterprises and small companies. What’s more, the recent research of Content Marketing Institute shows that as many as 88% of B2B markers reach for this technique in their strategy.

Despite the growing popularity of content marketing, many people still admit one of the biggest offenses, namely copying content. What’s more, he often does it unconsciously. What exactly are we termed duplicate content and how does it affect your position on Google?

Duplicate content – what is it?

According to the commonly available definition: content marketing is based on the creation and distribution of interesting and useful content that is designed to attract a specific group of recipients. Despite the fact that there is no mention of “uniqueness” in it, it is easy to guess that plagiarism can not be described as attractive content (and certainly duplicate content is included in it).

We talk about the duplicate content phenomenon when the same text is published on two or more pages. Importantly, it does not have to come to the theft of, for example, an article from a competitive website. As we mentioned in the introduction, many people do not even realize that their site has been duplicate content. How does it happend?

First of all, if you do not create texts yourself and only use content outsourcing, you have to choose the contractors carefully. There is some risk that copywriters working for suspiciously low rates may be allowed to copy from other websites. Very often, other informative cases are also described on online forums. Sometimes it happens that contracting persons, eg descriptions of products at agencies or freelancers, after some time find identical content on the competition website. In this situation, if the agreement does not mention the obligation to transfer copyright, your efforts to bring justice may prove ineffective.

Second, duplication of content can occur within the same site. Example? It is enough that you sell a given product in several colors, each of which has its own subpage. Goods, therefore, differ from each other only by one seemingly insignificant detail. For this reason, you create a universal description, which will be published on every subpage of the product. And that’s how you allow duplicate content.

Based on the examples described above, it is easy to guess that duplicate content is divided into two types: external and internal.

External duplicate content

External duplicate content occurs when the same content is published on two (or more) company pages. This phenomenon is mainly caused by:

  • conscious duplication (theft) of content from other websites (copying information about the goods from the manufacturer’s website (even gluing “word-for-word” technical specifications can be considered duplicate content),
  • quoting larger parts of the text, without using the proper semantic link.

Internal duplicate content

Internal duplicate content refers to the duplication of content within the same site. Most often it comes to him when:

  • the text will be used on several subpages (eg product pages) (301 redirects are not used, so the page loads both with and without the WWW prefix)
  • several URLs lead to the same subpage

Copy content and Google

If you already know what duplicate content is and when it comes to it, it’s time to say what the consequences are. In the first place, you must realize that reproduction of content is a crime in the light of law, and thus may end up in a court case. Secondly, duplicate content adversely affects your website’s SEO.

As everyone knows, Google does not like the copied content. For this reason, its algorithms verify the content of pages, and then they can punish dishonest actions. Of course, the type of punishment depends on the degree of the offense. In extreme cases, and hence plagiarism of a large amount of content, it may end up imposing a filter or even blocking the page. Without a doubt, copying content has a negative impact on positioning. If Google’s robots detect this action, it will also result in a significant decrease in the position of the page in the search rankings. Returning to the current place can be a very difficult task. Of course, if you realized that a competitive company duplicated content from your website, do not wait for algorithm interventions.

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