The term duplicate content is one that often inspires feelings of dread in many content marketers. After all, the internet is awash with rumors about Google imposing a duplicate content penalty on websites with duplicate content.
While it is true that you should avoid having a lot of duplicate content on your website, not much is said about why. Here’s all you need to know about duplicate content if you’re seeking to increase your SEO performance with best practices.
What Exactly Is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content refers to identical or substantially similar text found in more than one place on the internet. This may include content that is slightly rewritten from the original source.
Duplicate content can appear on separate pages of a single website or on different websites. Whatever the case, Google and other top search engines frown upon duplicate content since it makes it harder for them to deliver diverse and relevant search engine results.
Is There a Google Duplicate Content Penalty?
Google does not impose any penalties on duplicate content unless it determines that the content was created with the intent to manipulate search rankings.
While the term might come off as malicious, most duplicate content is actually not intentional. For instance, having multiple pages on your website that are similar can lead to getting marked for duplicate content. Likewise, if someone copies your content, your website could potentially be liable for duplicate content. Google understands this, which is why they do not penalize duplicate content.
Can Duplicate Content Negatively Affect Search Rankings?
Just because Google doesn’t penalize websites for duplicate content does not mean having duplicate content won’t hurt your SEO. For one, Google still considers duplicate content when determining which websites and pages to rank. Consequently, having a lot of duplicate content on your website can make it seem less valuable or relevant, thereby hurting its ranking.
Likewise, having a lot of duplicate content on your website negatively impacts user experience. Your users are likely to become frustrated if they encounter the same information on several pages of your website. This can hurt your credibility, put off potential site visitors, and inevitably tank your rankings.
Seek Professional Help
While there is no Google penalty for duplicate content, checking for duplicate content and resolving it is still an important part of good SEO practice. If you’re seeking a professional SEO agency in Atlanta to manage your content marketing strategy, look no further than SEO Guru Atlanta. Our team of experienced marketers and strategists is happy to scan your website for duplicates and fix them.