Duplicate Content: Why It Happens and How to Fix It

Hoping to realize what copy content is, and the way that it very well may be harming your Web optimization?

Copy content is a wellspring of steady nervousness for the overwhelming majority site proprietors.

Peruse nearly anything about it, and you’ll leave away accepting that your site is a ticking delayed bomb of copy content issues. A Google punishment is only days away.

Fortunately, this isn’t correct — yet copy content can in any case cause Search engine optimization issues. Also, with 25-30% of the web being copy content, it’s valuable to know how to stay away from and fix such issues.

In this aide, you’ll learn:

  • What duplicate content is;
  • Why duplicate content is bad for SEO;
  • Whether Google has a duplicate content penalty;
  • Common causes of duplicate content;
  • How to check for (and fix) duplicate content

What is duplicate content?

Copy content is precise or close copy content that shows up on the web in more than one spot. It can happen on a solitary site or cross-space.

For instance, if I somehow managed to republish this post at ahrefs.com/blog/copy content-duplicate/, then that sounds copy content. That would likewise be valid if I somehow managed to republish it on another site.

Google expresses that most copy content isn’t dishonest in beginning.

Why is duplicate content bad for SEO?

Copy content might hurt your Website optimization execution for a couple of reasons.

  1. Undesirable or unfriendly URLs in search results;
  2. Backlink dilution;
  3. Burns crawl budget;
  4. Scraped or syndicated content outranking you.

We should investigate these in more profundity.

1. Undesirable or unfriendly URLs in search results

Envision that a similar page is accessible at three distinct URLs:

  1. domain.com/page/
  2. domain.com/page/?utm_content=buffer&utm_medium=social
  3. domain.com/category/page/

The first ought to appear in query items, yet Google can fail to understand the situation. Assuming that occurs, a bothersome URL might have its spot.

Since individuals might be less disposed to tap on a disagreeable URL, you might get less natural traffic.

2. Backlink dilution

In the event that a similar substance is accessible at numerous URLs, every one of those URLs might draw in backlinks. That outcomes in the parting of “connect value” between URLs.

To show an illustration of this in the wild, investigate these two pages on buffer.com:

These pages are practically precise copies. Also, they have 106 and 144 alluding spaces (joins from remarkable sites), individually.

Before you alarm, realize that this isn’t generally an issue due to how Google handles copy content.

In straightforward terms, when they identify copy content, they bunch the URLs into one group. to the delegate URL.”

Thus, for the situation above, Google ought to show only one of the URLs in natural hunt and trait all alluding areas in the group (106+144) to that URL.

However, that is not what occurs, as we see the two URLs positioning in Google for comparative watchwords.

3. Burns crawl budget

Google sees as new happy on your site through slithering, and that implies they follow joins from existing pages to new pages. They additionally recrawl pages they know about now and again to check whether anything has changed.

Having copy content serves just to make more work for them. That can influence the speed and recurrence at which they slither your new or refreshed pages.

That is terrible in light of the fact that it might prompt postpones in ordering new pages and reindexing refreshed pages.

4. Scraped content outranking you

At times, you might allow one more site to republish your substance. That is known as partnership. Different times, destinations might scratch your substance and republish it without consent.

Both of these situations lead to copy content across various areas, however they ordinarily don’t create some issues. It’s just when the scratched or republished content beginnings outclassing the first on your site that issues emerge.

The uplifting news is this is an intriguing event, yet it can work out.

Does Google have a duplicate content penalty?

Google has expressed on numerous events that they don’t have a copy content punishment.

On the off chance that your copy content is incidental and not the aftereffect of deliberate control of indexed lists or nasty practices, then, at that point, you will not get punished. On the off chance that it is, you may.

In the uncommon cases in which Google sees that copy content might be displayed with aim to control our rankings and misdirect our clients, we’ll likewise make proper changes in Thus, the positioning of the site might endure, or the site may be taken out from the Google record, in which case it will never again show up in list items.

The inquiry is, what considers “goal to control our rankings and delude our clients”?

Google has a ton of data on that here. However, fundamentally, it’s things like:

  • Intentionally creating multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with lots of duplicate content.
  • Publishing lots of scraped content
  • Publishing affiliate content scraped from Amazon or other sites (and adding no additional value)

Be that as it may, as examined above, copy content can in any case hurt Web optimization — even without a punishment.

Common causes of duplicate content

There’s no single reason for copy content. There are a large number.

Faceted/filtered navigation

Faceted route is where clients can channel and sort things on the page. Internet business sites use it a ton.

This sort of route affixss boundaries to the furthest limit of the URL.

Since there are normally numerous blends of these channels, faceted route frequently brings about heaps of copy or-close copy content.

Investigate these two pages, for instance:



The URLs are special, yet the substance is practically indistinguishable.

Furthermore, the request for the boundaries frequently doesn’t make any difference. For instance, a similar page is open at both of these URLs:

Tracking parameters

Defined URLs are likewise utilized for the end goal of following. For instance, you might utilize UTM boundaries to follow visits from a bulletin crusade in Google Examination:

Model: example.com/page?utm_source=newsletter

Session IDs

Meeting IDs store data about your guests. They typically add a long string to the URL like so:

Model: example.com?sessionId=jow8082345hnfn9234

HTTPS vs. HTTP, and non-www vs. www

Most sites are open at one of these four varieties:

  • https://www.example.com (HTTPS, www)
  • https://example.com (HTTPS, non-www)
  • http://www.example.com (HTTP, www)
  • http://example.com (HTTP, non-www)

In the event that you’re utilizing HTTPS, it’ll be one of the initial two. Whether it’s the www or non-www variant is your decision.

Nonetheless, on the off chance that you don’t accurately arrange your server, your site will be open at least two of these varieties. That isn’t great and can prompt copy content issues.

Case-sensitive URLs

Google considers URLs to be case-delicate.

That implies these three URLs are unique:

  • example.com/page
  • example.com/PAGE
  • example.com/pAgE

Trailing slashes vs. non-trailing-slashes

Google treats URLs with and without following cuts as exceptional. That implies these two URLs are novel in Google’s eyes:

  • example.com/page/
  • example.com/page

On the off chance that your substance is available at the two URLs, that can prompt copy content issues.

To check in the event that this is an issue, attempt to stack a page with and without the following slice. In a perfect world, just a single variant will stack. The other will divert.

For instance, assuming that you attempt to stack this post without the following cut, it will divert to the URL with the following slice.

Google expresses that this conduct is great.

If by some stroke of good luck one rendition can be returned (i.e., the other sidetracks to it), that is perfect! This conduct is valuable since it lessens copy content.

Print-friendly URLs

Print-accommodating variants have a similar substance as the first. Just the URL contrasts.

  • example.com/page
  • example.com/print/page

Mobile-friendly URLs

Versatile URLs, similar to print-accommodating URLs, are copies.

  • example.com/page
  • m.example.com/page


Sped up Portable Pages (AMP) are copies.

  • example.com/page
  • example.com/amp/page

Tag and category pages

Most CMS’ make devoted labels pages when you use labels.

For instance, in the event that you have an article about natural whey protein, and you utilize both “protein powder” and “whey” as labels, then you’ll wind up with two label pages like these:


That doesn’t necessarily in all cases cause copy content in itself, yet it can.

That is the situation here since there’s just a single page on the site with those two labels — so each label page is indistinguishable.

Attachment image URLs

Numerous CMS’ make devoted pages for picture connections. These pages for the most part show only the picture and some standard duplicate.

Since this duplicate is something very similar across all auto-produced pages, it prompts copy content.

Paginated comments

WordPress and different CMS’ take into consideration paginated remarks. This causes copy content as it really makes various adaptations of similar URLs.

  • example.com/post/
  • example.com/post/comment-page-2
  • example.com/post/comment-page-3


Assuming you’re serving comparative substance to individuals in various areas who communicate in a similar language, then, at that point, that can cause copy content.

For instance, you could have various renditions of your site for individuals in the US, UK, and Australia. Since there are logical just minor contrasts between the substance served to every district (e.g., costs in dollars versus pounds real), the forms will be close to copies.

Search results pages

Heaps of sites have search boxes. Utilizing these ordinarily takes you to a defined pursuit URL.

Model: example.com?q=search-term

Google’s previous Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts, expressed that:

Ordinarily, web list items don’t increase the value of clients, and since our center objective is to give the best query items potential, we by and large avoid query items from our web search file. (Not all URLs that contain things like “/results” or “/search” will be query items, obviously.)

Staging environment

An arranging climate is a copy or close copy variant of your site utilized for the purpose of testing.

For instance, envision that you need to introduce a new module or change some code on your site. You might not have any desire to push that directly to a live site with a huge number of everyday guests. The gamble of disaster is excessively high. The arrangement is to test the progressions in an organizing climate first.

Organizing conditions become a Web optimization issue when Google records them since it brings about copy content.

How to check for duplicate content on your site

Go to Ahrefs’ Site Review and begin a creep.

Once finished, go to the Substance quality report.

Search for groups of copies and close copies without a sanctioned. These are featured in orange.

Research the justification for the copy content, then, at that point, make the fitting move.

Note that these will not necessarily be issues that need redressing, particularly on account of close to copies.

You can likewise check for copy title labels, meta depictions, and H1s in the HTML labels report.

You’re searching for awful copies. These are pages with copy meta labels however unique canonicals.

Select these by tapping the “Terrible copies” switch under HTML labels and content.

Click on any of the yellow bars to see the impacted pages.

Pages with copy titles, meta portrayals, or H1’s are frequently basically the same.

For instance, these two have a similar title tag, and the substance is practically indistinguishable on the grounds that the item is something very similar. The main distinction is that one of the pages is for a 3-pack of moment lighting firelogs, though the other is for only one.

https://www.xs-stock.co.uk/large k-moment light-the-covering firelog-3-pack-pit fire fuel/

https://www.xs-stock.co.uk/large k-moment light-the-covering firelog-pit fire chiminea/

Google expresses that you ought to limit comparable substance like this:

Assuming you have many pages that are comparable, think about growing each page or merging the pages into one.

Nonetheless, few comparative pages is probably not going to be quite a bit of an issue.

How to check for duplicate content issues across the web

Content scratching and partnership can likewise prompt copy content issues. In any case, it’s just typically an issue assuming you see scratched forms of your substance outclassing you.

Does that occur? Indeed, however it’s not unexpected a greater amount of an issue for new or feeble sites. Why? Since the destinations scratching your substance are many times more definitive. That occasionally “stunts” Google into imagining that theirs is the first.

In the event that you have a little site, you can frequently track down scratched content via scanning Google for a piece of text from your page in statements.

For bigger destinations, you’ll have to utilize a computerized instrument like Copyscape. This scans the web for different events of the substance on your page(s).

Whichever technique you use, most outcomes will be from malicious and inferior quality destinations.

Taking everything into account, aren’t anything to stress over. Notwithstanding, in the event that you see that a real site scratched your substance, and are worried that it very well might be taking your traffic, toss the URL into Ahrefs’ Site Pioneer to see a natural traffic gauge.

On the off chance that it’s getting more traffic than your page, there might be an issue.

For this situation, you have three choices:

  1. Reach out and request that they remove the content.
  2. Reach out and request they add a canonical link to the original on your site.
  3. Submit a DMCA takedown request via Google.

In the event that you deliberately partner content to different sites, it merits requesting that they add a sanctioned connection to the first. That will dispense with the gamble of copy content issues.

Final thoughts

Try not to worry about copy content excessively. It’s normally significantly less of an issue than it’s believed to be.

On the off chance that you have a modest bunch of copy or close copy pages, there’s probably not going to be a very remarkable issue. The equivalent is valid while citing content from one more site or different pages on your site. Limited quantities of copy or standard substance ought to be OK. Google has frameworks set up to manage things like this.

What you should be keeping watch for are specialized Website design enhancement incidents that lead to the age of hundreds or thousands of pages of copy content, for example, the inappropriate execution of faceted route on internet business destinations.

These can unleash devastation on your creep financial plan, in addition to other things.

Tell me in the remarks or on Twitter assuming you’re battling with copy content.

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By Master James

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